The Toronto Blue Jays have signed infielder Juan Francisco to a minor league deal, as first reported by Hector Gomez of ZDeportes in the Dominican Republic. Francisco will head to Triple-A Buffalo, according to Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590.
Francisco, 26, was released by the Brewers at the end of spring training because they elected to let free agent signees Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay start the season as a platoon at first base. Francisco hit .346 with 3 HR and 6 RBI in 13 games during spring training, so his release came as a bit of a surprise.
Francisco appeared in 124 games last season between the Braves and Brewers, hitting .227 with 18 HR and 48 RBI. He has experience at both first base and third base throughout his major league career, and will join Andy Laroche, Dan Johnson and Jared Goedert as Triple-A depth behind major leaguers Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind. Because of Francisco's track record, it is likely that he is called up to the major league roster in the near future.
In a five-year major league career with the Reds (2009-2011), Braves (2011-2013) and Brewers (2013), Francisco is a lifetime .243 hitter with 32 HR and 109 RBI in 298 games.