By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO - On Thursday, the Toronto Blue Jays and free-agent reliever Al Alburquerque came to terms on a minor league contract that comes with an invite to spring training next month.
Although the majority of his time was spent at the triple-A level in 2017, Alburquerque, 31, appeared in 21 games split between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. In all, he pitched to an ERA of 2.50 while striking out 14 and walking eight batters over 18 major league innings.
The veteran of seven major league seasons joins the Blue Jays organization after posting a tidy 3.16 ERA to go along with a WHIP of 1.314 and an overall SO/9 of 10.7 across 245 innings since making his debut as 25-year-old with the Detroit Tigers in 2011.
With a repertoire highlighted by his wipeout slider, the right-handed product of San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. also throws a changeup and primarily works off of a four-seam fastball that lives around 94 mph and can generate a high level of ground balls thanks to its impressive sinking action.
We can expect Albuquerque to compete with fellow righties Ryan Tepera, Dominic Leone, Danny Barnes and Carlos Ramirez as management looks to nail down a capable setup man for Roberto Osuna this spring.
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