Cubs sign B.J. Ryan

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today signed left-handed pitcher B.J. Ryan to a minor league contract. Ryan will report to the club's rookie-level club in Mesa, AZ on Sunday.

Ryan, 33, is 21-28 with 117 saves and a 3.37 ERA (201 ER/536.2 IP) in 560 relief appearances in 11 major league seasons with Cincinnati (1999), Baltimore (1999-2005) and Toronto (2006-09). The southpaw has finished in the top seven in saves in the American League three of the last four seasons entering 2009, including a 2008 campaign during which he went 2-4 with 32 saves and a 2.95 ERA (19 ER/58.0 IP) in 60 relief outings.

A two-time American League All-Star (2005 and 2006), Ryan has posted an ERA of below 3.00 in four of the last five seasons entering 2009. After recording a 2.28 ERA in 2004, Ryan became Baltimore's closer in 2005 and notched 36 saves (seventh in the league) and a 2.43 ERA in 69 relief appearances. In his first season with Toronto in 2006, Ryan earned his second consecutive All-Star appearance and finished with a career-high 38 saves and career-best 1.37 ERA. He is in the fourth year of a five-year free agent contract that he signed with Toronto.

In 2009, Ryan recently went nearly three weeks without recording a run, posting a string of 10 consecutive scoreless appearances from May 31-June 20 covering 7.1 innings. In fact, he posted a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP) in 12 outings from May 31-June 29. Ryan allowed three runs in 0.2 innings on July 5 in New York and was released by the Blue Jays on July 8.

Overall this season, Ryan is 1-1 with two saves and a 6.53 ERA (15 ER/20.2 IP) in 25 relief appearances for the Blue Jays. Earlier this year he spent three weeks on the disabled list with left shoulder and back soreness from April 24-May 15.

The six-foot-six, 255-pound Ryan has limited left-handed hitters to a .179 batting average (125-for-697) during his big league career, including a .168 batting average against (55-for-327) and .266 slugging percentage against since the start of the 2004 campaign. He has struck out 625 batters in 536.2 career innings, an average of 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Recommended Stories

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