Only a few short hours (maybe minutes?) after losing Rob Refsnyder to a waiver claim by Cleveland, the Blue Jays added some middle infield depth from The Pittsburgh Pirates via trade.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 20, 2017
Gift is the first African born player to don a Jays uniform. The 27 year old (who will be 28 by opening day) hit .222/.323/.296 for the Pirates last year in a limited 63 PA debut. He has had a sub .700 OPS in all of his recent seasons at the AAA level, and the Pirates have had him in their system since 2009 waiting for him to come into his own.
The Blue Jays need to have a glove that is capable at short, second, and third, thanks to the injury-prone starters on the big league club, if only for Buffalo and injury depth. Gift provides that, while only costing cash or a minor leaguer. He can’t really hit at all, so isn’t the ideal candidate for a big league backup role, but he has options remaining and gives the team an alternative to Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney while they attempt to find a better, more permanent solution.
He also provides several unique pun headline possibilities. Surely there is more to come, as the hot stove is lit. Sort of.
Lead Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports