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The Toronto Blue Jays continue to build depth in the minor leagues by signing outfielder Jeremy Reed and right-handed pitcher Steven Register to minor league deals according to

Jeremy Reed is hoping to extend his major league career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010.  A native of San Dimas, California, the left-handed hitting outfielder was a second round selection of the Chicago White Sox in the 2002 amateur draft.  The 6-foot, 200 pound Reed made quite the splash in his first full season in 2003.  After hitting .319 at Class-A Kannapolis in '02, he hit a combined .373/.453/.537 between Class-A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham with 11 homers, 95 RBI, 35 doubles, four triples, 45 stolen bases and 70 walks while striking out just 36 times.  He actually hit much better in Birmingham with a batting line of .409/.474/.591.  As a result, Reed won the Topps Minor League Player of the Year Award.

The Long Beach State alumni cooled off at AAA Charlotte in 2004 but still hit a respectable .275/.357/.420 with eight homers and 37 runs batted in and his BB-K total was 36-34.  Near the end of June, Reed was traded to Seattle with infielder Mike Morse and catcher Miguel Olivo for pitcher Freddy Garcia and catcher Ben Davis.  He hit .305 with Triple-A Tacoma and he continued to maintain his batting eye at the plate with a walk-strikeout mark of 23-22.  Reed was called up in early September by the Mariners and even though he started his career 0-for-5, he still managed to hit .397/.470/.466 in 18 games.

Reed spent his first full season in the bigs in 2005 with the M's but hit just .254 with 33 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 45 RBI.  He had trouble on the basepaths by going just 12-for-23 in the stolen base department but drew 48 walks against 74 strikeouts.  In 2006, Reed slugged a career high six homers but hit just .217 before a thumb injury in early July ended his season.  That came after he had hurt his wrist in spring training and effectively ended his tenure as the Mariners center fielder when Ichiro Suzuki moved over from right.   Reed spent the majority of 2007 back in Tacoma and hit .300 with 37 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 64 runs batted in before getting called up in September.  However, he didn't see a lot of playing time as he hit just .176 in 17 plate appearances.

The 2008 season saw Reed back at Tacoma but a .349 average in 38 games led to a recall to Seattle during the latter part of May.  He hit .269 with the Mariners and continued to man all the outfield spots while filling in at first base.  However, Reed was dealt to the New York Mets along with relievers J.J. Putz and Sean Green as part of a major three-team, twelve-player deal in the off-season that involved Seattle getting outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Endy Chavez and pitcher Aaron Heilman while Cleveland picked up infielder Luis Valbuena.

Reed got in 126 games with the Mets by playing the outfield and first base but only made 177 plate appearances in which he batted just .242 with no homers and nine RBI.  The 28 year-old Reed is expected to battle fellow minor league signee Joey Gathright for a spot in Toronto this coming season.

Steven Register broke into pro ball with the Colorado Rockies after being a third round pick in the 2004 amateur draft out of Auburn.  The Columbus, Georgia native led NCAA Division 1 with 16 saves in 2003 and pitched for the U.S. National Team where he was a set-up man to current Rockies stopper Huston StreetRegister spent his first three minor league seasons as a starter but his ERA climbed from a 3.63 mark in 2004 with Single-A Tri-City to 5.57 with Double-A Tulsa in 2006 while going a combined 19-28.  A shift to the Tulsa bullpen helped Register in 2007 as he racked up 37 saves while compiling a K-BB mark of 48-16 in 58 innings.  That convinced the New York Mets to take a flyer on him in the Rule 5 draft but he was returned to the Rockies near the end of spring training.

The 6-1, 185 pound Register collected 13 more saves at Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2008 while going 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA and a K-BB total of 52-19 in 59 innings.  Register earned a brief call up to the bigs August 4th when he pitched a third of an inning and struck out Washington's Lastings Milledge to retire the only batter he faced.  He returned to the Rockies in September but he was scored upon in seven of his nine outings as he finished with a 9.00 ERA and a K-BB total of 8-6 in 10 innings. 

It was back to Colorado Springs for Register in 2009 and he collected six saves in 16 appearances but an 0-2 record and a WHIP of 1.938 in 16 innings led to his release.  However, he was claimed on waivers by Philadelphia in late May and went to Triple-A Lehigh Valley where he earned seven more saves while posting a 2-3 record with a 3.70 ERA and struck out 28 batters in 41 1/3 innings.  He made one appearance with the Phillies July 25th where he allowed a run on three hits and a walk in two innings.

Register is a fastball, slider, changeup pitcher with his fastball around 90-91 miles per hour while his slide piece and change register (get it?) in the low 80's.  He hopes to land a spot in a crowded Jays bullpen but is more likely to see more time in Triple-A, this time with Las Vegas.

In other Jays news............

