Deal between Kalish, Blue Jays falls through

Ryan Kalish (Andrew A. Nelles/AP)

Ryan Kalish is returning to free agency after he and the Toronto Blue Jays failed to complete the minor-league contract they agreed to last month.

It’s unclear why the deal came apart. The outfielder appeared in 57 games with the Chicago Cubs last season and was likely headed to triple-A Buffalo to serve as depth.

Kalish, who signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays Dec. 17, has experience in parts of three seasons with the Boston Red Sox and Cubs. While he’s a former top prospect, he has undergone shoulder and back surgeries that caused him to miss the entire 2013 season.

A left-handed hitter, Kalish has played all three outfield positions at the MLB level. The 26-year-old is a lifetime .245/.293/.350 hitter in 412 plate appearances against big league pitching. He also has eight years of minor league experience, including a .257/.325/.405 batting line in four seasons at triple-A.

Jose Bautista and Michael Saunders will start in Toronto’s outfield corners, and Dalton Pompey will compete along with Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera for playing time in centre field.

The Red Sox selected Kalish in the ninth round of the 2006 draft, and he became a top prospect within a couple of seasons. Baseball America ranked him 96th among all minor leaguers before the 2008 campaign, and he debuted with Boston in 2010.

The Cubs granted Kalish free agency on Oct. 30, though he’s not yet eligible for salary arbitration.