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Blue Jays sign veteran righty Clement

Blue Jays sign veteran right-hander Clement

LAS VEGAS -- The Blue Jays have reached an agreement on a Minor League contract with free-agent pitcher Matt Clement, according to a source. Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi would only say that the club might have something to announce on Friday.

Earlier this week, Ricciardi acknowledged that the Blue Jays had interest in Clement, who had major surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder two years ago. This past season, the 34-year-old right-hander appeared in 16 rehabilitation outings between three levels within the Cardinals' farm system.

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"From what we understand, he's healthy," Ricciardi said this week. "We've talked to him and we don't know where he stands on some things."

Clement, who is 87-86 with a 4.47 ERA over a nine-year big league career, made at least 30 starts for seven straight seasons before encountering shoulder problems two years ago. St. Louis signed him to a one-year, $1.5 million contract last January, but ultimately released him in August.

Between stints with Class A Palm Beach, Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis last year, Clement struck out 10 and walked 13 over 32 2/3 innings and posted a 5.23 ERA. Clement will likely be extended an invitation to Spring Training with the Blue Jays, who are in desperate need of rotation help this winter.

The Jays, who don't have an excess of spending money this winter, also met with the agent for free-agent right-hander Carl Pavano this week during the Winter Meetings. Pavano, 32, endured a variety of frequent injuries over the past four years with the Yankees, finishing 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA in 26 starts over that time period.

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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