Aug 3, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits a double in the first inning against Minnesota Twins at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Earliest Arbitration Eligible: 2017 – Earliest FA: 2020
Chris Colabello: This should be a hint as to why the Blue Jays have held on to Colabello throughout their recent roster moves. Not only has he put up good numbers in 2015, but he comes with four more years of team control. I can’t see Colabello as a full-time starter, but as a bench bat, you could do much, much worse.
Liam Hendriks: The Crocodile has been an incredible asset out of the bullpen this season, even if he’s gone criminally underused at times. The move from starter to reliever has done wonders for his fastball velocity, and I love his chances to be an impact pitcher for the Jays in 2016 and beyond. Re-acquiring Hendriks is a move we don’t give Alex enough credit for.
Chad Jenkins: I include Jenkins here because I remain hopeful that he can take a run at the MLB roster next season. He’s enjoyed success with AAA Buffalo this season, and if he can become a little more dominant with his ground ball pitches, his team control could be valuable over the next few seasons.
Arbitration Eligible in 2016 – Earliest FA: 2019
Josh Donaldson: The Bringer of Rain is due for a pay bump, and he deserves it. I’m still intrigued to see if Toronto makes a push to extend Donaldson before the end of his arbitration years, but rest assured, he’s not leaving anytime soon.
Munenori Kawasaki: Team control on Muni? These are blessed times. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Blue Jays pass on Kawasaki in 2016, but if they return him for AAA depth, worse things have happened. He should be near the bottom of Toronto’s priorities.
Drew Hutchison: It’s been a year to forget for Hutch, but his talent hasn’t disappeared entirely. This will be a crucial offseason for the 2015 Opening Day starter, and barring any further regression, he should have a spot waiting for him in the starting rotation going forward.
Aaron Loup: Like Hutch, this hasn’t been Loup’s year. His MLB roster spot for the remainder of 2015 isn’t a sure thing, but his track record of success sets him up well for a bounce-back season next year.
Steve Delabar: Like Jenkins, I include Delabar just in case he receives another shot in the coming seasons. He looked electric for a short while following his recall, but soon bottomed out. His All-Star season looks like a flash in the pan, but Delabar is an arm worth keeping within the organization.
Next: Short-term control, including a fresh face