Reliever Bill Risley remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who was the last Blue Jay to have to go to arbitration?".  The Jays came to terms with their last five remaining eligible players.

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 07:58 AM EST (#211250) #
We have Vernon Wells in C.F and he's good but not great defensively.   We want Travis Snider, unfortunately he's limited defensively, at this point, to L.F.   We are struck with Jose Bautista as R.F and he's good-ish defensively.   There arises a major question, who relieves Vernon Wells if he can't play 162 games.   And don't say Jose Bautista (who can) - Snider in Right (almost-defensive liability)- Lind in Left (just adequate defensively) - ??? as DH.   This is not Plan A, nor is it Plan B and it shouldn't be Plan C.   Who is our 4th outfielder?   Joey Gathright and Jeremy Reed are options?   Who bridges the gap from 'we are not good enough to compete now' to 'we are good enough to compete now'?
Sister - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 08:02 AM EST (#211251) #
I quite like the signing of Reed. A very nice low risk, high reward type scenario.

TimberLee - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 09:23 AM EST (#211256) #

It looks like there is a big opportunity for Reed to make this team and to get considerable time in the OF, and there should be a chance for him to contribute.  He impressed everyone until he got hurt, and it's just about the time for him to have fully recovered.  I like this one!

cybercavalier - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 01:43 PM EST (#211257) #

It looks like there is a big opportunity for Reed to make this team and to get considerable time in the OF, and there should be a chance for him to contribute.  He impressed everyone until he got hurt, and it's just about the time for him to have fully recovered.  I like this one!

Last season, Jason Lane had a nice spring training showing but ended up not be present in opening day roster. Even when Travis Snider was sent down to AAA to hone his skills, Joe Inglett was called up. Lane stayed in AAA for a season. Although the managenment under Alex A. and his staff is supposed to be different than that of Ricciardi, I do wish Reed good luck. In my thought, the opening roster of batters comprised of Buck, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, A. Hill, MacDonald, Overbay, Bautista, Lind, Wells, Ruiz; those are 10 players. So on paper, I think that the Jays need at least another three batters: another catcher as backup or sharing playing time with Buck, a 4th OF, anothr batter. Among these players, contribution must be evident to take the burden of team offense from Hill, Lind, Overbay, Wells and other. How the contribution of offense be distributed among the players shall be interesting to see, (Dopirak, McCoy, Hoffpauir, Garthright, Reed, Snider, Jorge Padilla, Raul Chavez? )

TamRa - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 01:43 PM EST (#211258) #
I don't think Reeed has a high reward, I think he and Gathright are redundant and basically are insurance against each other.

Neither of them serve as a good-v.-RHP partner to Bautista.

I'm mystified that there hasn't been a legitimate major league starter added UNLESS our paranoia about Snider being in left and JB in RF is not going to come true.

Matthew E - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 02:14 PM EST (#211259) #
I need pitchers and catchers to report eftsoons or right speedily.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 02:35 PM EST (#211261) #
Vernon Wells is not a good defensive centerfielder, at this stage of his career.  The ideal thing for the young pitchers (in my view) is for him to be moved to a corner slot.  That's not how the season is likely to begin, but having Gathright and Reed around increases the chances that the season ends this way. 

If one develops (admitting that this is unlikely), the club has possibly a 2-3 year fix to the problem. 

John Northey - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 03:24 PM EST (#211264) #
Interesting with these speedy defense first outfielders brought in to think of what 2010 could be like.  We could have all field/no hit at CA/SS/CF - the big 3 positions - with 2B being a great glove/solid bat.  A bit ragged around the corners with Encarnacion at third, maybe Lind at 1B, Snider & Wells at the corners but it sure would put things back to how old scouts used to want it - strong defense up the middle.
Thomas - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 03:29 PM EST (#211265) #
There are four bench spots on the team, as the Jays will go with 12 pitchers. (I am assuming a starting lineup of Buck, the expected infield, Snider, Wells, Batista and Lind). One of those bench spots is McDonald and another will be Chavez or another backup catcher.

That leaves two bench spots, one of which should be a right-handed power bat to potentially platoon with Overbay and also give some rest to Snider and Lind. That could be Ruiz, if the Jays are confident that either he or Lind could play 1B when resting Overbay. I assume that's the case, but if not they may have to use Dopirak or some other player.

The last backup spot could be an infielder or an outfielder. One could make an argument for another infielder, as Lind could move from DH when giving an OF a day off and Batista can play CF on the rare times the Jays will rest Wells. However, Batista's versatility comes in handy as if an injury strikes and the Jays have already used McDonald (or some infielder has a day-to-day injury) then Batista can shift to 3B. So, the last outfield spot could go to Gathright or Reed.

