Stairs close to deal with Toronto
Canada native would provide needed left-handed bat off bench
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays have reportedly agreed to terms on a contract with outfielder Matt Stairs. Team sources would only describe the two sides as being "close," and Toronto will likely hold off on any official announcement until after the Rule 5 Draft takes place Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi confirmed that the Jays had contacted Stairs' representatives. Stairs, who is from New Brunswick, would become Toronto's fourth outfielder.
Stairs, 38, would also provide a much-needed left-handed bat off the bench. As of right now, the Jays have seven right-handed hitters in the projected starting lineup. First baseman Lyle Overbay is the lone left-handed batter, and catcher Gregg Zaun is a switch-hitter.
Last season, Stairs made $1.35 million and hit .247, with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs over 117 games with the Tigers, Rangers and Royals. In 33 career games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Stairs has hit .358 with nine home runs in 106 at-bats.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.