The 39-year-old has spent parts of 11 seasons in the Major Leagues while posting a career 4.93 ERA. He is expected to at least temporarily serve in long relief as the Blue Jays return to an eight-man bullpen while Brett Lawrie is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle.
Outfielder Casper Wells was designated for assignment to make room for Ortiz on the 40-man roster. Wells was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays last week, but did not receive any playing time during his brief stint with the club.
The timing of Monday's roster move seemed a little odd considering Jose Bautista was not in the Blue Jays' starting lineup against the White Sox. It was not immediately clear if Bautista reaggravated a right ankle injury or if he was simply receiving some time off.
With Bautista out of the lineup, Toronto opted to use catcher J.P. Arencibia in the No. 3 hole, while Mark DeRosa got the start at third base and Emilio Bonifacio started in right field.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.