The Toronto Blue Jays avoided salary arbitration with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and reliever Aaron Loup yesterday agreeing to one-year pacts with both players for the 2018 campaign.
Prior to the signings, the Blue Jays had 8 arbitration-eligible players still unsigned as the parties involved begin exchanging salaries today. The Jays are speculated to be on the hook for around $45 million in additional salary however over $20 million of that will be earmarked for former MVP Josh Donaldson.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today had the goods on both signings reporting that Ezequiel Carrera will earn $1.9 million while pitcher Aaron Loup will take home $1.812,500 for their services in 2018. Loup will hit free agency at season’s end while Carrera is controllable until 2019.
Carrera is coming off a respectable .282/.356/.408 season that included 8 homers and 10 stolen bases in 325 plate appearances. The 30-year old role player earned $1,162,500 last season while accumulating a -0.4 WAR in a career-high 131 contests.
The native of Venezuela could be the odd man out should the Jays sign a free agent outfielder in the coming weeks.
Aaron Loup rejuvenated his career back to mediocrity in 2017 owning a .375 earned run average while fanning 64 in 57.2 innings of work. The southpaw still has reverse splits as righties only hit .250 versus him while lefties hit 30 points higher at .280.
Loup earned $1,125,000 million in 2017 while setting a career high with a 0.9 WAR rating last season.
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Aside from Carrera and Loup the Blue Jays still have to agree upon and finalize contracts with Josh Donaldson, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, Roberto Osuna and Dominic Leone who are all arbitration eligible.
MLB Trade Rumors projects Donaldson to earn $20.7 million through the arbitration process however the third baseman in all likelihood could eclipse the $21,625,000 million arbitration salary record set by Bryce Harper. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that Donaldson is north of the $22 million mark when it is all said and done.
Time will tell how the remainder of the arbitration filings will go but we officially have two in the books with six remaining.