1 contract extension the Blue Jays should make right now and 1 they shouldn't

Wild Card Series - Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Two / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays’ highly anticipated 2023 season is finally underway. As exciting as the action on the field promises to be, it’s fair to wonder which players are going to be around for the long haul. 

The team has a mix of young stars still in the arbitration stages of their careers and veterans signed to long-terrn, or at least bigger money deals.  

Bo Bichette avoided the often laborious and sometimes painful salary arbitration by agreeing to a three-year contract this Winter. As much as the front office would love to sign Vladmir Guerrero Jr. to a mega-deal, they seem content to punt that until next offseason. 

Matt Chapman is another candidate, but with Manny Machado’s recent massive pact as a comparable and next year’s thin free agent class, he’s likely to want to least test the open-market waters. 

One they should sign - Danny Jansen 

Part of the Jays’ re-tooling this season was sending young catcher Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to Arizona in exchange for ascending outfielder Daulton Varsho

It was a difficult but calculated move aimed at improving the outfield defense, baserunning, and overall flexibility of the team. Toronto was also dealing from a position of strength at catcher, with Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen already firmly entrenched. 

Jansen changed his approach last season, which led to him hitting the most home runs of his career despite playing just 72 games. He’ll be looking to continue that kind of production while avoiding any prolonged appearances on the injured list. D.J. has also worked on his pitch-framing after he was 35th in catcher framing runs in 2022. 

By trading Moreno away, the Blue Jays have already committed to Jansen. Why not give him a three or four-year extension that will take him through his arbitration years and perhaps a year or two of his initial free agency? He and Kirk make up possibly the best catching duo around, it would be prudent to take steps towards keeping them both around for the long-term. 

One they shouldn’t - Daulton Varsho

A considerable amount of talent was shipped out to acquire Daulton Varsho. He’s a 26-year old outfielder with elite defensive abilities, power, and above-average baserunning skills so he wasa never going to come cheap. 

While securing their investment would seem to be the plan, there is no rush and giving Varsho some time to endear himself to Blue Jays Nation might not be a bad thing. 

He won’t hit free agency until 2027 so management can be strategic about when they want to make an offer of an extension. It’s not dissimilar to the situation with José Berríos. There was an urgency to extend him after he was traded for midway through the 2021 season for a pair of prized prospects. 

Jays fans can only hope a potential deal with Varsho works out better than the Berrios one which could become problematic if the right-hander struggles again in 2023.