The Toronto Blue Jays need to ensure pitcher Marco Estrada is part of their long-term plans moving forward before free agency looms the 33-year old.
The change-up specialist is poised for another good season on the bump sporting a 3.14 earned run average and a 1.163 WHIP in 7 starts thus far this season. Estrada is a magician on the mound and a treat to watch pitch every fifth day the way he changes speeds and keeps hitters off balance.
The hurler has proven he is money in the playoffs and pressure cooker situations do not phase the veteran hurler. Estrada also makes no bones about wanting to be a part of the Blue Jays organization moving forward. The native of Mexico spoke about his desire to remain north of the border yesterday on Sportsnet’s Starting Lineup.
"“I don’t like to think about that sort of stuff, I keep saying the same thing. I want to come back. I want to play here in this city and be a Blue Jay but it’s not always up to me. We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to get into it but I know that time’s coming.”"
The Jays acquired Estrada in the winter before the 2015 season in exchange for Adam Lind. After the 2015 season, the Blue Jays inked Estrada to a two-year pact worth $26 million extending his tenure in Toronto until at the very least the end of the 2017 season.
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With so many questions looming about the Blue Jays future and whether a sell-off at the trade deadline is imminent, the future definitely remains uncertain in the direction the Jays brain trust will take come trade deadline day.
However, the Jays could deal Franciso Liriano who is also a free agent at season’s end and make another two-year offer to Estrada before he officially hits free agency. Somewhere in the 2/$32 million range may get it done if he truly wants to stay north of the border.
Estrada has proven his worth over the past 3 seasons, appears to be a stellar teammate, a fan favorite who wants to remain in Canada. Make it happen and sign the man.