By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
On Thursday, the Toronto Blue Jays welcomed a familiar name back into the fold by signing right-handed hurler Deck McGuire to a minor league contract that comes complete with an invite to spring training next February.
McGuire, 28, was initially selected by Toronto in the first round of the 2010 amateur draft (11th overall) and spent parts of four seasons in the Blue Jays' system before being dealt to the Oakland A's in exchange for cash considerations in June of 2014.
After inking a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds last spring, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound product of Richmond, Va., appeared in 28 games with double-A Pensacola and pitched to an ERA of 2.79 with 170 strikeouts against only 57 walks through 168 innings.
His impressive showing in the Southern League earned McGuire a big-league call-up in September, and the rookie hurler responded by posting a WHIP of .0878 through six appearances with the Reds, two of which came out of the starting rotation.
As a starter, McGuire features a four-seam fastball that sits around 93 mph while his secondary offerings include a changeup, curveball and a slider that was once ranked the best within the Blue Jays' minor league system by Baseball America in 2011.
Look for McGuire to compete against the likes of Chris Rowley, Tom Koehler and Taylor Guerrieri for a swingman spot in the Blue Jays' bullpen this spring.
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