Blue Jays reunite with righty Floyd on Minors deal

Blue Jays reunite with righty Floyd on Minors deal

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays brought back a familar face on Thursday by re-signing right-hander Gavin Floyd to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

Floyd will compete for a job out of the bullpen, and he also provides more depth for the starting rotation. It's a similar role to the one Floyd had in 2016, when he went 2-4 with a 4.06 ERA over 31 innings before a torn lat muscle ended his season in late June.

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The 33-year-old Floyd first joined the Blue Jays last offseason when he signed a big league deal worth $1 million. He battled Aaron Sanchez throughout Spring Training for the final spot in the rotation before eventually ending up in the bullpen.

Floyd had very little relief experience prior to 2016, but he thrived in the role during the early stages of the season. He became a high-leverage reliever for manager John Gibbons and one of the most trusted arms in what was at the time a struggling bullpen. The problem for Floyd was that a heavy workload eventually became an issue for a pitcher who has dealt with a lot of injuries.

The 13-year veteran struggled when pitching on back-to-back days, and his performance began to dip in late May and early June. Later that month, Floyd left an appearance against the White Sox with a torn lat muscle and was lost for the rest of the season.

Floyd underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 and hasn't been able to stay healthy for a full season in the time since. When he's on the mound, it has been mostly successful. Last season, Floyd struck out 8.7 batters per nine innings compared to 2.3 walks and had a respectable 3.95 FIP.

Toronto is expected to add more arms to the bullpen in the coming weeks, but as things stand, Floyd has a good chance of making the team. Roberto Osuna, Jason Grilli and Joe Biagini are the only relievers with guaranteed jobs, and Floyd will now enter the mix for the second group, competing with the likes of Danny Barnes, Mike Bolsinger, Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, Glenn Sparkman and Matt Dermody.

Floyd also becomes an insurance policy for the rotation. Toronto has its five starters in Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano and Marcus Stroman, but the club lacks solid options behind that group. Floyd could step into that role if someone gets hurt in Spring Training. As a starter, he has a career record of 71-71 and a 4.30 ERA over 196 starts.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.