Jays Excited to Draft Smith

Jays Excited to Draft Smith

The Blue Jays lost out on Jason Smith last month, but got a second chance to acquire the infielder on Thursday in the Rule 5 draft. The front office in Toronto was excited to have an open spot for Smith....FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT

FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT

"We are glad to have had room on our roster to add Jason," Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays Director of Player Personnel told InsideTheDome.com Thursday after the selection.

The 29-year-old spent the 2006 season in the Colorado organization playing for both the Colorado Rockies and Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.

The Blue Jays had interest in Smith when he was declared a minor league free agent on October 6, and tried to sign him. However, he wanted to go back to the Cubs, the team that originally drafted him, and was signed by the Chicago Cubs as a minor league free agent on November 12.

"We knew Jason signed with us because he wanted to be a Cub, but he also knew he was at risk of being selected," a top executive of the Cubs said on Thursday. "It's a great opportunity for him to break into the major leagues once again."

Mike Berger was the lead scout on Smith and recommended him to the front office.

"Jason is a guy we have liked for a couple years," LaCava went on to say. "We feel he can compete for one of the reserve spots on the club."

The 6'3", 200 lb., left handed hitting infielder batted .263 (26-99) with five home runs and 13 RBI in 49 games for the Rockies, while also posting a .291 average (41-141) with nine doubles, five triples, four home runs, and 23 RBI in 41 games at the AAA level in Colorado Springs.

The native of Meridian, Mississippi has appeared in 166 Major League games covering the past six seasons (Cubs 2001, Tampa Bay 2002-03, Detroit 2004-05, Colorado 2006), and has played at all four infield positions over that span.

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