Toronto Blue Jays, star shortstop Bo Bichette agree to three-year deal
After reports have been circling all week surrounding Bo Bichette, we finally received some real answers on Tuesday evening. Bichette and the Blue Jays have agreed to a three-year deal to buy out the remaining years of arbitration on his rookie contract.
While the specific financials are not yet known, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet tweeted that he and a reliable source in the industry believe a $33.5M deal is in the realm of possibility.
This news is most welcomed by Blue Jays fans, as the suspense had been getting to be too much for many supporters of both Bichette and the club.
While it's exciting that a deal was reached, it's worth noting that this new deal will not actually be adding any additional years of club control onto his current contract. Instead, player and team will avoid arbitration this season and have agreed to a deal that will buy out the remaining seasons of arbitration eligibility tied to Bichette's name.
As things currently stand, Bichette is still slated to hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2025 campaign. It remains to be seen whether a true contract extension could come to fruition before he hits free agency, but we still have a few years before that hits our radar.
As previously stated, the financials have not been officially announced yet. Here's what we do know: Bichette's camp filed for a $7.5M contract last month and the Jays countered with a $5M proposal. The $2.5M gap is tied for the largest gap between player and team of anyone during this offseason.
Now, this becomes a moot point as Bichette has secured some financial stability and is now being left to handle his business on the field, no longer having to worry about his salaries over the next few seasons.
Obviously, Bichette is an otherworldly talent that deserves to spend the rest of his career in Toronto, whether some of his naysayers agree or not. Sure, he has a flair for the dramatic and is seen by some as a "selfish" player, but the man can flat out play baseball and would look real nice next to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alek Manoah as the face(s) of the Jays organization for the next decade-plus.
In just the last two seasons alone, Bichette has cemented himself into the conversation of one of baseball's best players. He has led the American League in hits in both 2021 and 2022 and has a combined .294 batting average with a 124 OPS+ in 318 games, hitting 53 home runs and stealing 38 bases along the way.
It remains to be seen how long Bichette will be in Toronto for the remainder of his career, but for now, this is a good start.