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Teoscar Hernandez and the Blue Jays avoid arbitration with a one-year, $4,325,000 deal

Teoscar Hernandez has earned himself a nice payday after his breakout season in 2020.

The Blue Jays and their slugger have reached a one-year contract worth $4,325,000, avoiding arbitration, according to MLB Insider Robert Murray.

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Hernandez is one of two Blue Jays who is eligible for arbitration this year, with the other one being pitcher Ross Stripling. Travis Shaw also would have been arb-eligible but the Blue Jays non-tendered him back in early-December.

There had been some speculation that the Blue Jays would look to lock Hernandez up to a long-term deal after his breakout showing this season, much like the team did with Jose Bautista back in 2010. But, given how small the sample size was for Hernandez’s great season, the front office likely wants to see if he can repeat his performance over the length of a normal season before making such a commitment.

Hernandez slashed a .289/.340/.579 line with 16 homers over the course of 50 games in 2020 and earned himself a Silver Slugger award and a few votes for American League Most Valuable Player. This breakout wasn’t totally out of the blue as Hernandez slashed a .248/.325/.548 line in 86 games in 2019 after spending a few weeks adjusting his swing with the Triple-A Bisons.

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The Blue Jays have Hernandez under control for three more seasons before he can become a free agent, so the possibility of a long-term deal will be a topic of conversation this season if he continues to perform at the plate.