Pirates star Jason Bay says he'd like to play in Toronto

Jason Bay says he would welcome a chance to play for the Toronto Blue Jays.

B.C.-born outfielder under contract with Pittsburgh through 2009

Jason Bay says he would welcome a chance to play for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Pittsburgh Pirates star, a native of Trail, B.C., told radio station The Fan 590 on Friday morning that if the opportunity arose, he'd consider it a positive move.

"If that is what were to happen, I would definitely welcome that," said Bay, 29, who has hit 132 homers and put together a .282 career average in six seasons, five full-time, with the Bucs.

"[The American League East] is a premier division, and being in Canada and all of that, it [would] be kind of nice."

Playing on the artificial turf at Toronto's Rogers Centre after years of roaming the real grass outfield in Pittsburgh is "something I would have to get used to," but that wouldn't stop his interest, Bay told the radio station.

"I can definitely see myself there, that's for sure," he said.

Bay's current contract with the Pirates runs out after the 2009 season.

These statements may not be seen positively by Pirates fans if the reaction of people in Toronto to similar comments by Blue Jays pitcher A.J. Burnett last weekend to a Chicago media outlet is any indication.

Burnett said he would love to play for the Cubs, a town where baseball is No. 1 on fans' radar screen, if the opportunity came up. He was heavily criticized in the local media and by callers to radio shows for that honesty.