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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Overbay latest player to cash in with Jays

Associated Press

TORONTO -- First baseman Lyle Overbay and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $24 million, four-year contract, a team official said Sunday.

First Base
Toronto Blue Jays

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2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
157 22 92 82 .372 .312

Overbay hit .312 with 22 home runs, a team-high 46 doubles and 92 RBIs with Toronto last season after being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The team official spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not announced.

Overbay, who avoided arbitration with the deal, gets a $3.8 million signing bonus, $400,000 this year, $5.8 million in 2008 and $7 million in each of the following two seasons. He would have been eligible for free agency after the 2008 season.

The left-handed hitter leads the majors with a total of 133 doubles since 2003.

Toronto acquired Overbay and right-hander Ty Taubenheim from Milwaukee in exchange for Dave Bush, Gabe Gross and Zach Jackson. Overbay made $2.5 million last season. He turns 30 later this month.

He becomes the latest Blue Jays to sign a multiyear contract. Vernon Wells agreed to a $126 million, seven-year contract extension in December, the sixth-largest deal in baseball history.

Three Blue Jays remain in arbitration: pitcher Scott Downs, outfielders Reed Johnson and Alex Rios.

Toronto hasn't been to arbitration with a player since 1997.