The Toronto Blue Jays are quiet amid the major league trend of signing long-term contracts with key prospects before they qualify for free agents (FA).
The recent investment is one of the few in the major leagues, but the news of long-term contracts with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (24) and Bo Bisset (25), who are leading the team and raising expectations for the future, is quiet. It’s probably the most important task in Toronto’s move, but there are no signs yet.
Local media reported on the 5th (hereinafter Korean time) that the Boston Red Sox and Rafael Devers had signed a large contract worth 331 million dollars in 11 years.
Boston recently transferred Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Traded and Zander Bogatz also qualified for free agency and signed with San Diego.Boston, which had to send two franchise stars without any measures, received a lot of criticism, but with a long-term contract starting in 2024, it held the last remaining franchise player and put down the criticism. Bogarts
‘ $331 million in 11 years is the sixth-highest on record, behind Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels ($426.5 million in 12 years), Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers ($365 million in 12 years), and Aaron of the New York Yankees. Only Judge (9 years, $360 million), New York Mets’ Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million) and San Diego Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340 million) have paid more than Devers.’ There is no point in saying ‘overpay’, but Boston had no choice as the franchise stars had already disappeared.
It is advised that Toronto should reconsider the case of Boston more. ‘Jace Journal’, covering the Toronto news, advised not to forget the lessons of Boston. The media said, “Bogatz signed an 11-year, $280 million contract with San Diego, leaving Boston fans bitterly disappointed.” “This could happen to Toronto in the next few years. Guerrero Jr. and Bisset are the core of the team’s hitting lineup, which can hold rights for three seasons and lead them to the postseason. What happened in Boston is a stern warning about Toronto’s future. We need to make sure that talented players don’t leave.”
A recent trend in the major leagues is a preemptive contract that binds young key prospects early. It is relatively flexible in dealing with the pressure of payroll and it is easy to make a long-term plan for the club.
In 2019, Atlanta signed Ronald Acuna Jr. to a 10-year, $134 million contract. In addition, San Diego Padres, who was Kim Ha-sung’s colleague and was disciplined last year for taking a banned substance, signed a 2021 14-year, $340 million contract with Fernando Tatis Jr. Last year, Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez, the American League rookie of the year, also won a super-large contract worth 470 million dollars for up to 17 years.
All of them are prospects who represent the major leagues and have to play a pillar role within the team. Long-term contracts have the effect of catching players in their prime before the ransom rises from the club’s point of view. Players also have to receive a limited annual salary through procedures such as annual salary adjustment, but they can gain financial benefits with multi-year contracts.
Toronto is also led by young players representing the major leagues, Guerrero Jr. and Bisset. Guerrero Jr. debuted in 2019 and took first place in the major league 안전놀이터 home runs overall with 48 home runs in 2021. Bisset is also being reborn as an offensive shortstop based on his athleticism. He set the record for most hits for the second consecutive year with 191 hits in 2021 and 189 hits in 2022. He also has slugging power with 29 home runs and 24 home runs in the last two years. Both Guerrero Junior and Bisset will qualify for free agency after the 2025 season.
At the winter meeting held last year, President Mark Shapiro said, “As young players get closer to free agency, the variables according to risk change,” but “there is a timing that affects risk and appropriateness. We will find the right time,” he said, explaining that he has a long-term contract with them and will wait for that time. The will to hold on is enough. But the luxury tax cap is something to worry about.
Guerrero Jr. is awaiting an offer from the club. “I’m really happy to be playing here (Toronto),” he said at the end of the season. I hope to be able to do something with Toronto this offseason.” However, there is no news about the contract related to Guerrero Jr.
Toronto has been on the winnow pedal since 2020. Hyunjin Ryu ($80 million over 4 years), George Springer ($150 million over 6 years), Kevin Gaussman ($110 million over 5 years), Yusei Kikuchi ($36 million over 3 years), Chris Bassett (3 years, $36 million) 63 million dollars) free agent contract, and Jose Berrios, who was brought in by trade, also signed a long-term contract (7 years, 131 million dollars).
Together, these contracts alone amount to 570 million dollars or 724 billion won. But even with all this money spent, Toronto’s power upgrades aren’t over. The focus is on long-term contracts for key internal players.