But, all of this will be made moot within a couple of weeks as an injury strikes.
Matthew E - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 04:10 PM EST (#211269) #
Or when Gaston has Snider sent down, installs Gathright as the everyday left fielder, goes with thirteen pitchers (two of which he never uses), and platoons Lind with Overbay.
Chuck - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 04:27 PM EST (#211270) #
Or when Gaston has Snider sent down, installs Gathright as the everyday left fielder, goes with thirteen pitchers (two of which he never uses), and platoons Lind with Overbay.

No mention of him coaxing Millar out of retirement?
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 04:41 PM EST (#211271) #
No mention of him coaxing Millar out of retirement?

I hear that Enos Cabell can drive in 50 intangible runs and he bats right, too.  Then, we too can boast "EC was here".
Mike Forbes - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 04:49 PM EST (#211272) #
Jays acquire Merkin Valdez from the Giants for cash per
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 04:55 PM EST (#211273) #

Like the Valdez acq. - maybe he can rediscover himself in AAA - also caught a bit of AA  on the fan590 - happy to hear that the Jays are looking to acquire some

veteran pitching so as not to overextend the young arms.

Denoit - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 08:18 PM EST (#211277) #

maybe he can rediscover himself in AAA

He is out of options so it will have to be with Toronto. Unless he clears waivers...

Doom Service - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 09:18 PM EST (#211278) #
If Toronto got Valdez on a waiver claim, none of the worse teams wanted him on their 40.
TamRa - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 09:57 PM EST (#211279) #
Not sure it was a waiver claim. He was DFA'ed which means he doesn't hit waivers until after the Giants run out of time to place him - i think.

pooks137 - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 11:18 PM EST (#211285) #

I noticed that according to Matt Eddy's minor league transactions at Baseball America, the Jays are listed as having signed Callix Crabbe. Sorry, don't know how to post a link.

I recall Callix from past discussions about possible Rule V draft selections.

Seems to make the infield in Las Vegas crowded with AA's previous waiver picks of Hoffpauir and McCoy, and 2B being blocked by Hill.  I guess they are holding auditions for the new Inglett.

Spifficus - Wednesday, January 20 2010 @ 11:35 PM EST (#211287) #

Judging from the MLBTR text, it looks like it was a 'trade' for everybody's favorite - cash considerations.

As for the pickup itself, a 95+ fastball, with shaky command and offspeed stuff that needs help? Sure, I'd make that play, especially in a year where you have innings to give out. This was his first full year back from TJ surgery (and a setback), and it showed, with him fading horribly in the second half. The worst thing that happens is that they're bad innings. The upside is pretty tantalizing, though.

John Northey - Thursday, January 21 2010 @ 09:59 AM EST (#211293) #
Callix Crabbe was rule 5'd in 2008 but didn't stick.  Lifetime in minors has hit 269/364/372 doing 263/360/388 in AAA.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 21 2010 @ 03:14 PM EST (#211303) #
Looks like Rod Barajas might be back:, because who needs a starting catcher now.
Dewey - Thursday, January 21 2010 @ 05:37 PM EST (#211309) #
The Mets do.  Bengie Molina re-signed with the Giants. 
Chuck - Thursday, January 21 2010 @ 06:25 PM EST (#211310) #

Looks like Rod Barajas might be back, because who needs a starting catcher now.

Holy non-sequitur, batman.

Craig B - Thursday, January 21 2010 @ 08:06 PM EST (#211311) #
Valdez was not a waiver claim.  He was DFAed but this was a trade, for cash considerations (i.e. the Jays paid more than the waiver price).
China fan - Friday, January 22 2010 @ 01:13 PM EST (#211320) #

I'm not very happy about the AA quote at the end of this paragraph from Jerry Crasnick's report on the free-agent situation:

Toronto's outfield consists of Vernon Wells in center, Travis Snider in left, Jose Bautista in right and non-roster invitees Joey Gathright and Jeremy Reed, but GM Alex Anthopoulos says that adding an outfielder is "not a real priority.''

James W - Friday, January 22 2010 @ 01:22 PM EST (#211321) #
It's not pleasing...  but would you prefer them throw a few million at Jermaine Dye or John Damon to play the outfield?  Even if they do, what's the difference?  I'm guessing that's why Anthopoulos doesn't think it's a priority.
Mike Green - Friday, January 22 2010 @ 01:56 PM EST (#211322) #
The only (perhaps minor) problem is the insistence that Vernon Wells is still a capable defensive centerfielder, and the effect that this may have on the confidence of the young pitchers.  The Yankees can get away with this kind of thing to some degree, as they did with Bernie Williams, but the Jays cannot.

It is not quite as clear cut in Wells' case as it was with Williams.  Wells' speed remains average, to my eye, and it is perhaps conceivable that he could regain some defensive ability, as Jeter did in the last couple of years.  My view is that this is unlikely, and the club is much better off to move him to a corner and see if he can focus on his hitting.  That might happen in the middle of the year.

Richard S.S. - Friday, January 22 2010 @ 03:38 PM EST (#211326) #
We should know Vernon Wells' abilities/effectiveness by midseason.   If, as you say, he must move to Right Field (preferably), who's our Center Fielder then?
Mike Green - Friday, January 22 2010 @ 03:54 PM EST (#211328) #
At this point, Gathright or Reed.  And that's fine.  This club aint winning anything in 2010.  As a fan, I'd rather see Joey Gathright or Jeremy Reed in center and Vernon Wells in a corner  than Vernon Wells in center and a better hitter in the corner (Bautista? Lind?) with the result that the club might score 10-30 runs more. 
Parker - Friday, January 22 2010 @ 08:55 PM EST (#211330) #
The organization's insistence that Vernon Wells can play centre field confuses me, as does the mistaken impression that his horrible year at the plate in home games is somehow injury-related. He's getting his money either way, so his handling with kid gloves at the expense of team performance is baffling. There is no question that the Jays need a major-league centre fielder, preferably one with more of a pedigree than the ability to jump over small cars.
TamRa - Saturday, January 23 2010 @ 03:36 AM EST (#211335) #
It's not pleasing...  but would you prefer them throw a few million at Jermaine Dye or John Damon to play the outfield?  Even if they do, what's the difference?  I'm guessing that's why Anthopoulos doesn't think it's a priority.

The reason it's a priority to me is not just who's in the outfield but who's leading off.

Defensively - though I don't defend Wells' glove in DF - I'm ok with Snider-Wells-Bautista

But JB leading off vs. RHP will be astoundingly painful to watch.

would it really have hurt to have thrown a little money at Ran Church or Randy Winn?

Hell, Jim Edmunds says he'll play for the minimum and while he's not a classic lead-off type, he can at least find his way to 1B.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 23 2010 @ 04:55 AM EST (#211336) #

I agee with you on this, prefering Jeremy Reed over Joey Gathright.   Reed can be very good, Gathright, maybe not as much.   This leaves Jose Bautista as Backup for RF, CF, 1B, 3B and DH.   If Jose's in RF regularily, our bench is not very deep.

Depending on what happens with Rod Barajas (maybe returning), we'll have John Buck (good) or Raul Chavez (not so good) as Backup Catcher.   John McDonald will be backup at SS, 2B and 3B.   One of Reed or Gathright will be the 4th Outfielder (can play all outfield positions).    Who fills the empty bench position, another middle infielder, or a corner infielder backup?   We need Bench players who can play multiple position, or just go with 6 Relievers.   1)A Backup catcher you must have.  2)4th Outfielder playing all outfield positions is desireable.   3)Middle Infielder playing multiple positions is an Asset.   4a) A DH who can only play the outfield (poorly) and not 1B may create a problem.   4b) You need a 1B backup, who can play another position, if possible; or, do you need another Middle Infielder for safety sake?

Thomas - Saturday, January 23 2010 @ 12:02 PM EST (#211338) #
If the Jays are going to go with a four-man bench, I don't think they need a second middle infielder on the bench, because of Bautista's flexibility. It wouldn't be pretty and wouldn't be a manageable solution beyond a game or two, but the Jays could probably get by with moving Bautista to second for a few innings or a game if, for example, Hill was day-to-day and McDonald injured himself in the middle of a game.

With a four-man bench a team's options are necessarily going to be limited and either the Jays are not going to have a second infield backup or they're not going to have any outfielders on the bench or they're not going to have a right-handed hitting 1B/DH/maybe corner outfield. The only way they could really cover all their bases is to bring Crabbe north, but in that case you may be trading offence for injury security.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 05:17 AM EST (#211345) #

Yorvit Torrealba and Rod Barajas are the only starting catchers still available on the "free agency" list.   The New York Mets are the only team still looking for a Starting Catcher.   Torreabla and the Mets have 'Major I$$ue$' to solve be for anything ever gets done there.   Until that happens, Rod Barajas won't be signed.  

Toronto offers Arbitration to Barajas, which he declines.   With Type B status, Toronto gets a supplemental first round pick if he's signed, as long as they don't rescind the Offer.   If things turn out poorly for Barajas, can he now accept Toronto arbitration offer?   Should the YT-NYM deal fall through do they go after Barajas?   Torreabla and Buck, or Barajas and Buck are better than Buck and Chavez.   Upgrade the offence at Catcher and take the best hitter at 4TH OF will make the decision on the last bench position easier (more offence or more defense). 

ayjackson - Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 09:10 AM EST (#211347) #
Barajas cannot now accept the arb offer.  He declined it and became a free agent.  Can't have your cake and eat in MLB free agency.
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