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12/07/2007 12:58 PM ET
Jays complete Coats deal with Reds
Toronto sends right-hander James to Cincinnati
Justin James was a fifth-round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003. (Mike Janes/


TORONTO -- The Blue Jays put the finishing touch on a trade with the Reds on Friday, dealing right-hander Justin James to Cincinnati to complete the swap that sent outfielder Buck Coats to Toronto.

The Jays acquired Coats from the Reds on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn. During Spring Training, the 25-year-old Coats will be competing for Toronto's lone available bench spot.

"Coats is a guy who can probably be our 25th guy," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "He's a really, really good outfielder. Obviously, the best position he plays is a position we have someone in -- center field. He can play third and a little bit of short. He's a really flexible guy, in terms of positions he can play."

James, 26, was selected by the Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Last season, James split time between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Syracuse, going a combined 3-5 with a 3.89 ERA in 43 games, including five starts.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.