TORONTO, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday signed General Manager J.P. Ricciardi to a five-year contract, replacing the three-year deal he received last year.
The new deal ends speculation that the native of Worcester, Mass., would leave Canada to take a job with the Boston Red Sox.
Ricciardi, 43, was named senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager last November after spending six years with the Oakland Athletics as assistant general manager to Billy Beane.
He made a big trade just one month after coming to Toronto, sending closer Billy Koch to the Athletics for third baseman Eric Hinske, who is a leading candidate for American League Rookie of the Year after batting .279 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI in 151 games, and minor league pitcher Justin Miller.
He also acquired righthander Luke Prokopec from the Los Angeles Dodgers at last year's winter meetings, even though the native of Australia struggled with a 2-9 record and 6.78 ERA in 22 appearances.
Ricciardi fired Buck Martinez as manager in June after the Blue Jays got off to a 20-33 start. He was replaced by Carlos Tosca and the team finished with a 78-84 record.
Ricciardi reportedly was sought by the Red Sox. He was a high school teammate of former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman, and spent two seasons in the minor leagues for the New York Mets. He became New England area scout for the A's in 1986 and also served as minor league instructor and East Coast scouting supervisor.