DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) -Armando Benitez is happy to be in camp with the Toronto Blue Jays.
It doesn't matter to the 35-year-old that he has a minor league contract that will pay him $700,000 if he makes the major league roster, and he's not concerned that he only signed Tuesday. Benitez is fully focused on making the most of his opportunity.
``I didn't think about it,'' said Benitez. ``I'm here to help the team the moment they need me. I was working out in the Dominican to be ready the moment I came into the United States.''
Benitez has 289 saves over a 14-year major league career with six teams. He split last season between San Francisco and Florida, posting a 2-8 record with a 5.37 ERA and 17 saves. He was hampered by an injured hamstring.
``Last season is really hard to talk about but it was real complicated being hurt because nobody wants to be hurt,'' said Benitez, ``Especially me because I want the ball all the time.''
Benitez said Toronto's offer was his best chance to make a team this year.
This team is great, they have great personalities,'' Benitez said. ``Yes it's true, my best first day in camp.''
Benitez said he hopes to get into a simulated game within a week.
Notes: Toronto Closer B.J. Ryan (left elbow) is ready for his first appearance of the spring against the Rays on Friday. ``I'm looking forward to getting out there and finally getting a chance to do it,'' he said. ``There is a lot of hard work behind it so I am just going out there and try and make some pitches.'' Ryan had season ending ligament replacement surgery last May.
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