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Blue Jays sign Pan Am Gold Medallist Philippe Aumont to minor league deal

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

After throwing 13 scoreless innings to lead Team Canada to win the gold medal in Pan Am men's baseball, right-handed pitcher Phillippe Aumont is headed to Buffalo as the newest member of the Blue Jays organization, signing a minor league deal with Toronto today as reported by Shi Davidi.

The 26-year-old from Gatineau, Quebec elected free agency exactly a month ago after being outrighted to triple-A by the Phillies after a single spot start in which he gave up six runs on five hits in four innings, walking seven (gulp) on the way while striking out just three. Having spent parts of five seasons in Lehigh Valley, he decided to drive home instead of pitching for them again, he told Bob Elliott. Right away, the Blue Jays called to ask for his services, as did a couple of other teams, but he declined all their offers and even thought about pulling out of the Pan Ams as well before Greg Hamilton talked him back into it.

Aumont had pitched in parts of four major league seasons, but never more than the 19.1 innings he tossed in 2013. He's got a 6.80 ERA over 46 games and 43.2 big league innings, clearly a "bust" for someone who was drafted as the 11th overall pick in the 2007 draft and touted as one of the Mariners' top prospects. Back in 2009, when the Blue Jays trade Roy Halladay to the Philiies, the same day Philadelphia traded away Cliff Lee, there was a discussion on whether Toronto should have sent Halladay to Seattle for Aumont and fellow Canadian Tyson Gillies instead.

Right now, Aumont will be dispatched to the Bisons to help them in their playoff push and for a fresh start to his own career, hoping that Randy St. Claire can help him improve to a point where he could make a contribution to the major league club.

I am happy that he finally chose to sign with the Blue Jays after a successful stint at the Pan Ams. He had been courted by teams in Japan, as reported by 98,5 FM in Montreal.

Other News

Shi Davidi also reports that Aaron Sanchez will return to the Blue Jays on Saturday. On Thursday, Sanchez did not allow a hit in his inning of work but did walk one, throwing just six strikes over 14 pitches. He did, however, induce two groundouts!

Joba Chamberlain, again from Davidi, will be activated by the Bisons on Monday. Let me guess how Randy St. Claire will call him in from the 'pen:

Lastly, the Bisons have announced that Ramon Santiago has been released. If you recall, Santiago broke his collarbone diving for a ball in spring training and was released from his contract. The Jays re-signed him soon after and the 35-year-old was activated from the disabled list at the beginning of June. He struggled with the Bisons, hitting just .202/.283/.218 over 33 games and did not look good defensively.