We are in the 2023 MLB off-season where seven Toronto Blue Jays players have just become free agents. A few names include Matt Chapman, Whit Merrifield, Brandon Belt, and Kevin Kiermaier. The Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of a hectic off-season trying to find players to replace the free agents.
We also have 13 players that are eligible for arbitration. This includes important names such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jordan Romano, Cavan Biggio, Danny Jansen, Daulton Varsho, and Erik Swanson. MLB Trade Rumors have just released their annual salary predictions for players eligible for arbitration this off-season. That being said, let’s look at three players and their contracts before the 2024 MLB season kicks off.
Three Blue Jays Players That Are Eligible for Arbitration
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is definitely one of the most recognizable names in the Blue Jays franchise. During the 2023 season, Guerrero’s salary was approximately $14.5 million. The MLB Trade Rumors has predicted that his salary in the 2024 season would be $20.4 million.
The 24-year-old first baseman had a batting average of .264, as well as an on-base plus slugging percentage of .788. He scored 26 home runs this season and had 94 runners batted in.
Throughout the past season, Guerrero has had a few accomplishments. During the All-Star Games in July, Guerrero hit 25 home runs. This meant that he beat Randy Arozarena, allowing him to take the title of Home Run Derby Champion. His Father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. had also won the Home Run Derby in 2007, having Guerrero Jr. continue the legacy.
Although Guerrero had some highs in the 2023 season, he also had quite a few lows. Many times he seemed to be having issues with hitting. All of his numbers are down from the previous season, as he had 27 home runs and 97 runners batted in. On top of that Guerrero’s numbers have decreased significantly compared to 2021 where he had 48 home runs and 111 runners batted in.
Overall Guerrero has proven he deserves a spot amongst the top players on the Blue Jays. The only matter in question would be if his performance throughout the 2023 season deserves a $6 million raise.
Jordan Romano is one of Toronto’s Rule 5 Draft returns. He failed to appear on the Blue Jays 40-man roster in 2019 which made him eligible for the Rule 5 Draft draft. He was the third overall pick by the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox instantly traded him to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations. In March of 2019, he was then returned to the Blue Jays.
During the 2023 season, Romano’s salary was approximately $4.53. The MLB Trade Rumors has predicted that his salary in the 2024 season would be $7.7 million. The 30-year-old relief pitcher had an earned run average of 2.90 and he had 36 saves throughout the season. He threw 72 strikeouts in 59 innings throughout the season.
Romano was sent to a rehab assignment with AAA Buffalo Bisons in August. Since he had to be pulled from the All-Star game, Romano had been experiencing lower back inflammation. Within the next two weeks, Romano was back on the roster making the Blue Jay’s option Nate Pearson to Buffalo.
Though Romano is not as effective as the team needs him to be, he remains one of the top closers in the MLB. With that being said, he will be a key player in helping the Jays get to the playoffs next season.
Danny Jansen is one of the many Jays players who will become a free agent in 2025. Jansen was selected by the Blue Jays in the MLB June Amateur Draft in 2013. He made his MLB debut in 2018. During the 2023 season, Jansen’s salary was approximately $3.5 million. MLB Trade Rumors has predicted that his salary in the 2024 season would be approximately $5.2 million.
The 28-year-old catcher had a batting average of .228 and had a .786 on-base plus slugging percentage. Throughout the past season, Jansen had scored 17 home runs and had 53 runners batted in.
Jansen was one of the Blue Jays with the worst luck this past season. Despite being an exemplary Catcher, Jansen always seemed to be being hit by pitches when up at-bat. In September, Jansen was hit by a ball, giving him a fracture on his middle finger. Tyler Heineman was then called up to replace him for the rest of the season.
Jansen has proved multiple times this season that he is worthy of a salary increase. He has been effectively working and communicating with the pitchers to try and produce the best results for the team. Jansen is a player whose level of skill would be hard to replace.
In conclusion, all three players deserve a salary raise, some players are worthy of a larger raise than others. They each have shown their skill and effectiveness in assisting the Blue Jays to a playoff spot. Now, we just wait to see if the players decide if they are going to avoid going into arbitration.
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