Jays sign free agent Izturis to three-year, $9M deal

11/8/2012 2:39:01 PM

The Toronto Blue Jays have added some much needed middle infield depth.

On Thursday, the club signed free agent Maicer Izturis to a three-year, $9M deal.  The contract includes a $3-million team option for the 2016 season with a $1-million buyout..

The 32-year-old hit .256 in 289 at-bats, with 17 stolen bases last season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 

Izturis, who can play second, third and shortstop, had his best season in 2009 when he hit .300, and recorded 13 stolen bases and eight home runs.

The Jays need some infield depth after dealing Mike Aviles to the Cleveland Indians.  Kelly Johnson, who has been the Jays' starter at second base for the last season and a half, is a free agent and is not expected to be resigned by the club.

Also on Thursday, the Jays added relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.

The 25-year-old spent the majority of the last two seasons in Triple-A.  In the last three seasons, he's accumulated 38.2 innings in the Majors, posting 34 strikeouts, 30 walks with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Jeffress and Izturis, the team designated LHP Scott Maine for assignment.