The Blue Jays have finalized their two-year, $26 million contract with right-hander Marco Estrada, according to a report from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was first to report that the sides were close to a deal.
Estrada has expressed a strong desire to return to Toronto since the start of free agency, and would have strongly considered accepting the Jays' qualifying offer if the sides could not work out a multi-year deal, according to a source. Instead of being paid $15.8 million for one season, he will receive an average annual value of $13 million and receive security for the next two seasons.
Estrada, 32, pitched well in his first season in Toronto, posting a 13-8 record and 3.13 ERA in 34 appearances (28 starts). He was originally acquired by the Jays in exchange for Adam Lind last winter and is a veteran of eight major-league seasons with the Nationals (2008-09), Brewers (2010-14) and Jays (2015).
With Estrada and R.A. Dickey back in the fold, the Jays have the beginning of a rotation that is also expected to include Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez going forward. Toronto is expected to continue pursuing rotation help this winter, and could make a strong run at re-signing David Price or adding another free-agent starter such as Johnny Cueto or Jordan Zimmermann.
For a complete list of free-agent moves this winter, check our updated free agent tracker.