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PRESS BOX

Athletics Sign T-Bones Closer, Former Missouri Standout

06/18/2010 11:05 AM -

The Kansas City T-Bones have announced that the contract of reliever Justin James has been purchased by the Oakland Athletics.

James, 29, joined the T-Bones on April 27, 2009, after spending six years in affiliated baseball. A product of the University of Missouri, James was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 2003 amateur draft and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. Throughout the six seasons, he split time between several leagues, including a 36-game stint in the Triple-A International League in 2007.

The right-hander has earned six saves in six opportunities this season and holds a 1.69 ERA, surrendering just two runs. He has allowed six hits in 10 and two-thirds innings and has walked only one batter.

“James leaves as the premier closer in the league,” manager Tim Doherty said. “He’s going to the perfect organization and has a legitimate chance to reach Triple-A this season.”

James will join Double-A Midland of the Texas League. He is the first T-Bones player to have his contract purchased this season and is the 19th overall since 2003.