Jays avoid arbitration with McGowan, Litsch

The Toronto Blue Jays avoided arbitration year contracts.

McGowan made a valiant return to the mound after missing three years due to multiple shoulder surgeries, going 0-2 with a 6.43 earned run average in five games (four starts) last year.

In five major-league seasons, all with Toronto, the 29-year-old is 20-24 with a 4.80 ERA in 80 appearances (60 starts). McGowan will earn $600,000 in 2012.

Litsch turned in a 6-3 mark with a 4.44 ERA in 28 games (eight starts) for the Jays in 2011.

The 26-year-old, who was a starter early in his career, is 27-27 with a 4.16 ERA in 88 games (67 starts) since breaking into the majors in 2007. He will make $975,000 in the upcoming season.

In other roster moves, the Jays claimed pitcher Jim Hoey off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.