Blue Jays sign Quintero to Minor League deal

Blue Jays sign Quintero to Minor League deal

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added some depth behind the plate on Friday morning by signing catcher Humberto Quintero to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

The 36-year-old Quintero is a 12-season Major League veteran, but he has appeared in just two big league games over the last two years. He appeared in 81 games for Triple-A Pawtucket of the Red Sox's organization in 2015, hitting .257 with a .638 OPS.

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The signing provides more stability for Toronto's catching position. Russell Martin is set to return as the starter in 2016. But beyond that, there is uncertainty, with backup Dioner Navarro a free agent and Josh Thole eligible for arbitration.

Quintero's signing came one day after the Blue Jays added right-handers Brady Dragmire and Blake McFarland to the 40-man roster. Both pitchers are now protected from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., from Dec. 7-10.

The 22-year-old Dragmire spent all of 2015 at Class A Advanced Dunedin, where he posted a 5.26 ERA over 63 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. McFarland received a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo late in the year and allowed four runs over 10 2/3 innings. He could have an outside chance to compete for a spot in the bullpen this spring.

Toronto currently has 35 players on its 40-man roster. The deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the roster is Friday.

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