Lavarnway agreed to terms on a minor league deal with the Blue Jays on Friday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. The veteran catcher was most recently with the Braves organization before being released on May 14. He was slashing .276/.336/.357 at Triple-A Gwinnett prior to his release this spring. He adds some organizational depth at catcher, but unless Russell Martin or Josh Thole get hurt, he's unlikely to be a major league option for the Blue Jays in the near future. Lavarnway has been assigned to Double-A New Hampshire.
Lavarnway was released by the Braves on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien reports. Once a top catching prospect in the Red Sox's system from 2009-2011, Lavarnway has now washed out of his second organization. He was hitting .276/.336/.357 at Triple-A for the Braves prior to his release.
Lavarnway was reassigned to minor league camp Wednesday. Lavarnway posted a decent .300 batting average halfway through spring training, but it quickly plummeted and doomed him back to the minor leagues. He'll act as organizational depth at catcher, but if either Tyler Flowers or AJ Pierzynski succumb to injury at the major league level, he could get a call back to Atlanta.
Lavarnway connected for two hits in four at-bats, including a two-RBI double in Wednesday's 8-8 tie against St. Louis. In 20 plate appearances this spring, Lavarnway produced six hits, four RBI, one run, and a homer. However, his .300 average he's compiled this spring shouldn't fool fantasy owners as he's tallied a .198 average over 373 at-bats at the major league level. With A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers ahead of Lavarnway on the Braves' depth chart, the 28-year-old catcher looks to begin the 2016 season with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Lavarnway signed a minor league contract with the Braves Tuesday. With the Braves resigning A.J. Pierzynski, this signing likely took place to keep Lavarnway around as organizational depth in case Pierzynski or Cristian Bethancourt get hurt. The 28-year-old batted .191 with two homers and six RBI in 106 plate appearances with Baltimore and Atlanta last season.