Toronto Blue Jays: Former players who have signed new deals
With some former Blue Jays waiting for contracts, others are signing and some heading overseas. Here are some former blue birds you may have forgotten about, but are still cashing in.
Marcus Stroman took home the biggest contract of ex Blue Jays when he accepted his qualifying offer from the New York Mets in November. Stroman will be set to make $18.9 million in the 2021 season on a one-year deal. Stroman was traded in the summer of 2019 after a very public battle with the Blue Jays front office and has made just 11 starts for the Mets after taking the 2020 season off to rehab a calf injury.
The second most publicized contract was when it was announced that Justin Smoak would be heading to Japan on a deal in the range of $6.5 million for the season. Smoak left the Blue Jays in free agency after the 2019 season and had a rough 2020 season. He signed on with the Milwaukee Brewers, however after batting .186 he was released in September. He was signed by the San Francisco Giants, however after going 0 for 6 he was again released.
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A quiet signing, was the former shortstop of the future Adeiny Hechavarria, who also signed in Japan and to play for the Chiba Lotte Marines. Hechavarria signed with Toronto as a 21- year old back in 2010 and showed very good defensive skills through the minors. He climbed to the major leagues in 2012 and showed he was major league ready, however he was a main trade chip in the famous Marlins trade that brought back Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle.
Hechavarria has bounced around the league over the last three years playing for five teams. It appeared he may find a home in Atlanta as he impressed as a last season pick up in 2019 when he had a slash line of .328/.400/.639 over the final 24 games. This past season with Atlanta he got into limited time batted .254 over 63 plate appearances.
At the beginning of December, Luke Maile got a major league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Maile last played in the major leagues for the Blue Jays in 2019 and that offseason he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, however did not get into any games this past season.
One of the greatest Blue Jays pitching performances was on August 8, 2010 when Brandon Morrow threw a complete game one hitter while striking out 17. Morrow was always a fun pitcher to watch, could be dominating and had become a very impressive bullpen pitcher after leaving Toronto.
In 2018, Morrow was the Chicago Clubs closer and saved 22 games to a 1.47 ERA, however injuries ended his season in July that year and he has not pitched in the major leagues since. In the middle of December it was announced he would return to Los Angeles and try for a comeback. Morrow pitched in 45 games for the Dodgers out of the bullpen in 2017 where he posted a 6-0 record with a 2.06 ERA.
In a recent article about which Blue Jays were looking for contracts, I mentioned Joe Biagini was still unsigned, however, he actually signed a minor league deal in December with the Chicago Cubs. Biagini has been with the Houston Astros since being package wit Cal Stevenson and Aaron Sanchez for Derek Fisher.