The Blue Jays and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have discussed a contract extension, though it doesn’t appear the two sides got anywhere close to a deal, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. The slugger said that he would love to stay in Toronto for his entire career but that the negotiations “haven’t reached the point that there’s something serious about it.”
It’s unclear exactly when these talks took place but Guerrero said in January that extension talks had not yet taken place. That would seemingly point to the negotiations taking place during Spring Training, a fairly standard time for those kinds of conversations.
From the point of view of the Jays, it’s hardly a surprise that they have interest in securing Guerrero’s services for the future. The former top prospect has established himself as a premier hitter in the majors over the past few seasons. He hit 48 home runs in 2021 and slashed .311/.401/.601 for a wRC+ of 166. In most years, that would have been good enough for an MVP award, but Vladdy had the misfortune of having that season coincide with Shohei Ohtani’s true emergence as a two-way player. That led to Guerrero coming in second in the vote behind Ohtani.
Last year, Guerrero dipped slightly but still hit 32 home runs and put up a .274/.339/.480 batting line and 132 wRC+. He also stole eight bases and showed progress with his first base defense, winning a Gold Glove award and coming in seventh among all major league first basemen in the voting for the Fielding Bible Awards. He’s off to a roaring start here in 2023, hitting .400/.472/.556 through 11 games. All of that has coincided with a return to contention for the club, who made the expanded playoffs in 2020 and then tallied 91 and 92 victories in the subsequent two seasons.
But from the player’s point of view, there’s little reason for him to settle for anything below market value, even if his comments about wanting to stay are genuine. As the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, who made millions of dollars in his career, the younger Guerrero likely began from a stronger financial position than many of his peers. On top of that, he was a highly touted player as a teenager, signing a bonus of $3.9MM when he was 16 years old. He’s now progressed through to his arbitration years, first qualifying last year as a Super Two player. He made $7.9MM last year and got that bumped up to $14.5MM this year. He’s slated for two more passes through arbitration before reaching free agency after 2025.
With all of that money already in the bank and plenty more on the way, Guerrero has tons of leverage. Walking away from money always carries the risk of a serious injury later diminishing one’s earning power, but Guerrero already has plenty of security and is currently slated for free agency ahead of his age-27 season. He doesn’t play a premier defensive position, but his youth and offensive abilities should still make him quite attractive as a free agent if a deal with the Blue Jays doesn’t get done.
The Blue Jays have a few contracts on the books beyond that 2025 season, which is currently lined up to be Guerrero’s last. José Berríos is on the books through 2028 while George Springer and Kevin Gausman are signed through 2026. That leaves plenty of room for a big contract for someone like Guerrero, but the Jays also have other players to consider. Third baseman Matt Chapman is a free agent at the end of this season, while shortstop Bo Bichette is in the same boat as Guerrero, set for free agency after 2025. The club has also reportedly had some talks with right-hander Alek Manoah, though those didn’t appear to gain much traction either. Manoah’s case is less urgent since he’s not slated to hit the open market until after 2027.
Although the talks with Guerrero haven’t made much progress yet, he doesn’t seem to be walking away from the table. “I’m going to take care of what I’ve got to take care of, which is on the field, and the rest I’m going to leave to my agents to work with,” he said. “I know who I am. I know my value. We’re going to keep having conversations, but all my focus every day is here on the field.”
Sign him. Then sign Bichette. Get it done, Atkins!
Vlad yes, 100%, absolutely. Bichette, not so much.
Bichette is the one to keep of the two. If only he would accept a move to 2B. Not a knock on vladdy, but $400M for a firstbaseman is ludicrous. Even a GG winner, at that.
When Chapman leaves it could be Bichette to 2B and Espinal to 3B, or maybe Bichette to 3B.
First base isn’t nearly as easy to find a random aging slugger to plug in at as it used to be. The shortstops of the league might even be better hitters on average than the first basemen now. Yes the shortstop’s defense is still more intrinsically valuable, but supply matters. 2021 Vladdy is worth a $400M contract… but 2022 Vladdy isn’t, so they should wait and see what his norm is going to be.
You’re not paying for a first baseman. You’re paying for a bat that carries the club. (Also, a star to bring fans to the park.)
How many big-time shortstops have carried their teams to a World Series title? Corey Seager led the Dodgers in 2020, but that was because his bat was in fire. Otherwise…
You need hitters that produce more runs than what their teammates on the mound are allowing opponents to score.
A WAR darling does necessarily do that.
David Ortiz, Kris Bryant, Juan Soto, Albert Pujols, Yordan Alvarez—hitters of this caliber (at least, the caliber they were when they led their teams to titles) are a lot more necessary than a dude with an .820 OPS and a sexy range factor at short.
