B.J. Ryan released

Convinced B.J. Ryan will never again be an effective late-inning reliever, the Toronto Blue Jays released the two-time all-star Wednesday rather than letting him fester unhappily on the roster.

B.J. Ryan  has been released from the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth season of a US$47-million five year deal.

B.J. Ryan has been released from the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth season of a US$47-million five year deal.

Convinced B.J. Ryan will never again be an effective late-inning reliever, the Toronto Blue Jays released the two-time all-star Wednesday rather than letting him fester unhappily on the roster. The unexpected move, reminiscent of the sudden divorce from Frank Thomas last April 20, was made as new closer Scott Downs, one of Ryan’s best friends on the team, was activated from the disabled list. Ryan, who was due US$10 million both this season and next, gets what remained on the $47-million, five-year deal he signed in the winter of 2005, and is free to join any other club. Still, it’s a shockingly quick fall from grace for the 33-year-old lefty, who recorded 32 saves last season after Tommy John surgery in 2007 but was reduced to mop-up duty in recent weeks. “The player was not happy in the role he was in, it was the only role we had for him, and we don’t want the player to be unhappy, we’re not looking for unhappy players,” GM J.P. Ricciardi said.