If the Toronto Blue Jays wanted to extend Cavan Biggio, there is already a template they could follow
The Toronto Blue Jays have an exciting young core around which they can build over the next year or so, which could lead them to contending sooner than we might have thought. Because of the talent of these youngsters, the writers at JFtC discussed the merits of offering them contract extensions.
Cavan Biggio stands out as one of the core group who could be extended. Arguably underrated, he has not come with the same fanfare as the others. Yet, so far in his big league career, he has shown himself to be a solid player with quiet All Star potential. Because of his relatively quiet performance and his versatility, he could find himself as an extension candidate.
When discussing this on Twitter, someone who follows the Rays pointed out that there are similarities between Biggio and Rays’ stand out, Brandon Lowe. Before getting into the contract details, which are coming, we should first establish just how similar these two are. The first image below compares their 2019 seasons and the second compares their ZiPS 3yr Projection (via Fangraphs).
ZiPS 3 Yr Projections
As you can see, these two players are very similar. Sure, the above numbers do not tell the entire story of either of them, but they give us a rough idea of just how similar they are. Lowe is a year older and has a bit more MLB experience than Biggio. Biggio has a touch more power and likely more stolen bases. That said, they are similar enough for the purposes of our discussion.
With that established, we can now turn our attention to Lowe’s contract to see if there is a logical template in place should the Blue Jays wish to extend Biggio. Almost exactly a year ago, Lowe signed a 6 year extension with Tampa Bay. It should be noted that at that time, Lowe had 43 MLB games to his name. The details are as follows:
2025: $10.5M ($1M buyout)
2026: $11.5M ($500k buyout)
Lowe’s deal guarantees him $24M and could be worth $4oM by the time it’s finished (not including incentives, etc) and if the team opts to keep him for the entire length of the deal, he’ll hit free agency at age 32. This is a deal the Toronto Blue Jays might want to use as a starting point for discussion with Cavan Biggio.
If something were done tomorrow, Biggio would be 24 years old and would be signed through his age 30 season. As of right now, he would make the league minimum in 2020 ($583.5k according to Spotrac). He would see the same in 2021 and 2022. The league minimum can creep up from year to year, but it certainly isn’t a hefty raise. He then gets 3 years of arbitration which will see him get a raise, the total of which is determined through agreement with the club or an arbitration case.
An extension of this nature would provide each side the security of knowing they’re set for the next 6 or 7 years. The Blue Jays would buy out the remaining years of team control and perhaps his first and second year of free agency. Right now, Biggio is set to be a free agent after the 2025 season. The Blue Jays could control their costs through a window of time where they have several young guys who will make more and more money and they will likely be spending more in free agency.
We also saw them give Randal Grichuk an extension that gives him 5 yrs at $10M a season, which is a relatively cheap investment and an alternative to an ever increasing market.
For Biggio, this type of deal would provide him with guaranteed money that injuries and performance drop offs could take form him. Think about Devon Travis if you’re wondering what could happen. Biggio could feel that he could make more overall by waiting things out, but that is also a risky thing to do when you’re talking about professional athletes and looking 6 years down the road.
For either side there is risk involved and they wouldn’t just jump into this kind of thing. There will be lots taken into account. As with any contract signing, there are other factors that go into a decision that we would never be privy to. There will be numerous variables included in the calculations.
But, the point remains that, if the Toronto Blue Jays are considering a contract extension for Cavan Biggio, the Tampa Bay Rays and Brandon Lowe have provided them with a rather useful template.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
Support Jays From The Couch On Patreon
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO
Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.