The Blue Jays have signed journeyman outfielder Chris Dickerson to a minor league contract, reports Sportsnet's Shi Davidi. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training. The 32-year-old Dickerson played in 41 games for the Cleveland Indians last season posting a .224/.309/.327 batting line. He also played 65 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates triple-A affiliate.
Dickerson is a high-strikeout high-walk type of player with a career 10.1 BB% and 28.2 K%. He is a left-handed hitter who has a 101 wRC+ against right-handed pitching for his career, putting him right around the league average. Defensively, Dickerson has graded out well in the outfield with a career 15 UZR/150 and 16 DRS over 1552 innings. Though he has graded out well in centre field, he has primarily played the corner outfield spots.
The California-born Dickerson is a big guy, listed at 6'4/230 by FanGraphs. With Andy Dirks' health in question to start camp (Dirks is set to continue his injury rehab down at minor league camp this spring), Dickerson should provide outfield depth along with Ezequiel Carrera. If a starting outfielder is injured, I would expect that one of Dickerson or Carrera could form a platoon with Kevin Pillar.
This is a nice minor league pickup for the Blue Jays. The Jays continue to acquire strong defenders with an ability to take a walk. Outfield depth has been a bit of a concern for me, so adding another quality player to the mix certainly does not hurt. Dickerson could also strengthen the roster of the Buffalo Bisons if he does not make the major league team. An ability to play centre field always seems to be a good quality for a potential forth outfielder.