The Toronto Blue Jays signed first baseman Justin Smoak to a one-year, $1 million deal, the club announced Wednesday.
The Blue Jays claimed the 27-year-old Smoak in October, but non-tendered him on Tuesday to avoid paying him approximately $3 million in arbitration. According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Smoak could be the early favorite to receive most of the playing time at first base next season. Edwin Encarnacion would then receive the majority of his playing time at designated hitter.
Smoak played in 80 games last season for the Seattle Mariners, batting .202 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs.
A former first-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2008, Smoak was traded to Seattle in 2010. He hit 15 seasons in every season from 2011-13, including 20 in 2013.
For his career, he is hitting .224 with 74 home runs and 234 RBI in 566 games.
Toronto finished 83-79 last season, third in the AL East.
- Mike Fiammetta