The Blue Jays have signed Ronald Belisario to minor league contract, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN. Belisario will make $1.7M if he makes the team. Jon Morosi had reported the two sides were "very close" to a signing earlier today. In addition, Shi Davidi reports that the Jays have signed infielder Ramon Santiago to a minor league deal.
Belisario, 32, seems to fit the Jays need for a right-handed reliever. Though Belisario posted a 5.56 ERA for the Chicago White Sox in 2014, his fielding independent pitching (FIP) was a much more favourable 3.54.
Belisario is a proven groundball specialist with a career GB% of 60.4%. He has large splits for his career with a 3.08 FIP against right-handed hitters and a 4.50 FIP against lefties. He relies mainly on a fastball-slider combination, where his fastball tends to average around 94 mph.
Since entering the league in 2009, Belisario has posted the tenth lowest xFIP against right-handed hitters (minimum 200 IP). His ability to get righties out should be a nice complement to a bullpen, which already features Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup from the left side.
Personally, I think this is a very solid signing for the Blue Jays. Belisario should allow John Gibbons to play the matchup game against some of the games best right-handed hitters. With players such as Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Adam Jones and Mike Napoli in the AL East, Belisario could be a valuable asset late in games.
Ramon Santiago, 35, comes over from the Reds organization after posting a .246/.343/.324 line in 2014. Santiago is a switch hitter that played primarily second base, shortstop and third base last season. For his career, Santiago owns a 76 wrc+ vs both lefties and righties. It seems he will compete for a spot on the major league team with players such as Maicer Izturis, Ryan Goins, Munenori Kawasaki, Steve Tolleson and Devon Travis.