Edmonton Journal

Blue Jays give Votto a shot

- Postmedia News, wire services

Joey Votto is coming home — or at least he'll have a chance to extend his career with the team he grew up watching.

The veteran has agreed to a non-roster invite from the Blue Jays, creating an opportunit­y for the 40-yearold to continue his career.

The Toronto native has been a free agent since Cincinnati declined a US$20 million option for the 2024 season.

The news was first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney and acknowledg­ed in an X post by Votto himself shortly after.

“I am excited about the opportunit­y to work my way back to the Major Leagues,” Votto posted. “It's even sweeter to attempt this while wearing the uniform of my hometown team, the Toronto Blue Jays.”

Where Votto would fit with the Jays remains to be seen. But a veteran bat can never be a bad thing for a team in need of offence.

Votto has long been revered by Canadian baseball fans, albeit from afar, as he has spent the entirety of his storied career thus far in the National League.

Veteran forward Jordan Eberle stayed put at the NHL trade deadline. He'll be in Seattle a little longer.

Eberle and the Kraken reached agreement on a $9.5 million, two-year contract extension on Friday.

He was slated to be an unrestrict­ed free agent after this season but indicated a desire to remain in Seattle.

Eberle has 14 goals and 23 assists in 58 games this season.

Longtime administra­tors Christine O'Connor and Leeta Sokalski have been named to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame, the first women to be added to the builders section.

O'Connor and Sokalski helped grow the game in Manitoba and B.C., respective­ly. They will be honoured May 4 at Canada Soccer's l awards banquet.

O'Connor was president of Manitoba Soccer from 2010-12, during which time she helped lobby Winnipeg to become a host city for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Sokalski served as president of B.C. Soccer and later as a member of the Canada Soccer board, but also played a major role with the Metro Women's Soccer League in the early 1980s, which grew to 72 clubs across as many as five divisions.

Since 2000, the Hall has named 142 players, 13 coaches, 10 officials and 45 builders as members.

Narin An shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to join Sarah Schmeizel in the lead after the second round of the Blue Bay LPGA on China's southern island of Hainan.

Both golfers had a 9-under total of 135 to sit one shot clear of Hye-Jin Choi as they each look for a first victory on the LPGA Tour.

Schmeizel and Choi both carded a 69.

First-round leader Minjee Lee shot an even-par 72 and was two shots back along with Ruixin Liu, who finished with a 71.

Four other players were three strokes off the pace.

Savannah Grewal, of Mississaug­a, Ont., is 1-under through 36 holes and tied for 26th.

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