The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have signed RHP CLAUDIO VARGAS, RHP RICHARD THOMPSON, LHP JUAN PEREZ, 3B EUGENIO VELEZ and 1B/DH LUIS JIMENEZ to minor league contracts for the 2013 season with invitations to attend Major League spring training.
VARGAS, 34, spent the 2012 season with Nashville of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) in the Milwaukee organization. The right-hander posted a 7-1 record with a 3.69 ERA in 20 starts. In parts of eight Major League seasons, including 2003 & 2004 with Montreal, he has posted a 48-40 record with one save and a 4.83 ERA in 217 games, including 114 starts.
THOMPSON, 28, appeared in Major League games with the Angels and A’s last season, posting a 0-1 record with a 15.43 ERA in three games. In 46 relief appearances for Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) he posted a 4-2 record with a 3.34 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 62.0 innings. In parts of six Major League seasons he has a 3-4 record with a 4.21 ERA in 82 games with 31 starts.
PEREZ, 34, appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen for Milwaukee, going 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA. In 38 relief appearances with Nashville (AAA), was 4-2 with a 3.60 ERA and recorded 54 strikeouts in 40.0 innings. In 42 Major League relief appearances he has posted a 1-2 record with a 4.88 ERA while pitching for Pittsburgh (2006-2007), Philadelphia (2011) and Milwaukee (2012).
VELEZ, 30, spent the 2012 season with Memphis of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) in the Cardinals organization posting a .280 average with 11 home runs and 58 RBI in 136 games. In 259 Major League games over five seasons, the switch-hitter has batted .241 with eight home runs and 72 RBI.
JIMENEZ, 30, made his Major League debut for the Mariners in 2012 going 1 for 17 in seven games. In 125 games for Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League (AAA), the left-handed hitter posted a .310 average with 32 doubles, 20 home runs and 81 RBI.