Well, this was rather unexpected!
Per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, shortstop Bo Bichette and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a three-year deal, avoiding arbitration.
Per sources, #BlueJays have now avoided arb with Bo Bichette on a multi-year deal.
Terms still unclear but sources said a three-year term was under active discussion this week.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 8, 2023
While the monetary terms have yet to be announced, this was a rather surprising development as their arbitration date was set for this upcoming Thursday.
The Blue Jays are considered a file and trial team, meaning that if the two parties cannot agree on a one-year deal before the deadline, there will be no one-year deal without arbitration. However, that doesn’t exclude them from signing a multi-year deal which they apparently have.
If you recall, the Jays thought Bichette’s salary for 2023 should be $5 million, while Bichette wanted $7.5 million. This was the most significant gap in this year’s arbitration, so it was a good thing that it was sorted out before Thursday.
Last season, Bichette slashed .290/.333/.469 with 24 homers in 697 plate appearances, earning him a career-high 129 wRC+. His defense at shortstop took a hit though, as he registered a -16 Defensive Runs Saved and a -7 Outs Above Average, with the former being the worst for a shortstop, and the second worst DRS in 2022.
Despite the poor defense and iffy four months to start his 2022 season, Bichette managed to post a 4.5 Fangraphs WAR, slightly below his 5.1 fWAR in 2021.
As more details are announced, this article will be updated. However, it’s nice to see that at least two seasons of arbitration will be bought out for Bichette, and potentially all three!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation