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Blue Jays give Aoki his unconditional release

MLB.com

TORONTO -- Blue Jays outfielder Norichika Aoki was given his unconditional release on Tuesday. Aoki was designated for assignment prior to Monday's series opener against the Red Sox.

Aoki came to Toronto from Houston at the non-waiver Trade Deadline along with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez for left-hander Francisco Liriano. Aoki posted a .281 average with an .888 OPS and three home runs in 12 games.

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TORONTO -- Blue Jays outfielder Norichika Aoki was given his unconditional release on Tuesday. Aoki was designated for assignment prior to Monday's series opener against the Red Sox.

Aoki came to Toronto from Houston at the non-waiver Trade Deadline along with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez for left-hander Francisco Liriano. Aoki posted a .281 average with an .888 OPS and three home runs in 12 games.

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Despite that, the Blue Jays already have four other outfielders on their 25-man roster, and that number is due to grow when rosters can expand on Friday.

"There's probably going to be a few outfielders coming up," manager John Gibbons said Monday. "So even then, there's not going to be much opportunity for playing time."

Hernandez, who is ranked the Blue Jays' No. 5 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is expected to be one of the outfielders promoted. After a slow start with Triple-A Buffalo, Hernandez has brought his OPS back up to .731 with a hot stretch and offers the Blue Jays an upgrade in terms of athleticism and defense. The same can be said for Anthony Alford, the organization's No. 3 prospect, after he made his big league debut earlier this season and has excelled at Double-A.

Roster moves

• The Blue Jays added left-hander Brett Anderson to the roster for Tuesday's start and optioned reliever Leonel Campos back to Triple-A Buffalo. Campos has a 3.09 ERA in 10 appearances out of the bullpen over 11 2/3 innings during his time in the Majors this season. He is a candidate to return when roster expand.

• Left-hander TJ House cleared outright waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Buffalo. House made two relief outings for the Blue Jays, but he has worked as a starter for the majority of the year at Triple-A.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Norichika Aoki