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Blue Jays sign five to minor-league contracts

Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos laughs as he speaks to he media during a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitchers Claudio Vargas, Richard Thompson and Juan Perez and infielders Eugenio Velez and Luis Jimenez to minor-league contracts with invitations to major-league spring training.

Vargas, a 34-year-old right-hander, spent the 2012 season with Triple-A Nashville. The right-hander posted a 7-1 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 20 starts. In parts of eight major-league seasons, he has a 48-40 record with one save and a 4.83 ERA.

Thompson, a 28-year-old right-hander, played for the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland last season, posting a 0-1 record with a 15.43 ERA in three games. In 46 relief appearances for Triple-A Sacramento, he posted a 4-2 record with a 3.34 ERA and 58 strikeouts.

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In parts of six major-league seasons, he has a 3-4 record with a 4.21 ERA in 82 games.

Perez, a 34-year-old lefty, appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen for Milwaukee, going 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA. In 38 relief appearances with Triple-A Nashville, he was 4-2 with a 3.60 ERA and recorded 54 strikeouts in 40 innings. In 42 major-league relief appearances, he has posted a 1-2 record with a 4.88 ERA.

Velez, 30, spent the 2012 season with Triple-A Memphis, posting a .280 average with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs in 136 games. In 259 major-league games, the switch-hitting third baseman has batted .241 with eight home runs and 72 RBIs.

Jiminez, 30, made his major-league debut for the Mariners this past season, going 1 for 17 in seven games. In 125 games for Triple-A Tacoma, the left-handed first baseman posted a .310 average with 32 doubles, 20 home runs and 81 RBIs.

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