After an incredible run in the 2015 season, all eyes are on the Toronto Blue Jays as they enter the offseason with several burning questions as well as some key free agents. The Blue Jays appear close to retaining one of their free agents as they are reportedly nearing a two-year deal with right-handed pitcher Marco Estrada as reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The veteran righty arrived in Toronto last offseason in a one-for-one swap with the Milwaukee Brewers. There were questions about whether or not he would be able to hold down a spot in the rotation due to some serious issues with consistency. A thin rotation and some underperforming pitching forced Estrada to step up as one of the main anchors of the rotation. He ended up pitching to career-bests in every category, as he threw a 3.13 ERA across a career-high 181.0 innings of work. He followed up a fantastic regular season with an even-more impressive postseason as he tossed two quality outings and put up a 2.77 ERA through 13.0 innings of work.
Set to hit the open market this offseason, the Blue Jays tendered Estrada a qualifying offer worth $15.8 million. The last few days have had reports of both parties working out a multi-year deal in order to keep the veteran in Toronto. With their midseason acquisition David Price set to leave Toronto, retaining Estrada turned from a need into a must. The two-year pact is reportedly between $24 million and $29 million. By agreeing to a multi-year deal, this automatically means Estrada will turn down the qualifying offer. However since he is returning to Toronto anyways, the Blue Jays will not be compensated with a draft pick. They will however be keeping a key piece of their rotation. It’s a win-win for both sides as Estrada had never pitched as well as he had the previous year so it is smart of him to cash in quickly and not end up waiting out his market.