Blue Jays sign LHP Coke to minor-league deal

Coke signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays in May. (David Banks/AP)

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays are taking a free look at veteran left-hander Phil Coke, who signed a minor-league deal on Saturday, according to a source.

Coke was released Tuesday by the Chicago Cubs, who are on the hook for the $2.25 million they signed him for back in the spring. The 32-year-old will report to triple-A Buffalo and the Blue Jays will be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the major-league minimum salary if he’s promoted.

In 16 games with the Cubs this season, he posted a 6.30 ERA in 10 innings over 16 games, but struck out nine batters while walking just three. Lefties posted an OPS of .725 against him and righties were at 1.151, while his batting average on balls in play was .406, well above his career average of .325, suggesting that number may normalize.

Should he pitch well enough with the Bisons to earn a promotion, Coke would give the Blue Jays a third lefty to complement Aaron Loup and closer Brett Cecil.

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