This morning, it was announced that right hander Justin Germano (on Twitter as @JustGerm) agreed to a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
The 30-year old Californian who was drafted in the 13th round of the 2000 draft by the San Diego Padres as a 17-year old. He made it to the Majors in 2004 with the Padres, recording a 8.86 ERA and a 2.1 WHIP in 21 ineffective innings.
He subsequently did his tour of professional baseball: being traded to the Reds at the deadline in 2005 (for Joe Randa), then to the Phillies in 2006 (for Rheal Cormier), then returned to the Padres in Spring Training 2007 on waivers, then went to pitch for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan for a year, before heading back across the Pacific to sign with Cleveland in 2010, then he signed with the Red Sox after he was released in 2011, then he was traded to the Cubs for cash in July of this year. The Cubs decided to remove him from the 40-man roster after the season, but as a veteran he elected free agency to sign with Toronto. He has had an incredible journey--I would love to hear his stories.
Germano was was an International League All-Star with the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2012, but was called up before the All-Star Game. In AAA, he started all but one game, and going 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 17 appearances. In the Majors last year, he recorded a 6.20 ERA in 70 innings pitched with an WHIP of 1.536. In his career, he has averaged 5.7 K/9 and 3 BB/9.
Since Germano is on a minor-league contract, he does not take up a spot on the 40-man roster and will most likely start 2013 with the AAA Buffalo Bisons. He does have an invitation to the big league camp in Spring Training, though. I see this as nothing but an organizational depth move, one of many signings we will hear about to fill in the rosters of the Jays' minor league affiliates. In very desperate situations, Germano can fill in as a starter or a reliever with the big club.
Germano was in the Padres' minor league system about the same time as when Dirk Hayhurst was there. I wonder if he was a character in Hayhurst's books.