Buster Posey is one exception. But the Giants were a different animal than most traditional contenders.
There are lots of ways to build a successful baseball team, as your exceptions of Seager and Posey demonstrate.
A shortstop who is a great fielder and a solid hitter can be just as valuable as a stud hitter who plays a less important defensive position.
Also, no single player can carry a team to a title.
Yeah and I’ve had discussions with Jessica Alba.
Dreams don’t count, Cap’n
@gbs42- if you believe in your dreams, then why not?
Did she lift the restraining order?
@Rsox- maybe no restraining order if she feels sorry for me, you never know.
The 42 year old Jessica Alba? Ok.
Women are at their best in their 40s.
The contract, if they sign one- debatable if the fat Guerrero Jr is worth it- should be based on the stipulation that Guerrero Jr MUST lose weight and MUST remain below the line of obesity and MUST stop traveling with his ‘grandmommy’ everywhere (pathetic and a privilege that’s not given to any other player in MLB).
Best Screenname Ever
Why would any other player have the privilege of travelling with Vlady’s grandmother?
Imagine the nerve of someone loving their family and wanting to be around them.
I swear to God half the accounts I have muted were created by your sorry ass. Here’s another one to add to the junk file. Aces go places!
Ace is doing a awesome job of creating comments. Hopefully it’s AI or mlbtr employee and not some pathetic poor soul.
There are so many things wrong with Ace’s comment I hardly know where to start.
Ace is a jaggoff.
Your insults are a few years out of date. He didn’t have a great year last year, but weight was never an issue during it.
Being a Marlins fan is bad enough…I don’t need to respond you already set yourself up for a lifetime of failure.
If they did extend him, I think 12 years/$360M guaranteed with a club option that can take it to 13 years/$395M would be fair and appropriate.
2 years/$40M for his final two years of arbitration and $31M AAV on a 10 year free agency extension. 12 years/$350M w/ a $5M signing bonus and a $5M buyout on a team option worth $40M.
360 MILLION?…395 MILLION? That’s ridiculous; those type contracts should be RESERVED for 5 tool players, NOT a one tool guy, who’s essentially a young DH with weight issues that likely worsen as he ages.
I am looking at his average WAR value. People comparing him to Panda are being really inaccurate with that comparison. Panda was never as productive or athletic as Vlad, Jr. has been. I also think this is what he signs for, not necessarily what he should be signed for.
He is going to make close to $50M his last two years of arbitration. He’s at $14.5M now with two years left and he’s pacing for like 11.6 WAR this year. That’s worth around $40M on the open market in today’s dollars. He will likely get a bump up to around $19-21M his next season of arbitration and around $23M to $31M his final year of arbitration. He will want a raise on that and he will only be 27 in his first year of a free agent contract.
I just don’t see how he signs for less than 5 years/$200M at his current pace, but I could see him taking a steep discount for more guaranteed years in order to get a free agent contract in the 8-10 year range. So that’d still be around 10 years/$290M, but he will want more- he will want to surpass a $30M AAV so it will have to be at least 10 years/$300M to get him to sign an extension right now.
It just is what it is.
I don’t get why people on these boards honestly think guys should or will only sign for a fraction of their market value and for fewer years. That’s antithetical to the business side of the game and against their own bottom lines as professionals.
There’s also so much money in the game that guys have always been paid later for what they produced earlier.
By your implications, guys should get paid the league minimum, then below market and then dismissed out of hand so that billionaire team ownerships can pocket more of the profits off the backs of the entertainment and labor these guys provided at their peak.
When Vlad, Jr. is aging and under performing for his contract value, there will be a new young guy we don’t yet know exists who we will be having these same conversations about until he’s older and on the decline and you’ll wonder who was stupid enough to pay that guy while you love to watch the next young guy making league minimum or below market value arbitration salaries as they age into free agency and their decline years where they will be paid exorbitant amounts to become overpaid later because they were underpaid in their team controlled years etc…
I say pay these guys.
The weight issues appear to be in the past. He has gotten into really good shape for his body type. He even stole 8 bases last year. Not too many obese players pulling that off.
The length of his contract extension should be in inverse relationship to his waistline expansion.
Remember Panda from the SF Giants?..These are the SAME people who wanted Boston to give a VERY OVERWEIGHT Panda bear a MONSTER extension.
Toronto is going to need some sort of sports good news after the Leafs bow out in the first round again so sure, extend him.
Vladdy is the blue jays version of Miguel Cabrera, pay him whatever he wants. He’s gotta be a Jay for life.
Yep. Until he’s 65. Age or waist size.
I don’t get the comments about Vlad Jr.’s weight. He checked into training camp at 240lbs which was 5lbs lighter than last year, he’s obviously trying to get in better shape.
