The Toronto Blue Jays have tendered contracts to their four arbitration eligible players, according to multiple reports.
Starter Marcus Stroman was the no-brainer of the bunch after a season where he gave the Blue Jays 200+ innings and turned things around in the second half. His ability to be even better in 2017 will go a long way in balancing out any potential regressions or injuries elsewhere in the rotation.
Aaron Loup‘s case was helped greatly by Toronto’s depth at his position — lefty reliever — which is paper-thin. With Brett Cecil now a St. Louis Cardinal, and a tad wealthier, Loup is far and away the most experienced left-handed reliever in the Blue Jays system. Behind him, Toronto is looking at Matt Dermody and Chad Girodo, both of whom made their MLB debuts in 2016. Expect this to be a position that the Blue Jays address in the coming weeks.
Ezequiel Carrera posted a career-best 0.7 WAR in a semi-regular role this season and came up big when called upon at several different points in the regular season and playoffs. He could still feel the squeeze, though, depending on how aggressively the Blue Jays attack their outfield position. If one outfielder is added, ‘Zeke could be safe, but a second might make his roster spot a little less certain.
Darwin Barney also provided the Blue Jays with more value than many expected, posting a 1.5 WAR despite seeing just 304 plate appearances. His glove continues to be the main source of value, but there’s a strong chance that he opens the season as the backup middle-infielder id Devon Travis returns to full health.
On the other side of things, both Chris Colabello and Andy Burns cleared waivers and have been outrighted off the 40-man roster. This is a step back for both players, especially Burns, whose defensive versatility could play up in a major-league reserve role.