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Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro says contract negotiations with Bichette, Guerrero Jr. are ‘ongoing’ but will remain private

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
1 month ago
Toronto Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro spoke with local reporters Thursday during his annual pre-season media availability, discussing several different topics, including the status of potential contract extensions for a pair of franchise cornerstones — shortstop Bo Bichette and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Little detail has been revealed publicly in the past, and that remained unchanged in Shapiro’s latest comments, saying, “We’re going to keep those conversations private,” as he told the media scrum, including the Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley. He did add, however, that discussions are “ongoing.”
Bichette and Guerrero remain without long-term deals and are on track to enter free agency following the 2025 campaign. They each have two years of club control remaining, placing enormous pressure on the front office to maximize the 2024 and ’25 seasons.
The Blue Jays shortstop appeared to be headed for an arbitration hearing prior to last season until both sides agreed to a three-year, $33.6-million extension at the last minute. That agreement, which carries an $11.2 million AAV, bought out all three of his remaining arbitration years and cleared a path to the open market.
Guerrero, meanwhile, could not reach a deal to avoid arbitration during this past off-season. He filed at $19.9 million while the club countered at $18.05 million, an impasse later decided by a third-party arbitration panel, which sided with the three-time All-Star and awarded him with a record-breaking amount.
The 25-year-old slugger is entering a pivotal sixth big-league season, where he’ll attempt to overcome last season’s disappointing performance that featured just 26 home runs and a less-than-spectacular .264/.345/.444 slash line across 156 games, worth 1.0 fWAR. So far, he’s fared well this spring, hitting .467 with three bombs and 10 RBIs in 12 contests.
Bichette will be looking for more of the same after slashing .306/.339/.475 with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs and enjoying a career season in the field over 135 games in ’23, worth 3.8 fWAR. He’s played 15 games in Grapefruit League action thus far, going 17-for-45 (.378) while blasting one dinger and cashing six runs.

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