Jays trying to deal Hinske

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

Cover boy on the Blue Jays media guide in 2003.

In which media guide will you find third baseman Eric Hinske come spring training in 2005?

The Blue Jays are aggressively attempting to move Hinske to the Cincinnati Reds, who don't have an everyday third baseman.

If Hinske is moved, perhaps the Jays would enter the sweepstakes for free-agent third baseman Corey Koskie of the Minnesota Twins. Another prime free agent at third base will be Troy Glaus of the Anaheim Angels.

Hinske hit .246 this season with 15 homers and 69 RBIs, while striking out 109 times.

In 2003, bothered by a hand injury, Hinske, hit .243 with 12 homers and 63 RBIs.

In 2002, he batted .279 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs and was the American League rookie of the year.

That rookie year earned Hinske a fat contract -- a five-year, $14.75-million US deal -- from Jays management the following St. Patrick's Day.

Centre fielder Vernon Wells signed the same day for slightly less -- five years for $14.7 million.

The Reds won't be able to take on the entire $12.95 million still owed Hinske over the next three seasons -- $3 million next season, $4.325 million in 2006 and $5.625 million in 2007 -- so the Jays will have to agree to pay part of it to make a trade.

The Reds opened the 2004 season with Brandon Larson, their former No. 1 pick from 1997, at third base. After he was released, Juan Castro, Tim Hummell and former Jay Ryan Freel played there.


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