Blue Jays claim Dirks, sign Francis to Minor League deal
By Joey Nowak
The Blue Jays brought in a couple of experienced players on Friday, claiming outfielder Andy Dirks off waivers from Detroit and signing left-hander Jeff Francis to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Dirks, 28, has spent his entire career with the Tigers after being selected in the eighth round of the 2008 Draft. He spent much of the 2011-13 seasons in the Majors, batting .276 with 24 home runs and 100 RBIs in 297 games.
Dirks posted a career-high .322 average and .857 OPS in 2012, but he missed all of last season after March back surgery. He appeared in only 14 Minor League games.
The veteran Francis went 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA in 12 games (one start) for the Yankees, A's and Reds last year. The 33-year-old lefty has a career 71-80 record and a 4.95 ERA over 10 seasons (240 games). He is a native of Vancouver.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.