Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Danny Jansen is eligible to hit free agency after the 2024 season

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton/USA Today
Ryley Delaney
6 months ago
It’s Danny Jansen’s final season under team control.
The 28-year-old catcher and Toronto agreed to a $5.2 million deal to avoid his final season of arbitration. Last season was a good one for Jansen, as he slashed .228/.312/.474 with a career-high 17 homers in 301 plate appearances for a 116 wRC+ and a 2 fWAR. Sadly, he had a few stints on the Injured List, mainly because he kept getting hit by a pitch to his hand.
Jansen’s best season came in 2022, where he slashed .260/.339/.516 with 16 home runs in just 248 plate appearances, giving him an incredible 141 wRC+ and a 2.6 fWAR. As was the case for the majority of his career, Jansen missed time during that season as well.
Still, Jansen is incredibly valuable to the Blue Jays, even if he doesn’t have the greatest defensive numbers like he did in 2019. Between him and Alejandro Kirk, Jansen has over 1000 innings caught, mainly because he was in the league before Kirk and was relatively healthy in 2019. This is to say that Jansen’s experience with the pitching staff is noticeable, even though Kirk may be the better defensive catcher.
It’s not out of the question to say that an extension with Jansen is of the utmost importance, even more so than Bo Bichette or Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s extensions. Jansen plays the most valuable position in baseball and does it well. Not just that, but his 17 home runs ranked 15th in the league for catcher home runs, which is impressive considering most players ahead of him had around 350 at bats to Jansen’s 268.
The 2024 season will be a big one for Jansen, as he’ll become a free agent for the first time in his career and it’s entirely possible he’ll be paid big time if he has a similar season to his last two years.  The free agent class catchers during the 2024-25 off-season is weak, with no other notable catchers that produce like Jansen.
If Jansen has a season similar to the last two years, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s extended a qualifying offer due to the lack of catching talent. However, we’re still fairly far away from that type of decision.
Either way, Jansen’s (among others) need to be productive once again for the Blue Jays to have success.

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