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02/04/09 5:09 PM EST

Blue Jays claim Burres off waivers

Left-hander has starting and relieving experience with Orioles

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' search for inexpensive ways to improve their roster this offseason has included scouring the waiver wire for possible additions. On Wednesday, Toronto added another arm to the mix by claiming left-hander Brian Burres from Baltimore.

Burres, 28, split time between the rotation and bullpen last season for the Orioles, going 7-10 with a 6.04 ERA in 31 appearances. As a starter, Burres posted a 7-9 record with a 5.52 ERA in 22 outings a year ago.

Burres enjoyed a strong start to the 2008 season, opening with a 4-4 ledger and a 3.16 ERA over his first 10 games. Down the stretch, though, the lefty went 3-6 with an 8.30 ERA in his final 21 times up the hill. Burres finished with 63 strikeouts and 50 walks in 129 2/3 innings.

In a three-year tour with the Orioles, who claimed Burres off waivers from the Giants in 2006, he went 13-18 with a 5.88 ERA. In eight Minor League seasons, Burres went 44-27 with a 3.26 ERA after being selected in the 31st round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft by San Francisco.

The Jays are the only team that has not signed a player with a Major League contract this offseason. Instead, Toronto has used Minor League deals and waivers to acquire five pitchers. The Jays have added Matt Clement, Mike Maroth and Japanese lefty Ken Takahashi with Minor League contracts, and also claimed Dirk Hayhurst from the Padres in October.

In order to clear room on the roster for Burres, the Blue Jays designated catcher Curtis Thigpen for assignment.

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