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 Blue Jays sign Stewart to minor-league deal

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PostSubject: Blue Jays sign Stewart to minor-league deal   Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:49 pm

Blue Jays sign Stewart to minor-league deal

DUNEDIN, FLA. Shannon Stewart is back where his career began - with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Stewart agreed on Saturday afternoon to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training and is expected to join the Blue Jays in a matter of days.

At first blush, it might appear as if Stewart will challenge Reed Johnson for the right-handed part of a left-field platoon with Matt Stairs, although Stewart's statistics don't skew favourably to lefties or righties.

The Blue Jays made Stewart an offer over the winter, but he did not take them up on it. He has since switched agents, from Greg Genske to Scott Shapiro and Barry Praver.

"He can hit," a Blue Jays official said three days ago when asked why the club was interested in bringing in the 34-year-old free-agent outfielder, who hit .290 with 12 home runs and 48 runs batted in in 2007 with the Oakland Athletics. He earned $2.5 million (U.S.) including incentives but won't make that much with the Blue Jays.

Stewart, who was taken 19th overall in the 1992 draft by the Blue Jays, was later traded to the Minnesota Twins along with a player to be named later for Bobby Kielty.


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