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Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays arbitration hearing set for Tuesday

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Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
5 months ago
Barring a last-minute agreement, the Toronto Blue Jays will be headed to an arbitration hearing with All-Star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. this week.
If that hearing proceeds, it is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, as reported by Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. Once the meeting begins, a third-party arbitration panel will determine the 24-year-old’s salary for the 2024 season.
Last month, both parties exchanged salary figures after failing to reach an agreement prior to the Jan. 11 filing deadline, when the Blue Jays offered $18.05 million while Guerrero’s camp countered at $19.9 million. Win or lose, the amount received will become the highest ever awarded via arbitration, surpassing Teoscar Hernández’s $14 million from last winter.
There is still time, albeit with little remaining, for a contract extension to transpire. But since the Blue Jays are a “file-and-trial” team, the only feasible route is through a multi-year deal. That, of course, is the path they elected to take with shortstop Bo Bichette, who signed a three-year, $33.6-million extension in 2023.
But as Davidi wrote Monday, “it’s believed there have been no negotiations” since both team and player exchanged salary figures last month, suggesting brokering a deal could prove incredibly challenging.
The three-time All-Star’s underwhelming 2023 performance, which fell well shy of his pre-season expectations and was a far cry from his MVP-calibre ’21 offensive explosion, could be among the hurdles that’s complicated negotiations. He has potential as a franchise cornerstone but has failed to deliver on that projection over the previous two seasons, particularly last year.
Despite leading Toronto’s lineup in home runs (26) and RBIs (94), he finished as a slightly above-average hitter, as evidenced by his 118 wRC+, and was worth just 1.0 fWAR across 156 games. His slugging (.444) and isolated power metrics (.179) also fell significantly from past seasons, with each plummeting to the lowest since his rookie campaign in 2019.
Guerrero – as well as Bichette, Chris Bassitt, Jordan Romano, Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza, Chad Green, Génesis Cabrera, Cavan Biggio and Isiah Kiner-Falefa – can become free agents after the 2025 season.

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