While the formalization of some significant signings must wait, the Toronto Blue Jays announced a handful of minor league deals on Monday.
The Jays announced reliever David Phelps and outfielder Mallex Smith will return to the organization on minor league deals with invites to spring training in 2022, as well as five other MiLB signings.
Phelps agreed to a $1.75 million deal with the Jays ahead of 2021 but pitched just 10.1 innings with the team before a significant lat strain cost him the remainder of his season. Entering his age 35 season, Phelps owns a 3.99 ERA and 4.41 FIP across his last three years, striking out 11.3 batters per nine while walking just 3.6.
The righty began strong in 2021, posting a .87 ERA and working his way into late-inning duties before he was sidelined.
"[Phelps] was awesome for the young guys and we're going to miss him a lot," manager Charlie Montoyo told the media after Phelps' injury. "He was probably one of our best relievers, and what he did in the clubhouse was awesome, too."
The Jays acquired outfielder Smith in August 2021, and he played 13 games in the organization. In seven games for Buffalo, Smith posted a 1.355 OPS and stole three bases. The 28-year-old speedster joins C Kellin Deglan and P Casey Lawrence as minor leaguers returning to the Toronto system.
The complete list of players signed to minor league deals Mwith invites to spring training include:
- C Kellin Deglan
- RHP José De León
- LHP Matt Gage
- RHP Casey Lawrence
- OF Nathan Lukes
- RHP David Phelps
- OF Mallex Smith