Jays avoid arbitration with Overbay, Downs

Updated: January 16, 2006, 5:28 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to one-year contracts with new first baseman Lyle Overbay and pitcher Scott Downs on Monday, avoiding salary arbitration with both players.

Overbay's deal is for $2,525,000. He batted .276 with 19 home runs, 72 RBI and 34 doubles for Milwaukee last season.

Toronto acquired Overbay on Dec. 8 in a trade that sent pitcher David Bush, outfielder Gabe Gross and pitching prospect Zach Jackson to the Brewers.

Downs will earn $705,000 this year. The left-hander was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 26 games last season, including 13 starts.

Three Blue Jays players remain eligible for arbitration: infielder Shea Hillenbrand, left-hander Ted Lilly and right-hander Pete Walker.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press