The Athletic offers potential contract extension figures for Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates his two-run home run with Bo Bichette against Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre on September 14, 2023
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates his two-run home run with Bo Bichette against Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre on September 14, 2023 / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays current identity is defined primarily by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. The pair have spent their entire MLB careers thus far with the Jays, and have both emerged as important cogs in the franchise. With their impending free agencies coming up after 2025, The Athletic have posted a possible contract extension figure for both players (subscription required).

Guerrero is projected to have an extension at $185M over seven years, while Bichette is projected to reach $237M over nine years. Naturally, a lot can still vary on these estimations depending on how both players perform next season and beyond.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladdy is a difficult player to gauge, due to how to his most recent season has gone in comparison to his MVP caliber heights. He batted .264/.345/.444 with 26 home runs and a 117 OPS+ in 2023. The first baseman has been trending in the wrong direction over the past 2 seasons, but it's clear how capable he is of being one of the elite hitters in the game. If the Jays were able to work out a deal with Guerrero then it probably would have happened. Instead, both sides will have to wait out and see how negotiations fare, likely after the 2024 season.

According to ESPN'S Enrique Rojas, Vlad would like to stay with the Jays, despite their disagreement during his arbitration hearing. "This is business, this is business," Guerrero said. "...I would like to stay for my entire career, but this is business."

As it currently stands, Guerrero does not have to sign underneath his value. Moreover, the Jays front office don't feel obligated to commit long term before getting a clearer idea of what kind of player Guerrero will be going forward. Going into just his 25-year-old season, there is still time to further assess his true value to the team.

Bo Bichette

Bichette is a completely different situation as to what his future outlook may be. Over the past two seasons, Bichette has been the most valuable position player for the Blue Jays, accumulating 8.3 fWAR over that span. Bichette has been a remarkable talent for the Jays, playing a premium position at shortstop, while providing incredible volume. It's a rare combination to see, and it's clear that Bichette will be paid handsomely when the time comes.

A nine-year, $237M projection is a fair evaluation for Bichette, but it's much more likely that he continues to perform in MLB, before hitting free agency, which will end up making him more expensive.

Bichette will want to be closer to his peer shortstops in terms of contract value. Bobby Witt Jr. recently received a $288.7M extension from the Kansas City Royals, while Trea Turner signed a $300M deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. That's the range that Bichette is aiming for, whether it's from the Jays or someone else.

There is also the case to be made that if the Jays don't believe they are able to sign Bichette at the price he is looking for, he should be traded. That being said, trading a franchise cornerstone under any circumstances may have negative repercussions unless all the alternative options have been exhausted.

Neither player will feel obligated to take the first contract offered to them by the Blue Jays, and given their family background in baseball, it gives them more incentive to bet on themselves for a higher payday. Regardless, the Jays will have some decisions to make about the long term future with their homegrown players. The upcoming seasons may define if Guerrero Jr. and Bichette will remain faces of the franchise, or something else entirely.