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Tony Fernandez to Join Blue Jays

June 14, 2001

TORONTO (AP) _ Tony Fernandez, released by Milwaukee last month, will be back in the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.

The Blue Jays signed the infielder to a minor league contract last week.

Fernandez, in his fourth stint with the organization, joined Toronto’s extended spring training program at Dunedin, Fla. The Blue Jays, who have an off day Thursday, announced they would purchase his contract on Friday.

Toronto manager Buck Martinez said he’ll use Fernandez, who recently announced that he plans to retire at season’s end, as a pinch-hitter.

To make room on the roster, the Blue Jays optioned infielder Chris Woodward to Triple-A Syracuse.

Fernandez, 39, opened the season with the Brewers and hit .281 in 28 games prior to his release on May 29.

Last season, Fernandez played for the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League and finished fourth with a .327 average. He hit 11 home runs with 74 RBIs.

Fernandez is a career .288 hitter over 17 seasons, including 11 with the Blue Jays.

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