July 16, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) First baseman Justin Smoak has agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $8.25 million with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The contract announced by the team on Saturday will pay the 29-year-old Smoak $4.125 million per season in the first two years of the deal, with a $6 million option in 2019.

Smoak would have been a free agent after this season in a thin market but said he wanted to stay in the American League East.

''We love Toronto, me and my family, and we wanted to stay here as long as we can,'' Smoak said. ''So we just wanted to get something done.''

Smoak is in his seventh season in the majors with his third team. He was the 11th overall selection in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Texas Rangers.

He batting .234 with nine home runs and 23 runs batted in this season. In seven major league seasons, he's had a .225 batting average with 101 home runs, 316 RBIs and a .310 on-base percentage.

Smoak, by his own admission, says he hasn't lived up to the expectations of his elite pre-draft status.

''No, not even close,'' Smoak said Saturday before the game against Oakland. ''I know I can be a better player. It's all about staying consistent. That's what you strive for every day and that's the goal to keep working on ... to be a more consistent player.''

Smoak, an everyday player with the Seattle Mariners for four seasons, has accepted being a role player with the Blue Jays.

''I know what it takes to play every day for a full season, and I also know what it takes to be a guy off the bench and be ready to help this team out,'' Smoak said. ''I want to play every day, that's always the goal. But if that's not the case, that's not the case.

''Whatever it takes to help this team win ballgames.''

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