Former South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak was placed on waivers by the Seattle Mariners and claimed Tuesday by the Toronto Blue Jays.
After five seasons with the Mariners in which he struggled to reach the heights predicted for him after coming over from Texas in a big trade that saw All-Star pitcher Cliff Lee go to the Rangers, Smoak came to the end of the road in Seattle.
This season he batted just .202 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 80 games for the Mariners, who sent him to Triple-A for 56 games.
According to the Seattle Times, the Mariners will save $150,000 by not having to pay him a buyout for his contract. With Smoak was out of minor-league options, he was not likely to be offered a contract next season.
Smoak, 27, left USC with great promise after setting school records with 62 homers and 207 RBIs in a standout career from 2006-08. He was picked 11th overall in the first round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Rangers. He signed for $3.5 million and made his major league debut in 2010.
In five seasons in the big leagues, he has batted .224 with 74 homers and 234 RBIs.