2012 Contract Issues: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.

Eligible For Free Agency (6)

  • The Jays seemingly took Juan Rivera from the Angels as a means of facilitating the Vernon Wells trade.  In February they were rumored to be shopping him.  If he's still struggling a few months from now a release could be in order. 
  • Frank Francisco is expected to join the big league club today after dealing with pectoral muscle and shoulder issues.  Health is always a concern for Francisco.  Though his salary is already at $4MM, I can still see the Jays offering arbitration if a draft pick is involved.
  • I'm curious to see whether Shawn Camp has Type A or B status, once Eddie Bajek starts projecting Elias rankings this year.
  • Role players John McDonald, Jose Molina, and Corey Patterson are also eligible for free agency.

Contract Options (5)

  • Aaron Hill: $8MM club option for 2012, $8MM club option for '13.  It's too early to say whether Hill can return to his '09 or '07 form and compel the Jays to pick up one or both of his options.
  • Jason Frasor: $3.75MM club option.  Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos created flexibility for his 2012 bullpen by getting club options for Frasor, Rauch, and Dotel in the same range.  After the season we'll see who's worth keeping around.
  • Jon Rauch: $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout.
  • Octavio Dotel: $3.5MM club option with a $750K buyout.   
  • Edwin Encarnacion: $3.5MM club option with a $500K buyout.  If Encarnacion happens to pop 30 home runs for the first time in his career, the Jays can retain him at a bargain price.

Arbitration Eligible (9)

The first-timers won't necessarily make it to the point of being tendered contracts.  Escobar, Morrow, Litsch, Villanueva, and Janssen seem to be the locks here.

2012 Payroll Obligation

The Blue Jays' 2012 payroll obligation excluding buyouts is $29.9MM, according to Cot'sJose Bautista, Adam Lind, and Ricky Romero account for most of that.  The club options are mostly unknowns at this point; the obligation could range from a couple million for buyouts to $22.5MM if everyone stays.  I'll use $15MM as a ballpark figure for the key arbitration eligible players, putting the team around $47MM if all options are declined.  The Blue Jays have kept payroll over $70MM for quite some time, so there's room to exercise some of the options and join the bidding for a few significant free agents.

37 Responses to 2012 Contract Issues: Toronto Blue Jays Leave a Reply

  1. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Free Dustin!!

  2. BenchedMark 4 years ago

    Depending on how well Francisco pitches, I could see AA offering arb to all relief pitchers and go for the picks. If francisco can establish himself as a dominante closer, I could see them locking him up.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      All things considered the bullpen should be on the market come trade deadline…

  3. ellisburks 4 years ago

    The major problem with the Jays as I see it is they need to get E5 off of 3B as soon as possible and Nix is not the solution. Also, they need a guy beside Bautista that will take a walk. Really they are a bunch of hackers up there.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      actually, the jays are top 10 in walks so far this year..

      The problem I see is the inconsistancy in power, they just havent had the extra base hits. Lind, Snider 1 HR, Hill 0 HR..

      Our rotation has holes and the bullpen has been overworked

      Not to mention their reckless abandonment on the basepaths.. Stealing third with runners on 1st n 2nd with 1 out while losing by 4?

      Good news is, playing at home should help with power. Francisco and Morrow will help with the rotation/pen.

      • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

        I’d assume (and hope) that Patterson stole third on his own. If that was planned, I’m worried.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          From what I gather, Patterson is one of the players with an ‘all time green light’

          In which case Farrell should have put up a stop sign if a player is stupid enough to take a chance like that…

          Don’t get me started on Dotel pitching to lefties.

      • ellisburks 4 years ago

        Also getting to face AJ and Colon the next two games should help too!

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          Thats what I said before they faced Dice k :s

      • Sniderlover 4 years ago

        To be fair, they’ve faced some tough pitching. We should’ve been better against Boston but let’s face it, they weren’t continually going to pitch and bat horribly. They were dead last in ERA before the series so they were to pitch well.

        A little surprised Jays haven’t hit as many homeruns. They hit a good bunch in their home games but they’ve gone extremely cold on the road.

        I am happy they are walking a lot more now. I saw them at #1 in steals as well few days ago.

        Personally, I think our defense has been a big let down. It seems like every game we’re making errors and a lot of them are on routine plays.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          I strongly agree on your points, especially the defense.

    • renegadeisback 4 years ago

      Lawrie is the solution at 3B and he’s a month away.

