The Blue Jays have claimed Jesus Montero after he was waived by the Mariners, the team announced Monday. The Mariners had designated Montero for assignment but he had to pass through waivers before he could be assigned to the minors.
Montero, 26, was once a top prospect in the Yankees’ system and was the biggest piece the Mariners acquired in the trade that sent Michael Pineda to New York in 2012.
After playing in 135 games in his first season with the Mariners in 2012, Montero played only 29 games in 2013 due to injuries and a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He then showed up to spring training in 2014 40 pounds overweight.
In August 2014 while on a rehab assignment, Montero went after a Mariners scout with a bat after the scout taunted him with an ice cream sandwich. Montero was suspended for the rest of the season and the scout’s contract was not renewed.
Originally a catcher, Montero has only played first base and designated hitter since 2014. Newly acquired Korean first baseman Dae-ho Lee is in line to be Seattle’s righthanded-hitting first baseman this season.
In 38 games last season, Montero batted .223 with a .661 OPS.