The Blue Jays have reached agreement on a one-year, $13 million contract extension with right-hander Marco Estrada, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Estrada was slated to become a free agent after the season.
As previously reported here, the Jays and Estrada have had mutual interest for months despite the trade rumors that swirled around the righty in both July and August. The Royals, Rangers and other clubs showed interest in Estrada before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and the Yankees claimed him off revocable trade waivers in mid-August, but the Jays decided on both occasions to hold onto him as a potential extension candidate.
Toronto’s decision to extend Estrada supports the club’s claim that it will try to contend in 2018, making offseason deals involving stars like Marcus Stroman or Josh Donaldson exceedingly unlikely. Rumors swirled that the club could look to deal Stroman, Donaldson and other controllable pieces in July, but the Jays instead decided to trade just free-agents-to-be Francisco Liriano and Joe Smith.
Estrada, 34, will slot into a rotation that will also include Stroman, J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez (if healthy) next season. Toronto could very well look to add a pitcher this winter, though Joe Biagini, Tom Koehler, Chris Rowley and prospect Sean Reid-Foley could factor into the mix as well.
Estrada has posted a 4.84 ERA and 4.54 FIP in 176.2 innings for the last-place Jays, struggling since June after getting off to a good start in April and May. He has spent three years with the club, originally being acquired in a trade with Milwaukee for Adam Lind before re-signing on a two-year, $26 million contract before last season.