Blue Jays sign LHP Perez to minor league deal

Luis Perez.

Luis Perez is back in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization after reaching a deal with the team that first signed him as an amateur free agent in 2003. The left-hander has a minor league contract with the Blue Jays, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reported Friday.

But for Perez to make an impact on the Blue Jays’ roster, he’ll have to overcome the injuries that have limited him to five big league innings since 2012. Perez, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, returned to the big leagues toward the end of the 2013 season but had to have scar tissue removed from his elbow early in 2014 and was released by the Blue Jays before last season began. He spent the campaign in the Atlanta Braves’ organization but did not pitch in any games.

Perez showed he can retire big league hitters in 2012, when he posted a 3.43 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 16 walks in 42 innings. If he can come close to replicating that form, the Blue Jays would surely be thrilled, but health will go a long way toward determining his future in Toronto. In parts of three seasons with the Blue Jays, Perez has a 4.50 ERA with 99 strikeouts and 45 walks over the course of 112 innings.

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday that he continues looking for ways to add depth to Toronto’s bullpen.

“The talent is there, but we’d like to upgrade the depth,” Anthopoulos said at the Blue Jays’ State of the Franchise event. “We’re not overly concerned about the ninth inning, because we do think there are some guys that can get those last three outs. We are concerned about the general depth — just having enough guys to lead into the ninth.”

Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup and Todd Redmond will be in Toronto’s bullpen and could be joined by the likes of Chad Jenkins, Rob Rasmussen, Steve Delabar, Kyle Drabek and Miguel Castro. While Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Daniel Norris are competing for a rotation spot, all three could be considered for relief roles as well.

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