Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Extension Candidates: Three Scenarios

Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a recent trend of signing young talent to long-term deal. Teams are showing a willingness to overpay these young high ceiling talents during their arbitration years and buying out their first couple years of free agency. These deals aren’t breaking the bank, they are actually team friendly deals. A team friendly deal is not the only reason to approach your young talent with long-term deals. Something has to be said avoiding the arbitration process, which can permanently damage the relationship between a player and team management.

In February of this year the Atlanta Braves signed  Craig Kimbrel  to four-year contract and Julio Teheran to a six-year extension, and Freddie Freeman to a eight-year extension. These are all young players in the early to mid-twenties. The Braves are locking up their core the same way the Tampa Bay Rays are attempting to do with their core.

So why are the Blue Jays not doing the same?

We are going to play a little Goldie Locks and the Three Scenarios. I have covered why I think that Brett Lawrie and Drew Hutchison are good candidates to be offered a long-term contract extensions…..they are going to be the Candidates that are ‘Just Right’.  I would also like to offer up a group of names that can be considered ‘Too Early’ and ‘Too Late’ as possible extension candidates.


Too Early

Aaron Sanchez- Has not thrown a pitch above Double-A, but will see time in Triple-A this year if everything shakes out. This would be huge gamble, but one worth taking for a guy that has the skills to be a top of the rotation guy. My main concern with Sanchez is that his delivery has Dr. James Andrew salivating.

Marcus Stroman- Stroman got lit up pretty good at the end of Spring Training, which makes me think that he needs more minor league seasoning. Stroman will pitch in the Major Leagues, but will it be as a starter or reliever or closer? If you can get him at a reasonable price for a long-term deal (I know the Jays don’t do ‘Long-term’) than why not take a gamble with this guy.

Too Late

Colby Rasmus- The Blue Jays should have invested in Rasmus the first offseason they had him in their possession. There is no guarantee that Rasmus will ever develop into an All-Star but he has proven that he can play the hell out of CF and hit 20+ HR. By overpaying early in his arbitration year, they would not find themselves on the verge of losing their 27-year-old CF or overpaying to keep him.

Brett Cecil- This 27-year-old All-Star reliever signed a one-year deal for $1.3 million this off-season to avoid arbitration. What the Jays should have done was offer him a four-year deal worth $8-10 million. Cecil is a left-handed reliever that throws in the low 90’s and mixes in a really good curve-ball that he throws in the mid 80’s. At $2-3 million a year, Cecil would be a steal. The Jays missed the boat here.

Alex Anthopoulos has done a really good job locking up players to team friendly contract extensions that he felt would be part of the Blue Jays core moving forward. Guys like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Ricky Romero, and Yunel Escobar. Lets see if he can do it again.

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Tags: Brett Cecil Colby Rasmus Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    I think Cecil would be the only one I would have offered an extension to. Colby really isn’t helping his case this year to sway my mind about him. He’s still a CF with great power, who plays great defense, is not really a great RBI guy (good but by no means great), refuses to steal a base, refuses to not swing at pitches (35% K rate this year? Are you kidding me???). I don’t think he is worth a huge extension. He’s done nothing to deserve it.

    • Jack Stevenson

      Last night Rasmus continued to go after pitches way out of the zone. He can’t hit a curve. Why Seitzer doesn’t tell him to leave breaking balls alone is a mystery to me. He will continue to be a black hole in the lineup hitting the odd pitcher’s mistake. No question he will set a new Jays SO mark this year. The comparisons to Adam Jones are a joke. Give me the skill set of almost any other AL CF rather than paying Rasmus even what we could have ” locked him up ” for.

      • Gary Kimbrel

        yeah you’re saying that now, and when he’s hot you’ll change your tune saying lock him up now cause he’s finally taken the next step, and when he cools back down you’ll switch again. so will everyone else. no one alive knows whether colby will be what he can be. he can’t hit a curve? or right now, he’s not. no question he sets a club strikeout record? where do you buy these fantastic crystal balls? because obviously all that needs to happen is seitzer telling him the right magic words, right? give me a break with the flimsy presumptuous under-informed commentary. you go where the wind blows, and right now it’s windy out so go blow somewhere else. go blame gibbons for everything wrong with you.

        btw there’s no spaces inside of quotation marks and it wasn’t an appropriate situation to “use” quotes.

        • Andrew van Laar

          Gary you just have to look at his stats. He’s a two tool guy. Power and Defense. That is all he has going for him. I for one have always been anti Rasmus. Like you said he is all over the place and you have no idea what you are going to get. Usually though, you are going to get a strikeout at a key moment of the game. Rasmus just doesn’t have the stuff to be in the category of a Adam Jones. Adam Jones is the same every year. Rasmus can be anything.

          • Gary Kimbrel

            Yeah for sure, I wasn’t disagreeing with that or saying Rasmus is a future all-star or anything. My original comment wasn’t “about” Rasmus at all.

            However, Clobby’s production, including the strikeouts, would be adequate at the right price. He wants the big contract, so I say keep him around until he produces enough to get it. Get those cheaper years, and let him go when he gets offered 5 years/90M. (yes I actually think some stupid GM would offer him 18M/year if he’s coming off two strong years in a row.) That could be this off-season, it might not be. Two more relatively cheap years of Rasmus is a plus in my book.

          • Andrew van Laar

            Ah OK gotcha :) I misunderstood and yes I agree. Pay him what he’s worth, not the ridiculous price the market may command for him.

          • RyanMueller

            I really like Cecil but at what price. The Jays have a number of options in the bullpen that could pick up the slack if Cecil wasn’t interested in an extension. This is an area that the jays could be picky.

          • Andrew van Laar

            Oh for sure. Sorry I don’t mean blow the bank but he is a premium LOOGY / setup man. Question is, how much do you want to pay him with Loup being around as well he could replace him as a cheaper option? If that was the case, there would be a need for a LH middle reliever in the bullpen. I really havn’t been paying attention to the reliever market, but I would expect a 2-3 year deal at $4ish million AAV could get the job done.

            (Please correct me if I am way off on my reliever market prices lol)

      • Gary Kimbrel

        Whoa I have to apologize, I went way too far there. I disagree with some of your supporting ideas but what I said was disrespectful on a personal level. Won’t happen again. People on these sites have done it to me, so I guess it’s contagious.

  • Gary Kimbrel

    My opinion is, if Colby continues to under-perform, I would support signing him to a short-term team-friendly extension. Colby wants to hit the open market with his value high, having proved that he can perform at a high level in the ALE. He likes TO, he’s taken big steps forward and had some success here. That make me think he’d be open to staying for 2 more years, to try and hit free-agency coming off more than one strong year in a row. He wants that career-contract, and if his season continues this way, he won’t get it.

    What are the alternatives? Gose will be a downgrade offensively, even if he can take a walk, and the jury’s still out on that as far as I’m concerned. To bring in an upgrade over Colby, it’d take a long-term commitment, and those deals almost always end poorly. What little trade capital we have, we either need to support the team going forward or to bring in a SP and/or 2B at the deadline.

    Then again, you could let Rasmus walk, accept the offensive downgrade from Gose, and use the money elsewhere. We’ll see how it goes.

    • RyanMueller

      I feel the same way about the Rasmus situation. We also need to consider that Melky Cabrera will also be a free-agent and unlike Colby Melky is tearing it up. What are the chances that Melky’s serivces are retained and Colby is allowed to leave? What happens if Rogers aren’t willing to open the purse strings and pay for either? Gose is the second coming of Rajai Davis….a guy that will do well in a reserve role and PR late in games.