Blue Jays chasing Uehara

Reliever Koji Uehara pitches against the Angels in Baltimore, Md., July 23, 2011. (JOE GIZA/Reuters)

Reliever Koji Uehara pitches against the Angels in Baltimore, Md., July 23, 2011. (JOE GIZA/Reuters)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:00 AM ET

TORONTO - The Blue Jays are again trying to land a Japanese import after all.

No, not right-hander Yu Darvish, but right-hander reliever Koji Uehara of the Texas Rangers.

Uehara was 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 43 games (47 innings) with the Baltimore Orioles last season. However, after moving to the Rangers he was 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 22 games (18 innings). He had a 33.75 ERA in the playoffs and was not on the Rangers' World Series roster.

From the Rangers' standpoint it's a salary dump as he earns $4 million in 2012. Uehara would have to waive his limited no-trade clause to approve a deal to the Jays.

The Orioles are also interested.

VIZQUEL JOINS JAYS

John McDonald broke in with the Cleveland Indians idolizing infielder Omar Vizquel.

Vizquel announced on his Twitter account Monday he had signed with the Blue Jays and will be in Dunedin this spring. Now, he’ll compete for McDonald’s old back-up job in Toronto with returnee Mike McCoy and Luis Valbuena, acquired earlier this off-season from the Indians.

The Jays later announced Vizquel, 44, signed a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

Vizquel has 2,841 career hits and spent the previous two seasons with the Chicago White Sox.

An 11-time gold glove winner and three-time all-star, the switch hitter has the most hits for any Venezuelan player, passing Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio in 2009.


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