Blue Jays sign to Dirks to Minor League contract

Outfielder gets invite to Spring Training, will compete for backup outfield job

Blue Jays sign to Dirks to Minor League contract

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added some depth to their outfield on Thursday afternoon by signing Andy Dirks to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Toronto claimed Dirks off waivers from Detroit in October, but he wasn't tendered a contract and became a free agent on Dec. 2. At the time, Dirks was projected to earn upwards of $1.5 million in salary arbitration.

Dirks should have an opportunity to compete for a spot on the Major League roster. Michael Saunders, Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista are the projected starting outfielders, which likely leaves Dirks and Kevin Pillar in the mix as backups.

The 28-year-old Dirks missed last season because of back and hamstring injuries. He spent three years in the big leagues with the Tigers from 2011-13, and he hit .276 with 24 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .745 OPS in 971 at-bats.

Dirks was selected by Detroit in the eighth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He spent his entire career with the Tigers until he was placed on waivers at the end of 2014.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.