General Manger Alex Anthopoulos has announced that the Toronto Blue Jays will place Omar Vizquel on the 40-man roster next week. Vizquel, aged 44 years, 11 months, and 4 days, will be headed north to start the 2012 season as a utility infielder for the team. Vizquel will become the second oldest player, and oldest position player, to ever play for the Toronto Blue Jays--do you know who was the oldest?
In a corresponding move, Mike McCoy has been optioned to AAA Las Vegas (that sentence gets typed so often it autocompletes). A roster spot was opened when Rick VandenHurk was claimed by the Indians. This probably means that Luis Valbuena will be moved somehow--he cannot be sent to the minors without going through waivers.
Toronto will be Vizquel's 6th major league team (after Mariners, Indians, Giants, Rangers, and White Sox), and 2012 will be his 24th year in the Majors. Omar has had a great spring, hitting .429/.448/.500 in limited plate apearances, and has looked great on defense. He is expected to continue wearing #17 this year, having worn #13 for the majority of his career and most recently #11 for the White Sox (Ozzie Guillen wore #13). Future Hall-of-Famer Vizquel has kindly allowed future fellow Hall-of-Famer Brett Lawrie retain his number.
One thing I noticed was how happy he was in Spring Training, almost always with a smile on his face (he just flew out in the picture so cut him some slack). He was more than willing to give autographs, especially to kids. Apparently he also did a few entertaining interviews on TV and radio so far. I think Toronto will like this kid.
Congratulations Omar! I look forward to seeing you play this year. And if you haven't already, you can follow him on Twitter at @VizquelOmar13.