The Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday addressed their middle infield by acquiring Izturis, signing him to a three-year, $9-million US free-agent contract with a $3 million team option for a fourth season.
The 32-year-old spent the past eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, posting a .256 batting average and .320 on-base percentage in 2012.
Izturis’s .320 OBP was the lowest since his first season in Anaheim, Calif., in 2005. He broke into the major leagues the previous campaign with the Montreal Expos.
The Venezuelan can play second base, third and shortstop and enjoyed his best season in the majors in 2009 when he hit .300 with eight home runs and 13 stolen bases.
Izturis will make a yearly donation to the Blue Jays Care Foundation supporting their efforts in the community.
Toronto was in need of a replacement for recently acquired Mike Aviles, who was dealt less than a week ago to Cleveland in a three-player trade for relief pitcher Esmil Rogers.
The Blue Jays picked up Aviles, 31, from the Red Sox as compensation for allowing manager John Farrell out of the final year of his contract to rejoin Boston, where he was pitching coach prior to arriving in Toronto two years ago.
In other news, the Jays have acquired Jeremy Jeffress from the Kansas City Royals for cash.
Jeffress, a one-time pitching prospect of the Milwaukee Brewers, was part of the December 2010 trade that saw ace hurler Zack Greinke dealt from Kansas City to Milwaukee.
The right-hander sported a 6.75 earned-run average in 13 relief appearances for the Royals. He allowed 19 hits, walked 13 and struck out 13 over 13 1/3 innings.
In 38 relief appearances combined between AAA Omaha and AA Northwest Arkansas, the 25-year-old right-hander went 5-4 with a 4.85 ERA with three saves and 64 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays also designated left-hander Scott Maine for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.