The Blue Jays released injured outfielder Andy Dirks on Thursday, according to SportsNet.ca. Dirks underwent a second back surgery in as many years and is expected to miss the entirety of the minor-league season. Dirks, 29, has not appeared in the majors since 2013. He has a career .276 MLB batting average from 2011-13.
Blue Jays outfielder Andy Dirks (back) will start baseball activities in 7-10 days, per MLB.com. He could be elevated to major-league camp later this spring, but it appears his chances of being ready for opening day are not great. "No, I wouldn't think," manager John Gibbons said when asked if Dirks could be considered for a spot on the opening day roster. "He still has some time he's going to need, but that could change."
Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders revealed Thursday he is expected to be sidelined until the All-Star break due to a torn meniscus in his left knee. Saunders, who was slated to start in left field for Toronto, said he suffered the injury Wednesday after he stepped on a sprinkler head while shagging fly balls during batting practice, per the National Post. "My goal is to be back by the All-Star break," Saunders said. "I don't see why there should be any hiccups in my rehab." Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the team would most likely replace Saunders, who was acquired in a December trade with the Mariners, with an internal candidate. Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey, who are competing for the starting job in center field, could be options since they can play all three outfield spots. Andy Dirks could also be a candidate, but he is in camp on a minor-league deal and still rehabbing from a back injury that sidelined him in 2014. Saunders spent the first six seasons of his MLB career with Seattle. He hit .273 with a .341 on-base percentage, .450 slugging percentage and .791 OPS in 78 games last season.
Due to ongoing rehab on his injured back, Blue Jays outfielder Andy Dirks will open spring training in minor-league camp, reports SportsNet.ca. Dirks will spend the time in minor-league camp to rehab his back, which caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.
The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Andy Dirks to a minor-league contract, a source told FOX Sports. Dirks also received an invite to spring training. Dirks missed the 2014 season due to back and hamstring injuries. He has a career .276 average, .332 on-base percentage, .413 slugging percentage and .745 OPS in three seasons in the majors.