Jays take chance on Classic star Boyd
Netherlands closer opened eyes with tournament performance
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Blue Jays are taking a chance on one of the stars of this year's World Baseball Classic. On Wednesday, Toronto inked pitcher Leon Boyd to a Minor League contract, and he will report to the club's Minor League camp.
Boyd, 25, served as a reliever for The Netherlands in this spring's Classic, helping the country stun the Dominican Republic twice in the opening round to advance. In four games for The Netherlands, which was eliminated in the second round, the right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, striking out four and issuing three walks in four innings.
The 6-foot-5, 209-pound Boyd -- born in Vancouver, British Columbia -- was eligible to play for The Netherlands because his mother was born in Holland. With the Dutch national team, Boyd has played in multiple events, including the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, the '07 European Championship, the '07 World Port Tournament, the '07 Baseball World Cup, the '08 European Cup and the '08 Summer Olympics.
Boyd made his debut with Neptunus in Hoofdklasse in The Netherlands in 2007, posting a 9-0 record with a 1.22 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 66 2/3 innings. Boyd was a finalist for the league's Pitcher of the Year Award that season. After stints with three colleges, Boyd pitched for the Hoboken Pioneers in Belgium in 2006 and went 11-1 with a 0.84 ERA and 156 strikeouts over 96 innings.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.