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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 MLB.com:

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.