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12/07/06 10:46 AM ET

Stairs, Jays agree to one-year deal

Veteran outfielder provides left-handed bat off the bench

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Matt Stairs. Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi waited to confirm the deal until after the Rule 5 Draft took place Thursday morning.

An official announcement will likely come within the next week. After selecting infielder Jason Smith in the draft, Toronto's 40-man roster reached its limit. That means the Blue Jays will need to make a roster move in order to make room for Stairs.

Stairs, 38, will 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. Stairs can also spell Frank Thomas as the designated hitter on occasion.

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.