Blue Jays sign Latos to minor-league deal

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The Toronto Blue Jays have added some much-needed rotation depth, signing veteran right-hander Mat Latos to a minor-league deal Thursday that includes an invite to big-league camp.

Latos, 29, will be stretched out as a starter this spring, according to Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, and will earn $1.5 million if he makes the 25-man roster with another $500,000 available in incentives, sources told Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.

Once considered among the top starters in the National League, Latos has struggled mightily of late, with injuries and declining velocity contributing to a 4.93 ERA (79 ERA+) in just 186 1/3 innings since the start of 2015. This past season, after stumbling through forgettable stints with the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Angels in 2015, Latos bounced from the Chicago White Sox to the Washington Nationals, putting up a 4.89 ERA (83 ERA+) with a career-worst 1.49 WHIP and 5.32 fielding independent pitching in 12 starts and five relief appearances.

Still, the Blue Jays opened spring training this week with little depth behind their rotation of Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, and Francisco Liriano. Latos, who has yet to pitch at Rogers Centre since debuting with the San Diego Padres in 2009, will now join Lucas Harrell, Mike Bolsinger, and possibly Joe Biagini as a potential replacement should one of Toronto's starters - none of whom spent time on the disabled list in 2016 - get hurt.