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|Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2012 07:13 pm||
|The Toronto Blue Jays made a pair of moves Thursday, signing free agent infielder Maicer Izturis and trading for pitcher Jeremy Jeffress.
The 32-year-old Izturis agreed to a three year, $9 million deal with a club option for a fourth year worth $3 million, according to a team release.
As for Jeffress, the Blue Jays sent cash to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for the 25-year-old, hard throwing right-hander, also according to a team release.
In 100 games with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2012, the switch-hitting Izturis posted a line of .256/.320/.315/.634, with two home runs. He made 29 starts at second base, 30 at third and 26 at shortstop in 2012 while earning $3.8 million.
The Blue Jays had an opening at second base with the expected free agent departure of incumbent Kelly Johnson. On Wednesday, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters the only internal candidates to fill the position were Mike McCoy and Adeiny Hechavarria.
"In-house those are the only two guys," Anthopoulos said. "That's why we're going to look at some things externally, whether it's free agents or trade.
"Ideally we'd prefer to keep our depth and if we could have someone like Hechavarria in the minor-leagues, or bring someone in who could compete with him for those at-bats at second base, that would be great."
As for Jeffress, the Virginia native was selected 16th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2006 MLB Draft and was traded to the Kansas City Royals on Dec. 18, 2010 as part of the Zack Greinke deal.
Jeffress fastball has topped 100 m.p.h., but he has also been prone to fits of wildness. He has also been in trouble from time-to-time.
Jeffress was suspended twice in the minors for violating the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention Program, which Jeffress acknowledged was for use of marijuana.
His second offense in 2007 cost him 50 games; his third offense in 2009 cost him 100 games. One more offense in the minors will result in a lifetime minor league ban.
Major League Baseball operates under a different drug program and lifetime minor league bans do not apply to them.
This past January, Jeffress apologized after being arrested in Arizona on a domestic assault charge that was later dropped.