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Blue Jays release Nori Aoki

In a surprising move, the Blue Jays have released Nori Aoki.

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

UPDATE (Tuesday): Toronto placed Aoki on unconditional release waivers and he will be eligible for free agency if he clears them, according to a a team announcement.

ORIGINAL (Monday): The Toronto Blue Jays have designated Nori Aoki for assignment, just a few weeks after acquiring the outfielder from the Astros according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

This move comes as a surprise given that the Jays acquired Aoki at the non-waiver trade deadline in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano to the Astros, though the prize of that deal was outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez. Aoki logged just 34 plate appearances with Toronto hitting .281/.294/.594 with one double, three homers and eight RBIs.

Aoki, 35, is owed $5.5-million this season, with just over $1-million remaining, so the Blue Jays will either look to deal the left-hand hitting outfielder, or release him and eat the remaining money. He is under team control through 2018 with one year of arbitration left.

As for the corresponding move, the Blue Jays have recalled Leonel Campos from Triple-A. Campos has made nine appearances at the big league level this season, and has been dominating hitters in Triple-A, with a 1.76 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and eight saves.