Phillippe Aumont spent a good chunk of the last few years wondering if baseball was still a viable career option.
The Canadian right-hander received some affirmation on Monday when the Toronto Blue Jays announced they had signed him to a minor league contract.
Aumont, a former MLB first-round draft pick, last appeared in a major league match with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015. He retired briefly the following season before spending two of the last three years playing independent ball with the Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions.
“It’s been up and down, it’s been a grind,” Aumont said of his career path since 2015. “There was a point where I just had enough of baseball and I wanted to get away. The game was driving me nuts. “And that break, it felt good, but at the end of the day I knew I had to go back. I didn’t want to give up.”
Check BetRegal.com and find the best online betting site.
The 30-year-old Aumont credits his turnaround to two things — his fiancee, Frederique, who helped him see his career from a different perspective, and his now five-month-old daughter, Gabrielle.
Aumont, a mainstay on the Canadian national team, said he garnered a “surprising” amount of attention from overseas leagues after a stellar outing at Premier 12 last month in South Korea, when he shut out a talented Cuban team through eight innings in Canada’s lone victory of the tournament.
Suddenly general managers in Asia and Mexico started sending him constant messages via text — and even social media.
This contract marks Aumont’s second official stint with the Blue Jays.
He also signed with Toronto late in 2015, making five appearances at triple-A Buffalo while the major league team was clinching a playoff spot for the first time in 22 years.
Aumont, the 11th overall draft pick by Seattle in 2007, made 18 starts with the Champions last season, finishing with an 8-4 record and a 2.65 earned-run average with six complete games and 145 strikeouts over 118 2/3 innings of work.
Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlet. Find us on Twitter
He also served as the pitching coach for the Ottawa team last year, a role he said helped him further develop his own game.