After a great 2015 campaign, Marco Estrada's stock was likely the highest it had been in a few years. In 181 innings he posted a 3.13 ERA, a BB/9 of 2.73, and helped pitch the Blue Jays to the playoffs.
In his 19 innings in the postseason, Estrada was even better, as his ERA fell to 2.33. However on November 6th, his stock came crashing down, as the Blue Jays tagged him with a qualifying offer.
While teams outside of Toronto likely have interest in Estrada, it's hard to imagine many of them willing to give up a first round pick in order to sign him. With the starting pitching market as deep as it is this offseason, there are other ways for teams to address their rotation needs. As a result, returning to the Blue Jays could represent Estrada's best chance to cash in; which appears to be a possibility at the moment.
"The Blue Jays are talking to right-hander Marco Estrada about a multi-year contract in advance of Friday's deadline for free agents to decide on qualifying offers, according to major-league sources.
Estrada, 32, could accept the one-year $15.8 million qualifying offer, reject it and remain in the open market or sign a longer deal to remain in Toronto, where he put together the best season of his career."
Estrada has until 5 p.m. ET tomorrow to decide on whether or not to accept the QO, something that no player has done since it's inception. While it could make sense for Estrada to take the QO, at 32 years old, he likely wants to secure the next few years of his career, rather than re-up for one season, and enter the market at 33.