The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly claimed hybrid catcher and first baseman Jesus Montero from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  

Montero had been placed on waivers by Seattle on Sunday, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. 

The Blue Jays made a corresponding roster move by designating A.J. Jimenez for assignment, according to Gregor Chisholm of

Montero was once among the top prospects in the New York Yankees’ farm system, ranking as high as No. 3 in Baseball America’s top 100 behind only Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in 2011.

At the time, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had ambitious hopes for Montero, holding him in the same conversation as some of the greats of the past generation. 

“In terms of hitting ability, Montero can be a Manny Ramirez or a Miguel Cabrera,” Cashman told ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor (h/t Andrew Marchand of “As a catcher, he’s got a cannon for an arm. As far as everything and what I want him to be, I want him to be Jorge Posada.”

But Montero only played 18 games with the Yankees and was dealt to the Mariners the following offseason in the Michael Pineda trade. 

He played one full season in Seattle, compiling a .260/.298/.386 slash line with 15 home runs and 62 RBI in 135 games before spending most of the next three seasons in the minors. 

He’s had an underachieving spring thus far, hitting .237 in 38 at-bats after showing promise in Triple-A last year, where he had a slash line of .355/.398/.569 with 18 home runs and 85 RBI.

The Blue Jays already have a three-headed platoon at first base with Chris Colabello, Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak, as well as All-Star Russell Martin at catcher—last offseason’s big free-agent addition. 

Montero will likely spend most of his time in the minors and be a reliable option should the Blue Jays run into attrition during the season. At this point, he appears to be a cost-effective experiment who could see an occasional big league call-up if he’s able to consistently perform at a high level in Triple-A like last year.

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