Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays Are an Ideal Fit

How rare does this happen; when a deal works out equally well for both parties? In today’s era of baseball, it’s something that’s extremely uncommon. Yet, it’s something that appears to have been ideal for Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays.

On Friday, it was officially announced that the Jays had extended Estrada to a two-year/$26 million dollar contract. The first year of the deal will see Marco Estrada make $11 million dollars followed by $14 million in 2017.

It’s also interesting to note that Estrada will receive a $1 million dollar signing bonus (due at the end of January 2016). So it looks like the era of contract incentives and bonuses has returned to the Toronto Blue Jays.


But again, I can’t reinforce how great of a mutual deal this is for both the Jays and Estrada. After the career year that Estrada had, it looked like the Blue Jays might have to overpay in the way of dollars or term to retain his services. It turns out the Blue Jays didn’t have to do either.

The initial reports of a three-year/$30-36 million dollar contract still sounded pretty reasonable, but may have been a bit of an overpay in the way of years. So the fact that the Jays were able to whittle it down to only two years is quite remarkable.

How rare is it that the Blue Jays only paid fair market value for a free agent starter? Not that the Jays are known for inking free agent starting pitchers, but whenever they have, they’d overpaid in either years or term.

Not only does this help shore up part of the Blue Jays’ starting rotation in the immediate future, but it also provides a bit of a safety net for 2017 as well. Prior to locking down Estrada, the Blue Jays’ depth chart for starting pitchers looked pretty thin over the next two seasons.

This is also a great contract for Marco Estrada as well; not only does it give him the security of a two-year contract, it’s actually a pretty hefty raise compared to his career earnings, which were just a shade under $11 million dollars.

A deal like this also allows Estrada to build on his impressive 2015 season and potentially work towards building even more value when he hits free agency at the end of the 2017 season.

Estrada may not have taken a hometown discount in respect to the total dollar amount of the contract, but it certainly seems like he took a hometown discount in relation to the years. I don’t doubt that he could’ve fetched at least a two-year deal on the open market, if not three or more.

It’s still astounding that a fly ball pitcher like Marco Estrada survived in a hitter’s ballpark like the Rogers Centre. Estrada defied convention in 2015, and thanks to this piece at FanGraphs, it turns out Marco may not be a one-year aberration after all.

If Marco Estrada can continue to dizzy batters with one of the league’s best changeups, he may not have any trouble at all surviving another two years pitching in the American League East.


Image via AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

One thought on “Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays Are an Ideal Fit

  • November 16, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Love this deal. 2 years is fantastic and I'm happy to have him back!

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