Blue Jays re-sign Kawasaki to Minor League deal

Blue Jays re-sign Kawasaki to Minor League deal

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays re-signed infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Friday afternoon.

Kawasaki likely will begin the year at Triple-A Buffalo, but he'll also have an opportunity to compete for a job at second base. Kawasaki is expected to be in the mix alongside Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Steve Tolleson and prospect Devon Travis.

Kawasaki began each of the past two seasons without a defined role, but injuries to the big league roster led to rather substantial opportunities for the 33-year-old. Kawasaki spent part of the 2014 campaign as the starting second baseman, appearing in 82 games overall.

It will be even tougher for Kawasaki to win a job this year because of Toronto's increased depth at second, but that didn't stop him from signing with the Blue Jays instead of returning to Japan. Kawasaki has played professionally in North America since signing with the Mariners in 2012.

Kawasaki doesn't possess a lot of range in the field, but he can be used at second, shortstop or third base. He's a career .235 hitter with a .315 on-base percentage in 584 at-bats.

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.