Michael Saunders a Fightin' Phill
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed outfielder Michael Saunders to a one-year contract, vice president and general manager Matt Klentak announced Thursday. The contract includes a club option for the 2018 season.
Saunders, 30, was named to the American League All-Star team last season. For the season, he batted .253 with 32 doubles, a career-high 24 home runs, 57 RBI, a .338 on-base percentage and an .815 OPS in 140 games for the Toronto Blue Jays. The left-handed hitter batted .298 with a .372 on-base percentage and a .551 slugging percentage in 82 first-half games.
On June 17 in a game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Saunders went 3-for-5 with three home runs and eight RBI. As Toronto advanced to the American League Championship Series, he batted .381 (8-21) with one home run in eight playoff games.
Originally selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 11th round of the 2004 draft, Saunders has a career .235 batting average with 75 home runs, a .309 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage in 702 games. In 2013, he played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
To make room for Saunders on the 40-man roster, the Phillies have designated right-hander Severino Gonzalez for assignment.
Saunders will wear No. 5.