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TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have signed Canadian catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, US$82-million contract . The Blue Jays confirmed the signing today after it was widely reported in the media Monday. Martin hit .290 with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season with 11 home runs and 67 runs batted in. The three-time all-star has a career .259 average with 119 home runs and 540 RBIs in nine seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Pirates. The 31-year-old Martin who was born in Toronto and grew up in Chelsea, Que. Dioner Navarro was the regular catcher for the Blue Jays last season and Josh Thole primarily served as knuckleballer R.A. Dickeys catcher. The addition of Martin could see Navarro shift to the designated hitters role in 2015. General manager Alex Anthopoulos has traditionally made his biggest splashes via the trade route, so the signing of Martin is a dramatic change to his usual style. It also sends a signal that Toronto is ready to really open its wallet in an attempt to get over the hump in the American League East. The Blue Jays enjoyed a strong first half last season before fading after the all-star break. Toronto settled for a third-place finish in the division with an 83-79 record. Martin provides some additional pop in a lineup that already boasts sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The Canadian also has the experience to groom up-and-coming youngsters like Stroman, Drew Hutchison and possibly Aaron Sanchez in a starting rotation that is anchored by Dickey and Mark Buehrle. He also has plenty of post-season experience, having reached the playoffs in seven of the last nine years. The Blue Jays have not reached the post-season since winning a second straight World Series title in 1993. Before the team made the official announcement on Martin, pitcher Marcus Stroman was quick to weigh in on Twitter. Welcome @russellmartin55 to THE @BlueJays! #TORONTO, Stroman tweeted from his verified account. Martin decided to test the free agent market after declining Pittsburghs $15.3-million qualifying offer earlier this month. The Pirates will receive a draft pick in compensation. Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, who spent the last two seasons in Toronto, also declined his qualifying offer but has yet to sign with a team. Sergei Bobrovsky Jersey .500 ball against teams with winning records, so they needed a huge lift from somebody Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders. Custom Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys . Hoefl-Rieschs exit — from the downhill course into safety nets, then airlifted from the slope by helicopter — left Anna Fenninger of Austria favourite to win her first giant crystal trophy one month after becoming an Olympic champion. . Yoenis Cespedes proved he can play through a hurting right heel, giving Scott Kazmir and the As a spark with a pair of RBIs that helped spoil the Minnesota Twins home opener with an 8-3 victory on Monday. Seth Jones Jersey .com) - Devon Johnson ran for a school record 272 yards with four touchdowns and No. Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys . There are some early surprises in the race for the Hart Trophy, but two of the contenders are the leagues biggest stars over the past decade. There are many more players in contention for the awards than just the three that Ive named, and a good or bad week can easily alter the landscape, but through the first 20 or so games of the NHL season, this is how the awards races look to me.VANCOUVER -- Three-time Olympian Maelle Ricker will lead Canadas snowboard team at the Sochi Games. Ricker, a 2010 gold medallist in snowboard cross, was among five competitors named to the team Friday. The remainder of the squad will be unveiled Jan. 21 in Quebec City. "We definitely have an amazing group and an amazing team and to be a part of it is great," said the 35-year-old from of West Vancouver, B.C. "The team is doing great. "We have strong athletes in all the disciplines and Im very honoured and excited." Also named Friday were first-time Olympians Mark McMorris of Regina, Sebastien Toutant of LAssomption, Que., Spencer OBrien of Courtenay, B.C., and Chris Robanske of Calgary. "It feels amazing," said McMorris. "Its going to be a fun time. Ive been preparing like a mad man and I think Im ready." McMorris, Toutant and OBrien will all compete in the slopestyle event -- which is making its Olympic debut in Sochi -- while Ricker and Robanske are entered in snowboard cross. Canada won 26 medals at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and has set a lofty goal of finishing first in the overall medal count in Sochi. "If we say we dont want to be No. 1, were striving for mediocrity and were not going to do that. We will strive to be the best," said Canadian chef de mission Steve Podborski, who won bronze in mens downhill at the 1980 Olympics.dddddddddddd "When we went into (the 2006 Games), we had no notion that we could strive to be No. 1 and now we are looking at that. "So why not? Its going to be tough, maybe impossible, but you strive for impossible dreams." If its going to happen, Canada will in all likelihood need big performances from its snowboard team. Canadian snowboarders claimed three medals in 2010, with Ricker and Jasey-Jay Anderson capturing gold medals, while Mike Robertston won a silver. "I would love to perform at my best (again)," said Ricker. "Definitely every time I put my snowboard on thats what Im aiming to do and hopefully we get some good results because of it." McMorris, viewed as one of the favourites in slopestyle, doesnt feel any added pressure with Canada looking to top the medal standings. "Whenever anybody looks at you to win theres pressure," said the laid-back 20-year-old. "Ive been able to have a lot of success over the last three years and consistently podium or win events. "Im expecting to go over there and do just that." The 2014 Games begin on Feb. 7. 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