      • BenchedMark 4 years ago

        Lawrie has committed 5 errors in 11 games this year.

        Now, I haven’t seen what the errors were like, but based on the state alone, it looks to me like he’s more than a month away from figuring out how to play 3 base consistantly. I think he sould be a september call up at the earliest.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          I disagree.. Nix’s bat will regress to his norms, which basically makes him John Mcdonald with poor fielding but more pop..

          Lawrie’s errors, have for the most part been on ridiculous plays in which his ranges so far to one side that he ends up booting or rushing the throw.

          Realistically, Lawrie as it stands, is probably the best defensive option at 3B besides Johnny Mac. Once his FA year has been delayed, you’ll see him up

        • I’ve watched all the Las Vegas games so far and I can tell you there is a lot of boneheaded mistakes but a lot of potential. I honestly think he needs a minimum half-season. People are so impatient.

          • BenchedMark 4 years ago

            Good to hear about the potential. He looked fantastic in ST, maybe he has lost a bit of his focus in LV?

            I agree with you though. I think the longer they wait, the better for his development.

    • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

      Nix is a perfectly fine short-term solution until Lawrie is ready.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        Nix is just as poor defensively as Encarnacion ..

        Only difference is EE can somewhat hit better?

        • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

          Well, I don’t know what games you’ve seen, but in the limited action I’ve seen him in he’s far better than EE. I never said he was great (or even good), but with the ascension Lawrie is making through the organization (and the state of the team) I expect Lawrie to be coming up in September. Until then, I’m perfectly happy to see anyone but EE at 3B.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Career wise

            EE has 107 errors/ 5421 Innings at 3B .. 1 every 50 innings

            Nix has 20 errors/ 616 Innings at 3B … 1 every 30.8 innings

          • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

            I see your point, but I’m not concerned with career numbers. This season is what matters to me.

            You can’t deny that this year EE has looked absolutely horrendous (again). Hell, I’d rather see Johnny Mac for that matter than either of them!

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Yes EE has looked bad, but so has brett cecil and you’re not prepared to give up on him are you??

            Personally, not even a joke I definetely would start Johnny Mac, realistically he’s going to get on base more then Nix, with less power but with much better defense.

            Then you Dh EE and Nix moves in to a mike mccoy role.

            All that changes when lawrie comes up

          • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

            Okay, I finally agree with you. But I am personally ready to give up on EE outside of a DH/1B role.

          • Wait, why september?

          • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

            September call-ups.

      • ellisburks 4 years ago

        Nix is a horrible 3B.

  4. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    In other Jays news..

    I really can’t believe the commitment to keep Jo Jo freaking Reyes around..

    I mean sending Litsch down to Vegas? Litsch hasn’t been great, but he’s looked a heckofalot better than Reyes

    • blurnandez 4 years ago

      So you think they should have given up on Reyes and sent him to the waiver wire?

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago


        He hasn’t shown he can help the team in any way. He doesn’t have the command to come out of the bullpen. So why keep him around?

        • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

          The Atlanta Braves agree.

        • iorekk 4 years ago

          hopefully he will only be with us for one or two more starts until he proves to AA and those who havent realized it already, that he doesnt belong

    • BenchedMark 4 years ago

      The only way I can justify this move is if another GM is looking to trade for Jojo and wants to see another start or two. Otherwise…..

    • Sniderlover 4 years ago

      I guess they want to build Reyes value good enough to trade him for something decent at the deadline.

      Litsch will be up again at some point.

      I would’ve put Reyes in a relieving role, sent Perez down. Morrow replaces Reyes. Jansenn gets sent down and Francisco replaces him.

    • One possibility is that Litsch is only being sent down to create the immediate space for Francisco and allow the jays to rock an 8 man bullpen to try and deal with the taxation on it. Litsch might not even miss his next start. His demotion might only be for a few days until they decide what they want to do when Morrow returns. (ex. DFA JoJo, send Perez back to AAA, and bring Litsch back up in time for his next start).

    • johnsmith4 4 years ago

      Who cares which of Litsch & Reyes keep the 5th starter spot warm while we wait for one of Stewart, Jenkins, Wojciechowski, and McGuire to take it over within one to two years.

      My take is the organization is both buying time for the real pitching prospects and trying to arrange maximum return when they are ready to be spare parts.

      Ditto for Brett Lawrie at third base.

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