” B.J. Ryan is caught in a vicious cycle,” wrote MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian a few days ago. “The Blue Jays left-hander feels he needs frequent work to regain a good rhythm on the mound, but Ryan’s persistent struggles have forced manager Cito Gaston to use him sparingly.”  Congrats then, to Mr. Ryan on his escape from said cycle, as the Jays are prepared to pay him for the next season and a half to do anything but pitch for Toronto.  From the Globe & Mail’s Robert McLeod :

The Toronto Blue Jays gave reliever B.J. Ryan his conditional release on Wednesday.

Ryan, who was signed in 2005 to a five-year, $47-million (U.S.) had been relegated to essentially mop-up duty over the psat week after struggling for most of this season. The 33-year-old left-hander appeared in 25 games, posting a 1-1 record with two saves and an earned-run average of 6.53.

Ryan, 33, was set to earn $12-million this season and $10-million in 2010.

The Blue Jays also announced that Scott Downs, who replaced Ryan as the club’s closer this season, is being activated off the disabled list.

Ryan made his final appearance as a Blue Jay on Sunday, giving up three runs in the fourth inning and taking the loss in a 10-8 defeat at the hands of the New York Yankees.