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News » Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2008-10-28

Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2008-10-28

Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2008-10-28
--1B/OF Adam Loewen, attempting to resuscitate his major league career after beginning it as a pitcher, was signed to a minor league contract.

--RHP Bryan Bullington, the top pick in the 2002 draft but a bust thus far, was claimed off waivers from the Indians.

--OF Kevin Mench, who hit .243 in 51 games for the Blue Jays this year, was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for RHP Bryan Bullington.

--General manager J.P. Ricciardi caught everyone off guard when he revealed on a Web site that he has some interest in free agent OF Manny Ramirez. Ramirez, though, would seem to be out of the Jays' league. "Manny is not priority No. 1. I can't even say he's priority No. 2," Ricciardi said. "It would really be a longshot for us to bring him to Toronto. I don't see us getting involved in unbelievable, astronomical numbers. We would not go down that path."

--RHP A.J. Burnett signing a contract extension remains the Jays' top offseason priority. Burnett is expected to opt out of the final two years of his contract at the completion of the World Series. It's believed the Jays will offer Burnett a two-year, $30 million extension. Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, said he would not talk terms with Toronto until Burnett decides whether to exercise the opt-out clause in his current deal. So far, there's been no announced decision.

--The Jays announced they have signed all six of last season's coaches to new two-year deals. Included are hitting coach Gene Tenace, third base coach Nick Leyva and first base coach Dwayne Murphy, all of whom came aboard when Cito Gaston replaced John Gibbons as manager June 20. Holdovers from the Gibbons coaching staff are pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, bench coach Brian Butterfield and bullpen coach Bruce Walton.

--RHP Dirk Hayhurst was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Hayhurst, 27, appeared in 10 games for the Padres in 2008, three of them starts, going 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA. To clear a roster spot for Hayhurst, INF Kevin Melillo was waived.

--Although the Jays have a number of young pitchers at the major league level and in their system, GM J.P. Ricciardi won't be using them as bait in trade talks. "We're going to hold on to as much pitching as we can," he said.

BY THE NUMBERS: $100 million -- The Jays' likely payroll budget for the 2009 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I have two years left on my contract. I plan on honoring that contract. So until someone tells me I'm not the general manager, I'll keep honoring my contract." -- GM J.P. Ricciardi after Paul Godfrey, the club president and CEO, announced he was stepping down.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: October 28, 2008

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