2013 Contract Issues: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (7)

  • Omar Vizquel - The 45-year-old has said he expects this will be his final season.
  • Jason Frasor – Fortunately for Frasor, he won't be tied to draft pick compensation when he hits free agency in the offseason.
  • Edwin Encarnacion – Here's a question for GM Alex Anthopoulos: does Encarnacion warrant a qualifying offer in the $12-13MM range? It seems a bit rich for a player with limited defensive value, but Encarnacion's production would be hard to replace. Perhaps the sides could work out a multiyear deal at a lower average annual value. I think a qualifying offer is unlikely.
  • Carlos Villanueva – Villanueva seems to be headed for a one-year, Major League contract next offseason.
  • Jeff Mathis – Mathis could be deemed expendable given the presence of J.P. Arencibia, Travis d'Arnaud and Yan Gomes.
  • Francisco Cordero - Cordero has struggled to limit hits, walks and home runs in the early going, which could limit his leverage as a free agent.
  • Kelly Johnson - The Blue Jays figure to be looking for second base help next offseason, when Johnson will be among the best options available. They could make him a qualifying offer, but doing so would mean offering Dan Uggla/Brandon Phillips money. The industry doesn't appear to value Johnson as a $12-13MM player, so perhaps the Blue Jays will look to retain him more affordably.

Contract Options (2)

  • Darren Oliver: $3MM club option with a $500K buyout. The 41-year-old Oliver continues pitching effectively. If the season ended today, the Blue Jays would probably exercise this option.
  • Rajai Davis: $3MM club option with a $500K buyout. Though $3MM is on the pricey side for an extra outfielder, Davis adds value as a right-handed hitter with speed.

Arbitration Eligible (6)

The Blue Jays have a relatively small group of projected arbitration eligible players and it could diminish even more in the coming months. Cecil and Snider won't necessarily pick up enough service time to go to arbitration this coming offseason. Laffey could be non-tendered, and depending on the severity of Litsch's shoulder injury, he could be cut loose as well. Francisco may also find himself on the non-tender bubble if his slow start at the plate continues. That leaves Rasmus, who's on track for a raise from $2.7MM.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Blue Jays have committed nearly $52MM to next year's payroll, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. The team's payroll has been approximately $80MM three of the past four seasons, but attendance is up, so perhaps payroll will also rise. The Blue Jays maintain that they'll be able to spend more aggressively when the time is right.


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27 Comments on "2013 Contract Issues: Toronto Blue Jays"


Bombastic_Dave
3 years 3 months ago

Exciting times ahead for Jays fans!

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

I knew the last few years have been tough, but were they really that bad?

HerbertAnchovy
3 years 3 months ago

 In the AL East? Yes.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 3 months ago

The last few years under Anthopoulos have been great, IMO.  It’s the Ricciardi era that was heartbreaking.

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

I could have said the last 20 years but was trying to be polite with the “few”, but I agree the situation is definitely improving under AA.

I just wasn’t sure if you were being bombastic or sarcastic with the original comment.

Infield Fly
3 years 3 months ago

could have said the last 20 years but was trying to be polite with the “few”

What have you done with the original “chico65″? Are you sure you don’t have him stuffed in a trunk somewhere? (not saying I miss him though…) :p

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

I don’t know about a trunk, but the increased attentiveness by the comment police has boxed things in a bit, ha ha ha

Infield Fly
3 years 3 months ago

Just messin’ with ya. ↑

As for the “comments police,” some of the ugliness that used to land in in my “inbox” definitely warranted some kind of scrutiny – real head-scratchers that just had nothing to do with baseball love. So I can’t say I mind that that’s over, sheesh! (Wasn’t you though).

chico65
3 years 3 months ago

Oh, no doubt, though sometimes things tend to swing from one extreme to another before finding a happy medium.  Yet another similarity between baseball and life, no? 

MuskokaBoyInOakville
3 years 3 months ago

Hard to believe that Johnson, Escobar, AND Hech all have a place on this team next year, unless Hech comes up for an “apprenticeship” year.

vilifyingforce
3 years 3 months ago

Introducing lead off hitter and your LEFT FIELDER…….. Kelly Johnson!

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

the reality for the Jays is they have a window of about 2-3 yrs if they want to make some noise in the east.  by then most of the older players on the Yanks and Sox will have been replaced by some free agent or another and they will be powerhouses that Toronto just can’t spend with again.  but I hope that they beat ny and boston sensless in the mean time.

RevRollie
3 years 2 months ago

 oops…I ‘liked’ rather then ‘replied’. What you don’t get is that the Jays have ALWAYS had the ability to spend with the big boys…we have been the top spenders in the league a couple of times! Our ownership and market is the envy of every team. Our ‘window’ is actually about 10 years considering the sheer talent in our minors and the fact that we haven’t even begun to spend yet.

