Blue Jays release David Cooper

John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Toronto Blue Jays have released first baseman David Cooper.

The Toronto Blue Jays have released first baseman David Cooper, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Cooper did not report to Blue Jays' camp this spring due to a serious back injury. He was sent to a back specialist in February, and at the time the team noted that they would be without the first baseman for longer than they initially expected.

The significant back injury could sideline Cooper for the entire 2013 season, and Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports the Blue Jays could attempt to re-sign the first baseman to a minor league contract with hopes that he can return in 2014.

Toronto selected Cooper in the first round -- 17th overall -- in the 2008 MLB Draft. He spent parts of five seasons in the minors, ultimately making his major league debut in 2011. That year he hit .211/.284/.394 with seven doubles and two home runs over 81 plate appearances. He saw more significant time in the bigs last season, as he hit .300/.324/.464 with 11 doubles and four home runs over 145 plate appearances.

Beyond his time in the majors, Cooper spent a majority of the 2012 season with the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate. He hit .314/.395/.540 with 27 doubles and 10 home runs over 304 plate appearances. The 26-year-old owns a career minor league batting line of .301/.376/.473. He's hit .270/.310/.441 over parts of two seasons in the majors.

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