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Blue Jays' Jesse Litsch opts for free agency

The right-hander declined his minor league assignment outright.

Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch has decided to take his chances on the free agent market rather than accept his assignment to the organization's minor league affiliate, reports Chris Toman of

The Blue Jays reinstated pitcher Jesse Litsch from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday and instead of accepting an outright assignment to the Minor Leagues, the right-hander opted for free agency.

The 27-year-old Litsch missed the entire 2012 season rehabbing from a pair of shoulder surgeries undergone early in the year. The first, an operation to clear out a freak shoulder infection caused by a platelet-rich plasma injection, was carried out in March. The second procedure, to repair damage to his biceps, was performed in June.

Litsch has a long history of injury woes that has allowed him to throw only one hundred thirty innings over the last four seasons. Initially brought up as a starter for the Blue Jays, Litsch was relegated to the bullpen for 2011 in an attempt to protect his arm.

In his five-year career, Litsch has posted a 4.16 ERA, 5.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in over four hundred innings of work. Litsch can be successful when uninjured, but it remains to be seen whether he can maintain his health for a prolonged period of time. If the right-hander had not elected free agency, he would be in his final year of arbitration.