With the arbitration deadline right around the corner, a whole bunch of players are inking new deals all around baseball. The Blue Jays have a handful of key players who are arbitration-eligible — most notably, Josh Donaldson, Marcus Stroman, and Roberto Osuna — but they got a couple of depth players inked prior to the deadline.
Outfielder and Playoff Legend Zeke “Zeke’s Thunder” Carrera agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.9 million and lefty reliever Aaron Loup agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,812,500.
- Josh Donaldson (5.158) – $20.7MM
- Aaron Loup (5.040) – $1.8MM
- Ezequiel Carrera (4.039) – $1.9MM
- Marcus Stroman (3.148) – $7.2MM
- Kevin Pillar (3.113) – $4.0MM
- Aaron Sanchez (3.069) – $1.9MM
- Devon Travis (3.000) – $1.7MM
- Roberto Osuna (3.000) – $5.6MM
- Dominic Leone (2.123) – $1.2MM
So Carrera is right in line with the prediction and Loup is just slightly above it.
Carrera played in 131 games for the Jays last season and was quite effective offensively. He’s a bit of a disaster in the outfield, but Zeke managed to get the ball on the bat and he does a good job of getting on base. He also has some speed, which makes him somewhat of a unicorn on the Jays. Last season, he was worth 0.7 wins according to Fangraphs and had a 107 wRC+. That’s perfectly fine for your fourth outfielder. The key for the Jays is making the necessary additions to their roster to ensure Zeke isn’t playing in 131 games again.
Loup is now the longest tenured Blue Jay left with the departure of Jose Bautista. He made his debut in 2012 and was excellent in his first three seasons. He struggled in 2015 and ended up getting demoted in 2016, but Loup was effective in 2017, as he was worth 0.6 wins and struck out 10 batters per nine. He’ll walk his fair share of guys and shouldn’t be your best lefty option, but given the price of left-handed pitching on the free agent market, bringing back Loup is a no-brainer.