Source: Blue Jays add vets Buchholz, Norris

Atkins on Sanchez and Richard's recoveries, Luciano's roster chances

March 1st, 2019

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays added some much-needed depth to their pitching staff on Thursday by reaching agreements with veterans and , a source confirmed to The club has not announced the deals.

Norris was added on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training, and it was not immediately clear what terms Buchholz agreed to.

Norris should be expected to compete for a setup role in front of closer . The 33-year-old Norris went 3-6 with a 3.59 ERA while sealing 28 of 33 save opportunities for the Cardinals last season. He struck out 67 and walked 21 over 57 2/3 innings.

and also will be in the mix for setup roles, and if healthy, all four relievers -- including Giles -- should have secure Opening Day jobs. The other three or four bullpen spots will be competed for by a group that includes , , Rule 5 Draft pick Elvis Luciano, Jacob Waguespack, and .

Buchholz's specific role is far more uncertain, because he could be used as a starter or reliever. In 16 starts for the D-backs last season, Buchholz went 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He received some consideration as a Comeback Player of the Year Award candidate after making just two appearances in 2017.

Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said at the start of Spring Training that , , and would assume the first four spots in the rotation. That left southpaw to compete against right-hander , among others, for the final rotation spot, which remains up for grabs.

Buchholz could enter the mix for the final spot in the rotation, but it's also possible he could take Richard's role at the start of the season. Richard has yet to make his Grapefruit League debut as he recovers from knee surgery, although he's expected to come out of the bullpen on Friday. Buchholz gives the Blue Jays another option to consider if Richard is not ready by Opening Day or if the veteran lefty struggles in camp.

It's also possible the Blue Jays use Buchholz out of the bullpen. All but 18 of Buchholz's 224 career appearances have come as a starter, but it remains a possibility. Toronto will likely wait and see how the next few weeks in camp go before making a final decision.