Blue Jays sign Chris Coghlan to minor-league contract

John Gibbons goes over the competition the Toronto Blue Jays will face in the American League East in 2017.

MONTREAL – Chris Coghlan will provide the Toronto Blue Jays with position player depth at triple-A Buffalo after signing a minor-league deal with the organization Saturday.

Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, appealed to the Blue Jays because of his positional versatility, GM Ross Atkins said. Though most of the 31-year-old’s MLB experience comes in left field, he also played first, second, third and right field during a 2016 season split between the Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs.

A left-handed hitter, Coghlan’s a useful platoon bat with a career .268/.341/.424 batting line against right-handed pitching. Though he never replicated the .321 batting average and .390 on-base percentage that he posted for the Marlins in 2009, he has generally been a useful bench option against right-handers.

Coghlan hasn’t hit as well of late, however. In 300 plate appearances for Oakland and Chicago last year, he hit just .188 with a .290 on-base percentage. He signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies this off-season, but was recently released.

The Blue Jays continue weighing bench and bullpen decisions in advance of Sunday’s noon ET deadline for setting opening day rosters.

LAST-MINUTE DECISION: After six-plus weeks of spring training, the Blue Jays have a clear sense of who will fill out their roster, but they aren’t planning to announce those decisions until Sunday. Their thinking? Waiting one more day keeps their options open a little longer.

"There’s no reason for us to make a decision before we have to," Atkins said. "We’d like to keep as much depth as possible for as long as we possibly can, but there’s only so many guys that are optionable. We’ll use every day that we can to maintain that depth."

Ryan Goins, Melvin Upton Jr., Ryan Tepera and Mike Bolsinger are among those on the roster bubble, but the Blue Jays are also considering players from outside of the organization.

"Absolutely," Atkins said. "There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about that."

Teams have until noon ET on Sunday to set their rosters.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.