Today the Toronto Blue Jays announced the signing of several players to Minor League contracts with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The five players signed includes RHP CASEY LAWRENCE and RHP DREW HUTCHISON.
They are joined by RHP JULIAN FERNANDEZ, LHP PAUL FRY, and C ROB BRANTLY on a free agent contract. In total the players account for 508 big league games throughout their careers.
Lawrence is returning to the Blue Jays organization for the third straight season after one of the best in his 12-year professional career. The right hander returned to the Majors when his contract was selected by Toronto on May 4 and pitched in a total of six games for the Blue Jays in 2022.
The veteran starter was named the Bisons 2022 Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher for his work on the mound in Triple-A, as well. Lawrence made 23 starts for the Herd, going 9-5 with a 2.79 earned run average, both ranking among the best in Triple-A last season. Lawrence led all qualified pitchers with his 2.79 ERA and was tied for seventh in wins.
Lawrence was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 30-June 5. The McSherrytown, PA product logged a seven-inning complete game shutout against the Rochester Red Wings where he allowed one hit and struck out five on June 4. The victory came during a streak of five straight wins for the righty in the Bisons’ rotation that spanned May 17-June 10.
Hutchison made his MLB debut with the Blue Jays in 2012 and won 10 or more games in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Thirty of the righty’s 38 career Major League victories have come for Toronto in his seven-year big league career.
Last year the veteran righty pitched in 28 outings for the Detroit Tigers, including 18 starts totaling 105.1 innings pitched. It marked the most innings in the big leagues for Hutchison since the 2015 campaign with the Blue Jays.
Hutchison has also appeared across parts of three seasons for the Bisons previously. The former 15th round draft pick by the Blue Jays in the 2009 MLB Draft made 18 starts for the Herd in 2016. He won six games for the Herd that season. Hutchison has spent parts of each of the last two seasons with the Toledo Mud Hens, in addition to his promotions by the Tigers.
Fry has pitched in parts of each of the last five seasons in the Big Leagues, with 13 total relief appearances between the Baltimore Orioles and…