What was reported a few days ago by one of the newly-famous teenage reporters on Twitter has come to fruition as the Blue Jays have signed southpaw Andrew Albers. The pitcher will return to North America after a year spent being hit pretty badly in Korea (not the one who has been in the news recently) playing for the Hanwha Eagles. Now Albers will return to his home nation to try and make the Blue Jays 25-man roster on a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training. The official confirmation was tweeted out this morning:
Canadian LHP Andrew Albers has a minor league deal with #BlueJays after a year pitching in South Korea.— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 19, 2014
There was also an article posted by Nicholson-Smith with some quotes by the newest member of the Blue Jays organization:
As a Canadian it’s always something you look to — to be a part of that organization," Albers told Sportsnet Friday. "I’m really looking forward to it."
On his time in Korea:
It was a good life experience," Albers said. "I had some bumps along the road. One of those years that, unfortunately, just didn’t go my way. You want to make a good impression, but unfortunately the stuff just wasn’t there early on."
The addition of Albers brings bumps up the total numbers of Canucks aiming to make the major league roster this Spring to five with the obvious players being Dalton Pompey, Russell Martin, Michael Saunders, as well as Jeff Francis who received a contract similar to Albers'.
In other news around the league, the Padres continued their offseason reminiscent of the Blue Jays winter in 2012 by acquiring Justin Upton and Derek Norris overnight. The deal with the Braves for Upton includes prospects going back the other way including first round pick in 2012 Max Fried. This is the third corner outfielder the team has acquired in a week's time, with Wil Myers and Matt Kemp already being traded for. This means someone will be patrolling the massive center field area in Petco Park who probably shouldn't be.
The Derek Norris trade went down last night with Oakland for young players Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez. The catcher's position has seen massive turnover for San Diego this month although it still looks to eventually be taken over by highly-rated prospect Austin Hedges in the next few years.
Reports are surfacing that the team is also sending newly-acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan to the Red Sox for Will Middlebrooks, bringing the number of players named Wil(l) on the Padres to
two three, while the move will decrease their number of possible starting catchers to two.
Source: Padres nearing a deal that would send Ryan Hanigan to Boston for Will Middlebrooks.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 19, 2014
Bravo Padres, you're keeping this interesting.