Blue Jays sign former first-round pick Deck McGuire

 The Toronto Blue Jays signed former first-round pick Deck McGuire to a minor league deal on Thursday. He made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017. Photo Credit: Eddie Michels.

The Toronto Blue Jays signed former first-round pick Deck McGuire to a minor league deal on Thursday. He made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017. Photo Credit: Eddie Michels.

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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Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for www.BackInBlue.ca, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.