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Blue Jays Sign Pheasants Closer Evans

July 20, 2012 - American Association (AA) - Sioux Falls Canaries News Release

SIOUX FALLS -The Toronto Blue Jays have purchased the contract of Sioux Falls Pheasants' reliever Cody Evans, Pheasants manager Steve Shirley announced on Thursday night.

The right-handed closer will report to the Blue Jays' high-A affiliate, the Dunedin Blue Jays, of the Florida State League.

Evans, 28, dominated in 22 appearances with the Pheasants this year. He was 1-0 with a sparkling 1.66 ERA and eight saves.

"I'm very excited," said Evans, who received the news prior to the Pheasants' Thursday night game against Winnipeg. "I've been working hard all year and trying to do my best. It's a validation, so it feels really good."

Evans said he expects to be evaluated in Dunedin, and he hopes he will be re-assigned to an even higher level.

"Cody has done a great job for us and throws the ball very well. He's earned the opportunity," said Shirley. "We are proud as an organization to be able to create opportunities for players to further their careers."

The Blue Jays will be Evans' fourth organization. In August 2011, he signed with the Los Angeles Angels for his second stint in affiliated ball. This spring, Evans was in minor-league spring training with the Texas Rangers. He was an Arizona Diamondbacks' 10th-round draft pick in 2005 out of Long Beach State University. He spent five years in their system, including four games with Triple-A Tucson in 2008.

"One of the reason players come in and play independent baseball in Sioux Falls is we have a history of being able to move guys to organizations at certain times. We are nothing but proud to be able to do that," Shirley said. "I look forward to watching Cody on TV."

Evans joins Eddy Rodriguez as the two former Pheasants currently active in affiliated baseball. Rodriguez plays with the Lake Elsinore Storm, the advanced-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

Information about individual tickets and group outings with the Sioux Falls Pheasants is available by calling (605) 336-6060 or visiting

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