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Blue Jays Sign Halladay to $3.825M Deal

January 17, 2003

TORONTO (AP) _ The Toronto Blue Jays reached an agreement Friday with top starter Roy Halladay on a one-year contract worth $3.825 million

The Blue Jays also signed reliever Cliff Politte to a one-year contract worth $845,000. Both players were eligible for salary arbitration.

Halladay went 19-7 last season and ranked fifth in the AL with a 2.93 ERA. The 25-year-old right-hander led the league with 239 1-3 innings and made his first All-Star Game appearance. He is 37-24 with a 4.11 ERA in 108 career games, including 83 starts.

``The whole negotiation went great. It was one we knew we’d get done. It was a figure we were both comfortable with,″ Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said.

Ricciardi said he wants to see how Halladay pitches this year before he tries to sign him to a long-term contract.

``We’ll see how this year goes,″ Ricciardi said. ``We know he has a chance to be our No. 1 starter.″

Politte went 1-3 with one save and a 3.61 ERA in 55 games with Toronto. The 29-year-old right-hander was acquired from Philadelphia on May 26 for left-hander Dan Plesac. He is 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in his career.

The Blue Jays have two arbitration-eligible players still unsigned: left fielder Shannon Stewart and closer Kelvim Escobar.

Stewart asked for $7.5 million, and the Blue Jays offered $5.5 million. Escobar asked for $4.6 million and the team offered $3.5 million.

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