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Blue Jays sign reliever Breslow to Minors deal

MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added another veteran into their mix of candidates for the bullpen by signing left-hander Craig Breslow to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Monday afternoon.

Breslow, whose signing was first reported by Robert Murray of FanRag Sports, should have an opportunity to compete for one of the final spots in the Blue Jays' bullpen.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added another veteran into their mix of candidates for the bullpen by signing left-hander Craig Breslow to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Monday afternoon.

Breslow, whose signing was first reported by Robert Murray of FanRag Sports, should have an opportunity to compete for one of the final spots in the Blue Jays' bullpen.

Breslow has spent parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues, and Blue Jays fans likely remember him most for a stint in Boston from 2012-15. He has a 3.45 ERA over 570 2/3 career innings and left-handed hitters have posted a .688 OPS over that span.

The 37-year-old opened last season with the Twins and struggled with a 5.09 ERA before finishing the season with seven appearances for Cleveland. Toronto will be looking to use Breslow in a situational role, and that's one area where his numbers in 2017 still hold up as lefties were limited to a .580 OPS.

Roberto Osuna, Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes and Loup are the four Toronto relievers who appear to have secure jobs with camp officially set to open Tuesday in Dunedin, Fla. One of the final three spots will go to a long reliever, while a long list of candidates will be competing for the other two openings.

If Toronto opts to carry a second lefty, then Breslow likely becomes the early favorite. He will receive competition from rookies Tim Mayza and Matt Dermody, but both of them can be optioned to the Minor Leagues while preserving depth in the bullpen.

The Blue Jays remain in the market for a fifth starter, but in recent days they have been focused on relievers. John Axford and Jake Petrika were added on Minor League deals and will compete against the likes of Al Alburquerque and rookie Carlos Ramirez for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Craig Breslow