Jimenez was reassigned to minor-league camp Tuesday. He was beat out by Robinson Chirinos for the backup catcher role, and will open the year providing organizational depth at Triple-A Round Rock.
Jimenez agreed to a minor contract with an invitation to spring training with the Rangers on Friday. The 26-year-old spent the past two seasons with the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate. In 248 plate appearances in 2016, Jimenez slashed .241/.290/.377 while hitting four home runs. He'll most likely serve as organizational catching depth for Texas this season.
Jimenez was released by the Blue Jays on Monday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Jimenez was DFA'd last week to make room on the roster for Joe Smith, and he'll now be a free agent after passing through waivers unclaimed. The 26-year-old has never appeared in an NBA game and spent the entirety of last season (67 games) at the Triple-A level, where he hit .241 with 28 RBI and four home runs.
Jimenez was designated for assignment Thursday, Blue Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner reports. With Jimenez bumped to make room for Joe Smith, non-roster invitee Jarrod Saltalamacchia appears to be a near lock to break camp as the backup to Russell Martin. Juan Graterol is the only other catcher currently on the 40-man roster (besides Martin). Jimenez, a .245/.292/.355 career hitter at the Triple-A level, will be subjected to waivers.
Jimenez will enter camp as the team's backup catcher, MLB.com reports. Jimenez was drafted by Toronto in 2008, and despite being 26-years-old, the backstop has never appeared in the majors. The team will need to find a way to ease the workload of veteran catcher Russell Martin, who appeared in 137 games last season, the 33-year-old's highest total since 2009. Jimenez can't get too cozy with the idea of a job in the majors, as veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who recently signed a minor league deal, could also be a candidate to relieve Martin.
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