Blue Jays sign Quintero to Minor League deal
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added some depth behind the plate on Friday morning by signing catcher Humberto Quintero to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
The 36-year-old Quintero is a 12-season Major League veteran, but he has appeared in just two big league games over the last two years. He appeared in 81 games for Triple-A Pawtucket of the Red Sox's organization in 2015, hitting .257 with a .638 OPS.
The signing provides more stability for Toronto's catching position. Russell Martin is set to return as the starter in 2016. But beyond that, there is uncertainty, with backup Dioner Navarro a free agent and Josh Thole eligible for arbitration.
Quintero's signing came one day after the Blue Jays added right-handers Brady Dragmire and Blake McFarland to the 40-man roster. Both pitchers are now protected from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., from Dec. 7-10.
The 22-year-old Dragmire spent all of 2015 at Class A Advanced Dunedin, where he posted a 5.26 ERA over 63 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. McFarland received a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo late in the year and allowed four runs over 10 2/3 innings. He could have an outside chance to compete for a spot in the bullpen this spring.
Toronto currently has 35 players on its 40-man roster. The deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the roster is Friday.