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Jays offer Millar Minor League deal

Millar gets Minor League offer

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TORONTO -- As this strange offseason of economic uncertainty nears its close and pitchers and catchers prepare to travel to Arizona and Florida for Spring Training's rapidly approaching reporting dates, a significant number of players continue to search for big league jobs.

For the Blue Jays, it's an opportunity to keep rummaging through baseball's bargain bin. One veteran still up for grabs is Kevin Millar, and general manager J.P. Ricciardi confirmed on Monday that Toronto has offered the first baseman a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

"We've talked to Millar," Ricciardi said. "We've got a Minor League deal out there for him, and if he's interested, the offer is out there. But we don't know yet."

Due to financial limitations, the bulk of the Blue Jays' acquisitions this offseason have come via Minor League deals. In fact, Toronto is the only club in baseball that has not added a free agent with a Major League contract. That doesn't mean that the Jays aren't still looking for help, especially on offense.

"We're looking every day to try to bring someone here who can help us," Ricciardi told fans at the club's State of the Franchise event on Jan. 20. "Obviously, money is a concern this year, and we'd have to get someone who fits what we want to spend.

"We're maybe looking for someone who can augment our lineup a little bit from the right side."

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Millar, 37, would seem to fit that description. Last season with the Orioles, the right-handed Millar hit .234 with 20 home runs and 72 RBIs in 145 games. Vernon Wells, who finished the 2008 campaign with 20 homers, was the only player to club at least that many long balls for the Jays last season.

As things currently stand, though, Millar might have a hard time earning a full-time role with Toronto. Last season, he spent 130 games at first base and 14 as Baltimore's designated hitter -- two roles that are already filled with the Jays. Toronto has the left-handed-hitting Lyle Overbay as its regular at first base, and outfielder Adam Lind, who also hits from the left side, is slated to be the team's regular DH.

That being the case, it's understandable why Millar has yet to accept Toronto's offer. According to a report in The Baltimore Sun, Millar said that he plans on waiting for more free agents to sign in order to better gauge what jobs are available to him. It's believed that the San Francisco Giants have also shown interest in Millar.

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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