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Blue Jays Sign Chris Coghlan

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Time for some real news: the Blue Jays have announced the signing of free agent utility player Chris Coghlan to a minor league deal. Although the 31 year old was awful last season, this would be a terrific addition if Coghlan gets back to his 2014 or 2015 form. He will head to AAA Buffalo, but could factor into the left field equation if he gets off to a good start.

Coghlan is a left-handed hitter with a career .268/.341/.424 batting line against right-handed pitching. Since both Melvin Upton Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera have performed better against lefties, this could represent an effective platoon option down the line. Both Dalton Pompey and Darrell Ceciliani could also factor into the mix, so it is nice to see some added depth in case injuries occur.

Although primarily a corner outfielder, Coghlan played over 100 innings at both second base and third base last season. He graded out as a poor defender at both positions, but did draw strong reviews for his defence in left field. All in all, he looks to be a competent corner outfielder that can play the infield in a pinch, and the Jays will hope for a bounce-back offensively.

I listed Coghlan as one of my offseason targets back in November, claiming that he could be the Matt Joyce of this offseason. He is adept at drawing a walk, but a .188 batting average in 300 plate appearances simply did not cut it in 2016. He boasted 5.7 WAR between 2014-2015, and even carried a 128 wRC+ against right-handed pitching over that span. Let's hope last year was simply a fluke, as a return to his old self would be a strong replacement for Michael Saunders.