Franchise players don’t grow on trees. A 12 year deal isn’t unreasonable and Guerrero would be 36 at the end of the deal (same age as Vlad Sr. when he played his last MLB game), it’s not like they would be paying him into his 40’s like some teams will be doing on several players that have signed big money long-term deals
Faddy, Manoah and Kirk should open a health club.
“Faddy, Manoah and Kirk should open a health club”….These guys opened a health club a LONG time ago and it’s called “McDonald’s”. You see them there “working out” almost every day.
And I’m assuming you’ve never watched much MLB either and know very little of human anatomy and body functions as a whole.
Prince came into the league as a large man, he didn’t transition to being a large man. Did it shorten his career? Yeah, most likely. As previously mentioned, Vlad Jr came into camp down 5 lbs and while not a huge number, he is an ATHLETE. Athletes require muscle to perform at elite levels(as he has with a slight down swing last year).
Now, you say he is overweight, but what is your basis on that? Because of a BMI chart? Sure, you can base it off that but BMI is a terrible gauge for athletes of any sport. Look at Dwayne Johnson for instance, based off his BMI he would be obese but if you looked solely at the figure, you would not think so. Remember simple biology/human anatomy, muscle weighs more than fat.
Obviously you’re the type that wants to come on here and rile up a fan base, so kudos to you for hiding behind a screen name in doing so. You’re not entirely wrong, he will have to watch his waistline as he progresses through his career, but that does not mean he can’t have a far more successful career than you or I. He has proven the last couple years to be far more dedicated than trolls have given him credit for.
You and Bronx are two idiots shouting into an echo chamber. Drink your haterade and know that everyone else laughs at your stupidity.
Vladdy, Manoa, and Kirk.
I’d like to buy ’em by the head and sell ’em by the pound.
What a hoot. Never have I seen a team cry poor like the Jays. Good grief, after looting bank accounts of truck drivers, you’d figure there would be a river of cash in Canada to tap into. Then owners decided they’d shorten the games, while extending the innings to buy beer. Now we are finding out the games being played like something trying to set guinnees records are not so great for aging players. Who’d have thunk ?
So many things have changed this year it’s probably hard to plan going forward. If the only M.L.B. baseball team in Canada can’t afford the best player’s who in the **** can ?
And was OVER paying Miggy worth the 8-10 bad, non-competitive, NO TITLE years that followed?
Over paying ONE trick ponies is a bad way to run a baseball team. The Tigers could have KEPT Miggy Without massively overpaying him, since they already controlled his rights for multi yrs, at the the time of signing.
As a fan of smart teams I hope they give him a massive awful extension. It would make their fans happy an help with competitive balance.
He’s not a 5 tool guy, but his slash line means he can hit for average, hit for a great deal of power, and has improved defensively. He’s lowered his weight so I’m not seeing the hang up on him. He’s looking like another David Ortiz and look at how well that worked out for Boston.
You may have noticed, Boston NEVER gave Papi the long term deal he wanted. I’m fine PAYING good hitters, but You cannot sign these Panda, Prince Fielder, ONE TOOL body types to 250 MILLION+ 10 year deals. You just CAN’T.
Okay I’ll agree with you there, probably not a 12 year deal, but something shorter and with a decent AAV would be within the realm of possibility I think.
Exactly what I was thinking.
He is at least a 3 or 4 tool player depending on how you want to look at it, but go ahead and keep discrediting yourself.
He’s a four point five tool guy. Gold glove defense, strong arm, can hit for average and power, and has average speed.
I read somewhere they made improvements to Rogers Centre. Widened the doorways, hallways, clubhouse cooking areas, things like that.
Glad you did your research that way you’ll have an easy time maneuvering your way around the ballpark.
Yep. Especially if Kirk, Manoah and Fatimir Gorduero are all walking in the opposite direction.
I guess it’s easier to be a jerk than to have some humanity. You do you booboo.
This one belongs to the Reds
I discussed one with all 30 teams, they just weren’t listening.
These articles are getting ridiculous. A real duh
Vlad is indeed a five tool player.
Blue Jays Get Corporate With Their Corpulent Cornerstone
“Guerrero has tons of leverage.”
Heh heh heh.
HEH HEH HEHEHE HEH!
I hate the blue jays, absolutely hate them. But this amount of hate for Vlad Jr is… wow.
Easily a top 10 if not 5 offensive player. And according to his GG a top 30 defensive player too.
Used to be well out of shape. Has worked on that and is now a slightly out of shape guy. Still stronger than the average MLBer. Has better contact than the average MLBer. And is better defensively according to his peers in the MLB.
He’s not in the upper elite teir of coming contracts, but he is in the upper teir.