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January 7, 2005

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed outfielder Chad Mottola to a minor league contract for the 2005 season.

Mottola, 33, was named the International League’s Most Valuable Player while playing for the SkyChiefs in 2000 after hitting .309 and leading the IL with 32 HR and finishing second in the league with 102 RBI. In addition, he stole a career-high 30 bases to become the first Syracuse player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season.

After spending the 2001 season in the Florida Marlins organization, Mottola rejoined the Blue Jays organization in 2002 and hit .261 with 35 doubles, 13 HR and 67 RBI in 122 games for the SkyChiefs.

Mottola spent the majority of the 2004 season with Ottawa Lynx, the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, where he was named the Lynx’s Most Valuable Player after batting .265 with 22 HR and 69 RBI. He also appeared in six games for Baltimore, where he had two hits in 14 at bats (.143) including one home run.

Originally drafted by the Reds out of Central Florida University with the fifth overall pick in the 1992 draft (one selection ahead of Derek Jeter), Mottola has appeared in 49 Major League games in his career with the Reds (1996), Blue Jays (2000), Marlins (2001) and Orioles (2004).

Mottola has a career minor league batting average of .284 with 195 home runs, including 29 at P&C Stadium (six as a visiting player).