Blue Jays avoid arbitration with Pillar and Leone

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 07: Kevin Pillar
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 07: Kevin Pillar /

-After reaching agreements with Josh Donaldson, Aaron Sanchez, and Devon Travis, the Blue Jays settled with Kevin Pillar and Dominic Leone in order to avoid arbitration.

After a busy day in baseball, the Blue Jays made all the agreements official and wrapped up the day by reaching agreements with center fielder Kevin Pillar and reliever Dominic Leone. Pillar will earn $3.25 million in 2018 while Leone will earn $1.085 million as reported by Shi Davidi.

Kevin Pillar was projected by MLB Trade Rumors a salary of $ 4 million in 2018. He fell short of that but obviously with the amount of playing time, he still gets quite a rise in his first year eligible for arbitration. Pillar had two very good first months of the season in 2017 but then cooled down for the rest of the season.

However, his defense in center field has always been gold glove caliber type without question. Having a player that plays more than 140 games in a season and has gold glove caliber defense in center field for $3.25 million can be called a luxury, even though he isn’t a game changer with his bat.

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On the other hand, Dominic Leone doubled his salary in his first year eligible for arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors predicted a $ 1.2 million salary for him and even though he fell just short of that, he ended up getting a decent rise after a stellar season in the Jays bullpen during the 2017 season. His 2.56 ERA in 70.1 innings of work with 81 strikeouts shows the dominance he had this past season.

At the moment the Blue Jays have not signed any relievers on the free agent market and it seems like they aren’t very much in the market as of right now with the depth of relief arms. This might give Leone a more important role in the 2018 bullpen, so it’s likely we’ll see him pitch in higher leverage situations next season than we did in 2017. At age 26, Leone is under team control until 2022 and could be part of the Jays bullpen for a number of years.

As of now, the only two players who seem to be heading to a hearing with the Blue Jays are star closer Roberto Osuna and starter Marcus Stroman. Stroman is heading to hearing for the second year in a row. In 2017 Stroman got what he asked for, $3.4 million, instead of what the club proposed which was $3.1 million. MLB Trade Rumors predicts a $7.2 million salary for the gold glover in 2018.

Next: Blue Jays avoid arbitration with Sanchez and Travis

Meanwhile, All-Star closer Roberto Osuna is predicted to earn a $5.6 million salary in his first year eligible for arbitration and as mentioned, he will be heading to a hearing for the first time in his career to decide his 2018 salary.