Michael Saunders is back in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
The Blue Jays announced Wednesday that the Victoria-born outfielder has signed a minor-league deal and will report to triple-A Buffalo. The move comes three days after Saunders was released by the Philadelphia Phillies Saunders previously spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons in Toronto after coming over from Seattle in a deal that sent pitcher J.A. Happ to the Mariners.
After missing most of the 2015 campaign with a torn meniscus suffered when he stepped on a sprinkler at the team's spring training facility, Saunders rebounded with a strong start in 2016. He was named to the American League all-star team and headed into the break batting .298 with 16 home runs and 42 runs batted in.
His production fell sharply after the all-star break, and he hit .178 with eight homers and 15 RBIs the rest of the way.
He signed a one-year, US$8-million contract with Philadelphia in the off-season, but struggled at the plate again with a .205 average, six homers and 20 RBIs before being released.