TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' clubhouse lost one of its biggest personalities this week as veteran infielder and fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs.
Kawasaki's departure hardly comes as a surprise, but it does put an end to an eventful three-year tenure with the club. He didn't play a lot, but his impact was felt elsewhere because of his colorful personality and quirky mannerisms.
The 34-year-old Kawasaki hit .242 with a .326 on-base percentage in 201 career games with the Blue Jays. He appeared in a career-high 96 games during the 2013 season, when Jose Reyes went down with a serious ankle injury, but his playing time dropped to 23 games last year.
Toronto seems content with its overall infield depth and allowed Kawasaki to depart for another organization. The Blue Jays are set to begin the year with Ryan Goins at second base and Darwin Barney as the primary utility infielder, while injured second baseman Devon Travis is expected to return from shoulder surgery in May.
Kawasaki had a countless number of highlight-reel moments during his time with the Blue Jays, but most of them happened off the field. He was embraced by the fans from the day he arrived, and in honor of Kawasaki's time with Toronto, here's a look back at his top moments.
"My name is Munenori Kawasaki and I am Japaneeeeeeese!"
The interview that started it all. After Kawasaki hit a walk-off double against the Orioles on May 26, 2013, he joined Sportsnet's Arash Madani for an on-field interview and the rest is history. Kawasaki's rant went on to win a GIBBY Award for Topic of the Year.
Crazy for Kawasaki
Kawasaki homered during a game against the Orioles on June 21 and later stepped into the batter's box to a standing ovation. The crowd remained on its feet for the entire at-bat chanting his name, but he came up just short.
Kawasaki might have been known for his unique dance moves more than anything else. Earlier this year, MLB Network's Intentional Talk put together a montage of his best moves over the years.
Kawasaki has a sense of humor that everybody can enjoy, and when he was promoted to the big leagues in September, the veteran utility man was prepared. He came with a prepared joke about what a buffalo said to his kids before leaving for the cottage.