The Athletic projected what long-term extensions for Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would look like for the Blue Jays

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Zach Laing
1 month ago
The long-term futures of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with the Blue Jays continue to be a hot topic around Toronto.
While Guerrero Jr. was taken to arbitration this past winter and awarded a record-high $19.9 million, Bichette is entering the second year of a three-year deal paying him $11 million annually. The pair continue to be big parts of the franchise, and so long as they remain, this team will be in contention to make some noise.
The Athletic, meanwhile, has been looking at position players in arbitration — “guys who are more than a year away from free agency but with at least two and a half years of service time” — and what potential extensions could look like, including ones for both of these Blue Jays.
In Guerrero Jr.’s case, The Athletic’s Tim Britton projected a seven-year, $185-million extension that would pay him $26.4 million a year.
Guerrero’s value took a dip in 2023, as his OPS dropped below .800 and his WAR slipped to an even one. He’s now two years removed from his MVP-caliber 2021 season. At the same time, he’s still in line to hit free agency ahead of his age-27 season, and few players ever can claim a year as good as Guerrero’s in 2021. Players with that kind of peak, even in the rearview, tend to get paid.
For instance, Guerrero could look to Kris Bryant’s deal with the Rockies as a reasonable comp.
As a Super Two player, Guerrero is in the third of four years of arbitration, and he’s likely to earn about $45 million over the next two seasons. Add on five years at Bryant’s $28 million present-day AAV, and you get a potential extension for the first baseman.
And when it comes to Bichette, Britton projected an even longer deal: one that would pay him $237 million over nine years, or $26.3 million a year.
Bichette’s next deal is probably going to be the biggest for anyone on this page, by virtue of his track record and his positional value at shortstop. Let’s see how he compares with a slew of other shortstops who hit the open market.
The contracts for Javier Báez, Trevor Story and Dansby Swanson set the baseline here around $25 million per season for Bichette’s free-agent years. The high end is more debatable: Corey Seager generally stands out as an outlier in this exercise (because his best seasons in Los Angeles were right away), and the deals for Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts were lengthened to lessen the AAV hit. Fernando Tatis Jr.’s extension valued his free-agent years at around $29 million per season while Bobby Witt Jr.’s were valued at around $34 million per year.
Pinning Bichette at $30 million for his free-agent years feels like a reasonable compromise, especially if it’s through his age-34 season like the deals for Báez and Story. That’s seven years for $210 million.
Bichette’s current extension will pay him $27 million over the next two years.
The proposed extensions would lock up both players for their prime years. Guerrero Jr., turning 25 in 10 days, would lock him up through 32 years old, while Bichette, who just turned 26 on Tuesday, would take him through 35 years old.
What do you think of the proposed deals?

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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