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

also a general question slightly off topic: when are the jays gonna realize that my Cards pulled an old fashion “Walt Jocketty junk sale” when we got a WS ring, a top lefty reliver with several years of control along essentially a whole ‘pen for a yr and several draft picks. while they a got bunch a relievers who can’t “relieve” and a BUST who should be a 4th OF?

3 years 3 months ago

So much wrong with this post.

Scrabble is not a “top lefty reliver” (we’ll let the spelling go…). Top relievers do not post ERA’s around 4.00. Their best season should probably also have an ERA better than 3.34.

Also, you did not get a “whole pen for a yr”. You got Scrabble, and Dotel for 2 months or so.

I also believe you only got 2 draft picks (1 for Type B Jackson, and 1 for Type A converted to Type B Dotel). 2 is certainly not several.

Jack Cox
3 years 3 months ago

 Rasmus has not been a bust, his bat could use work but his defense has been fantastic. And really in the end it’s not a lop-sided deal, we gave up Marc Rzepczynski who probably will be a good bp reliever. But you can always find good relief pitching it’s harder to find good hitting outfielders.

Jack Cox
3 years 3 months ago

Let me explain what we got Rasmus for

Frasor-Who’s now back with the Club
Zach Stewart-Who looks like he won’t amount to anything.
Edwin Jackson-Now with the Nats, he’s pitching okay but not the same pitcher he once was.
Octavio Dotel-Now with the Tigers, he’s doing fine this year.
Marc Rzepczynski-Only Player besides Stewart still with the team they were traded to, he’s pitched as expected.

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

and we got what in return? oh yeah WS 11 in ’11 that’s right. How many rings do you think Rasmus will help you win?

vilifyingforce
3 years 3 months ago

You heard it hear first folks! Two relievers and a fifth starter win Championships!

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

No, but rings are what matter. the ONLY thing that matters.  and I still have yet to hear ANYTHING that changes the facts.  We won a WS and he’s done nothing to prove what TLR said about him wrong. I gave the terrible stats that he’s put up since moving to TOR there’s no arguing with numbers.

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

You can disagree with my opinion on Rasmus if you want, but the man is a 247/319/425 in almost 1800 PA. he is what is he is: a good glove man who is probably a best fit as either a 6/7 hitter on an average team or better yet a 4th OF on a good team.  If you can give ANY stats that say otherwise then give them. I’ve given stats to back up my point.

vilifyingforce
3 years 3 months ago

 You’ve given a triple slash line with zero advanced stats. Hardly a point at all.

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

beyond the acquisitions of Dotel and Scrabble for the ‘pen there were also 3 relievers that couldn’t get anyone out (Walters, Miller, Tallet) that were tying up spots for Salas, Sanchez, Lynn. that’s how we ended up with a whole new ‘pen. giving our junk to TOR and bringing up 3 guys who throw in the mid to upper 90’s. between those moves that’s 5 new relievers that were in total “added”. questions?

3 years 3 months ago

A few questions actually. 

The PJ Walters that was tying up a roster spot and blocking all these great arms, this is the same PJ Walters that only pitched 4 games all year for the Cards? The guy that wasn’t even on the major league roster for more than a month?

You also realize that you can designate pitchers that don’t perform at the major league level right? You know, exactly what Toronto did with Miller after we got him (before he even pitched 4 innings). 

Another option would be to outright release these under-performing players. You know, exactly what Toronto did with Tallet (after just 1 game). 

Also, I don’t know how any of these guys were tying up Salas’ spot. All 3 guys COMBINED pitched less games than Salas did in 2011, so how were they taking his spot? Similarly, Tallet and Walters combined pitched less games than Sanchez. And all 3 guys combined pitched less innings than Lynn did in 2011. They really didn’t hold any of the guys you listed from pitching on the big league team in 2011.

The trade did not give you a new pen because quite frankly, you could’ve easily just promoted all those guys to the majors if you wanted to. Don’t know why you’re trying to sandbag the Jays just because the Cards couldn’t figure out how to designate or release players if you really did have guys to bring up.

JMBY88
3 years 3 months ago

Boo Jays

mitch
3 years 3 months ago

Since Rasmus was traded to TOR his ba/obp/slg is .196/.250/.342 in about 80 games, I’ll give you that he is an under rated CF but being in Stl was supposed to be the problem. No, if you live in TOR you should know by now that his dad is the problem. he’s Nate Mclouth wth more baggage on a good day.

vilifyingforce
3 years 3 months ago

 Nobody has heard anything from Colby’s father since he arrived in Toronto and his babip is unsustainably low and none of the relievers that came to us in that deal had any shot of a future with the Jays any ways. As nice as Scrabble is he isn’t a top reliever, him being fifth in IP from the pen arms makes it sure seem like Matheny agrees with me.