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Sox, Jays strike deal for Hinske

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  August 16, 2006 11:37 PM

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The Sox and Toronto Blue Jays struck a waiver deal for Eric Hinske, who fits precisely the profile of the type of player the Sox were seeking: a left-handed hitter who can play both corner infield positions as well as the outfield.

The deal, because it involves an outlay of more than $1 million in cash, still requires approval from Major League Baseball. The Sox are also expected to send a low-to-mid level prospect to the Jays.

Hinske, who was the American League's Rookie of the Year in 2002, when he hit 24 home runs and knocked in 84 runs while batting .279, signed a five-year deal for $14.75 million the following year but had devolved into a part-time platooner for the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays, looking to get out from under his contract, agreed to pay $2.8125 million half of the $5.6 million due him next year. The Sox reportedly agreed to pay the roughly $1.4 million still owed Hinske for this season.

Hinske is expected to start a couple of times a week, in place of Kevin Youkilis or Mike Lowell, and also becomes the team's primary left-handed pinch hitter off the bench.

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