The Toronto Blue Jays have signed fan favourite Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league contract and have invited him to the team’s spring training camp.

The popular 32-year-old infielder became a cult figure last season with his quirkiness, enthusiasm and penchant for some timely hits.

There was a fear he wouldn’t return to the Blue Jays next season because the team declined to pick up the $1 million option on his contract at the end of the season.

Signed last season as a minor-league free agent, Kawasaki was called up to replace the injured Jose Reyes and grew into an improbable fan favourite.