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12/30/08 3:36 PM EST

Jays ink quartet to Minors contracts

Barrett, Chavez, Maroth and Ruiz score Spring Training invites

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays continued to add depth to their roster on Tuesday, signing four players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training. Toronto inked catchers Michael Barrett and Raul Chavez, as well as infielder Randy Ruiz and left-hander Mike Maroth.

Barrett and Chavez will likely compete for the backup job behind catcher Rod Barajas, who had his 2009 club option picked up earlier this offseason. Barrett's Minor League contract with the Blue Jays also included a club option for the 2010 season.

Last season, the 32-year-old Barrett played in just 30 games for the Padres due to injuries. In those contests, the 11-year veteran hit .202 with two home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs. Barrett is a career .264 hitter with stints with the Expos, Cubs and Padres.

Chavez, 35, appeared in 42 games last season with the Pirates, hitting .259 with one home run, four doubles and 10 RBIs. The native of Venezuela also played in 26 games for Triple-A Indianapolis and batted .306 with three homers and 13 RBIs in those games. With Pittsburgh, Chavez threw out 48 percent of base stealers.

Ruiz made his big league debut in 2008 with the Twins, hitting .274 with one homer and seven RBIs in 22 games. Ruiz, 31, spent the majority of the '08 campaign with Triple-A Rochester, where he led the International League with a .320 average in 111 games. In those contests, he compiled 17 homers, 33 doubles and 68 RBIs.

Hot Stove
The 31-year-old Maroth appeared in just three Minor League games last season with Triple-A Omaha before missing the rest of the season with a left shoulder injury. In those three outings, Maroth went 0-2 with a 12.91 ERA. Over six seasons in the Majors -- spent with the Tigers and Cardinals -- Maroth has gone 50-67 with a 5.05 ERA over 161 games, including 150 starts.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.