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News » Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2009-01-06

Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2009-01-06

Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2009-01-06
--C Michael Barrett and C Raul Chavez were signed to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training after the Jays parted ways with veteran free agent C Gregg Zaun. Barrett and Chavez will be competing for the backup spot behind C Rod Barajas. Last season, Barrett, 32, batted .202 with two homers and nine RBI in 30 games with the Padres. Chavez, 35, batted .259 with one homer and 10 RBI in 42 games with the Pirates.

--LHP Mike Maroth was signed to a minor league contract in what amounts to the Blue Jays trying to find lightning in a bottle. He will attend spring training with the major league squad and contend for a spot in the rotation. Maroth, who missed 2008 after shoulder surgery, is the second veteran coming off an injury who will contend for a spot in the rotation. The previous week, the Blue Jays signed RHP Matt Clement.

--1B Randy Ruiz was signed to a minor league deal. Ruiz, 31, made his major league debut in 2008 with the Twins, batting .274 with one home run and seven RBIs in 22 games.

--The Yankees' free spending is putting it to the Blue Jays in more ways than one. Not only did they lose RHP A.J. Burnett to the Bronx Bombers, but when the Yankees went out and signed 1B Mark Teixeira, it knocked the draft pick the Blue Jays will receive from New York as compensation for signing Burnett to the third round. The Blue Jays also will receive a sandwich pick following the first round.

--LHP B.J. Ryan isn't a candidate to be traded for younger talent even though the Jays have a team that doesn't figure to contend and have a deep bullpen. "I don't see us trading B.J.," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "He's good at what he does, and it's tough to fill that spot."

BY THE NUMBERS: 170 -- Innings LHP Mike Maroth has recorded over the past three injury-plagued seasons (including zero in 2008) after pitching 217 innings in 2004 and 209 in 2005.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're not moving backward, we're moving forward. But it's going to take us a little while to get there." -- Manager Cito Gaston, on the state of the Blue Jays.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 6, 2009

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