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Blue Jays release outfielder Stewart

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays released outfielder Shannon Stewart on Monday, bringing his second stint with Toronto to a disappointing finish.

Signed as a free agent during spring training, Stewart hit .240 with one homer and 14 RBIs in 52 games this season.

The 34-year-old Stewart sprained his right ankle when he stumbled over first base while running out a grounder June 7 against the Baltimore Orioles. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day and has not played since.

"Hopefully, he will come up with a job somewhere else next year," manager Cito Gaston said. "You're always trying to keep your best players and he hasn't played in two months and so I'm not sure how much he could do here. There's really not a spot for him to play right now."

Stewart played in eight games on a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin before his release, collecting six hits in 22 at-bats.

A first-round pick by Toronto in 1992, Stewart played for the Blue Jays from 1995 until 2003, when he was traded to Minnesota for outfielder Bobby Kielty. He remained with the Twins until the end of the 2006 season, when he signed with the Oakland Athletics.

Stewart owns a career average of .297 with 115 home runs and 580 RBIs.

"In the grand scheme of things, it's probably the best thing for him and for us," assistant general manager Bart Given said.