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Jays announce signing of catcher Buck

Jays announce signing of catcher Buck

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays did not let the blockbuster deal that will send ace pitcher Roy Halladay to the Phillies get in the way of other business on Wednesday morning.

Toronto announced that it has signed catcher John Buck to a one-year contract worth $2 million for the 2010 season, and has also inked right-hander Lance Broadway to a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club.

Buck -- non-tendered by the Royals on Saturday -- became expendable for Kansas City after the team signed veteran catcher Jason Kendall to a two-year contract on Friday. The 29-year-old catcher hit .247 with eight homers and 36 RBIs over 59 games with the Royals last year. Over six seasons with Kansas City, the catcher has hit .235 with 70 homers and 259 RBIs.

Buck is currently the only catcher on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster, and he could be in line to serve as the new starter behind the plate. After opting against offering backup Raul Chavez a Major League contract before Saturday's non-tender deadline, the Jays signed the veteran to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training on Sunday.

Chavez could be in the mix for the backup job again for the Blue Jays this spring, but Toronto plans on adding another catcher to the mix. The Jays have reportedly signed catcher Ramon Castro to a one-year contract, though the team has yet to make an official announcement. Rod Barajas -- Toronto's starting catcher in '09 -- is a free agent and will likely sign a multiyear deal with a new team this offseason.

Broadway, 26, split the 2009 season between the White Sox and Mets organizations. The righty was traded to New York in a deal that helped Chicago acquire Castro. In 16 appearances in the Majors last year, Broadway posted a 5.87 ERA. He combined to go 5-9 with a 6.17 ERA in 19 Minor League games last season.

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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