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Zaun: 'I just answered a simple question'

Jays catcher insists no controversy

TORONTO -- Gregg Zaun's recent comments didn't deter Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston from slotting the veteran catcher into the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Tampe Bay Rays.

On Tuesday, Zaun said that "it would probably be a good thing" if he were dealt to a contending team, when asked about recent trade rumors involving his name as Thursday's Trade Deadline nears. Zaun later seemed surprised that his remarks caused such a stir at Rogers Centre.

"I didn't say I wanted to be traded or demanded anything," Zaun said after Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Rays. "I'm sad that this is coming out. I thought, I'm going to answer a simple question. This is the time of the year that we're in. I don't understand why it's that big of a deal.

"This shouldn't be a controversy for anybody. I just answered a simple question, 'Would I welcome a trade?' I don't think that's that big of a deal."

It's a similar situation to the one Blue Jays pitcher A.J. Burnett faced in mid June, when a Chicago reporter asked him if he'd be open to a trade to a contending club such as the Cubs. Burnett said he would "accept it with open arms," creating some controversy in the process.

The 37-year-old Zaun, who has lost the starting job behind the plate to Rod Barajas, said he hoped Blue Jays fans didn't take his comments as being selfish. Zaun pointed out that he was simply saying that if he happened to be traded before Thursday's deadline, he wouldn't be against the move.

"I dont want them to perceive me as a selfish player," Zaun said. "I hope they understand that I want to play. And, if I can't be out there with a Blue Jays uniform on, then I would like to go and be on a team that has a good chance to go to the World Series.

"I think that the Blue Jays are, obviously, on the right track and moving toward October baseball. But we weren't talking about the Blue Jays. We were talking about a trade. We were talking about the possibility of me being traded. It's a possibility -- these are just rumors."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["trading_deadline" ] }
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