Blue Jays avoid arbitration with 11 players, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Bo Bichette was the Blue Jays' only arbitration-eligible player not to reach a deal on Friday.
Friday was the final day for arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures in Major League Baseball, and the Toronto Blue Jays were extremely busy, agreeing to 11 deals, most notably with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The Blue Jays announced that they have reached terms for 2023 with 11 of their 12 arbitration-eligible players. The only one not on the list is Bo Bichette. pic.twitter.com/eg4jdRiOiH
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 14, 2023
The Toronto first baseman is set to earn $14.5 million in 2023. MLB Trade Rumors projected the 23-year-old to earn $14.8 million on his deal.
Guerrero Jr. enjoyed a productive 2022 campaign, slashing .274/.339/.480 with 32 home runs in 160 games. The numbers were a step back from his MVP-calibre 2021 season but he still made the All-Star game and won the first Gold Glove of his career.
His new salary represents a significant raise from the $7.9 million he earned last season in his first trip through the arbitration process. He has two arbitration-eligible years remaining before he is scheduled to hit free agency after the 2025 season — if he does not agree to a long-term extension with Toronto before then.
Earlier Friday, Danny Jansen avoided arbitration by signing a one-year contract worth $3.5 million for 2023. Jansen earned $1.95 million last season.
Jansen, coming off his fifth major-league season, was projected to earn $3.7 million in his second year of arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors. The 27-year-old is eligible to enter free agency following the 2024 campaign.
Toronto’s backstop hit 15 home runs with 44 RBIs and a 140 wRC+ across 72 games in 2022. The right-hander, plagued by injuries throughout his career, missed significant time due to a fractured hand and a strained oblique.
Closer Jordan Romano also inked a contract for 2023, earning a shade over $4.5 million ($4.4 million MLBTR projection). The 29-year-old made the All-Star team last season and recorded a 2.11 ERA to go along with 36 saves.
Newcomer Daulton Varsho, who was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., will make $3.05 million to narrowly beat his $2.8 million projection. He hit .235/.302/.443 with 27 home runs, 74 RBIs and a 106 wRC+ across 151 games in 2022.
Cavan Biggio also beat his projection by $200,000 and was rewarded with a $2.8 million pact. Biggio is settling in as a role player at the MLB level and posted a disappointing .668 OPS last season.
Santiago Espinal will make $2.1 million — precisely MLBTR’s projection — after landing on a one-year deal. The 28-year-old is a first-year, arbitration-eligible player and can enter free agency after 2026.
The right-hander slashed .267/.322/.370 with seven home runs, 51 RBIs and a 99 wRC+ across 135 contests in his third big-league campaign with the Blue Jays. He was also worth a career-best 2.3 fWAR, up 0.4 points from 2021.
Relievers Adam Cimber ($3.15 million), Tim Mayza ($2.1 million), Trevor Richards ($1.5 million), Erik Swanson ($1.25 million) and Trent Thornton ($1 million) also avoided arbitration, signing one-year deals.
Shortstop Bo Bichette was the Blue Jays' lone arbitration-eligible player not to reach an agreement on Friday.
The Blue Jays and Bo Bichette will each file a figure and the arbitrator choses one or the other. Hearings will run Jan. 30-Feb. 17.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 14, 2023
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