TORONTO- The Toronto Blue Jays resigned RHP Marco Estrada to a 2-year deal worth $26 million prior to Friday’s qualifying offer deadline. Addressing one hole in their starting rotation.
This deal is a fair deal for both Estrada and the Blue Jays going forward this offseason.
Estrada was the most reliable starter for the Blue Jays last season, pitched in 181 innings with 3.13 ERA in 34 games (28 starts). He also impressed during the post-season with a 2.33 ERA and winning two elimination games.
The 32-year old right-hander could have accepted the qualifying offer (for one year worth $15.8 million) or declined the offer and test the free agent market (Blue Jays would’ve receive a compensatory draft pick if Estrada signed elsewhere). But the Blue Jays’ front office acted quickly to retain Estrada for two more years with more guaranteed money.
For the Blue Jays, Estrada will join Marcus Stroman and R.A. Dickey in the rotation with Drew Hutchison competing for the a spot in the rotation as well. With Estrada signed, the Blue Jays will look to continue to upgrade the starting rotation, whether if they can bring back their ace David Price or look elsewhere in free agency or trade market. They could also add a veteran arm in the bullpen to take pressure of their young righties Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna.
Note that the Blue Jays back-loaded Estrada’s contract, $11.5 million in 2016 and $14.5 million in 2017.