Blue Jays part with Mayberry and Dirks

After non-tendering Smoak, club signs first baseman to one-year deal

Blue Jays part with Mayberry and Dirks

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays did not tender contracts to outfielders John Mayberry Jr. and Andy Dirks or first baseman Justin Smoak prior to Tuesday night's deadline. However, the club reached an agreement on a one-year, $1 million contract with Smoak on Wednesday.

Mayberry and Dirks were eligible for salary arbitration but now are free agents.

Toronto did tender contracts to its four other arbitration-eligible players: third baseman Josh Donaldson, left-handed pitcher Brett Cecil, infielder Danny Valencia and right-handed pitcher Marco Estrada.

The decision to cut ties with Dirks and Mayberry indicates that the Blue Jays intend to add a left fielder in the coming weeks. Toronto hasn't had an obvious starter at the position since Melky Cabrera hit free agency earlier this month.

Dirks and Mayberry served as insurance in case the Blue Jays were unable to find a free-agent or trade option, but that doesn't appear to be something that concerns the organization. Kevin Pillar is the lone remaining left fielder, but he isn't expected to be considered for a starting role.

The 28-year-old Dirks didn't play in any games for the Blue Jays. He was claimed off waivers earlier this offseason after missing the entire 2014 season because of a back and hamstring injuries. He was projected by to earn approximately $1.6 million through arbitration.

Mayberry likely would have earned slightly less $2 million his second time through the arbitration process. He was acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 31 in a deal that saw Minor Leaguer Gustavo Pierre going the other way. At the time, Mayberry appeared to be a solid fit for the organization, but the departures of Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus this offseason have lessened the need for a right-handed platoon hitter.

This is the first time Donaldson and Valencia have been eligible for arbitration. Cecil is in his second year, while Estrada has one more year to go before free agency. Valencia was the only one of the four who had been considered a possible non-tender candidate, but he's a valuable bench player with the ability to play third base and first base while putting up good numbers against lefties.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.