jftc blue jays chat

JFtC Chat: Blue Jays & Vlad Extension

The staff of JFtC weighed in on the Toronto Blue Jays offering a contract extension to their star first baseman after his recent comments


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The Toronto Blue Jays will have to make a rather large, expensive decision soon. Well, soon might be a bit of an exaggeration. Their star first baseman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.will be a free agent in 2026 and some would argue that there is lots of time to sign him long term. Others point to the trend around baseball that sees teams locking up their young stars early as a way to keep future costs down. Based on comments from the slugger, the staff at JFtC weighed on the Vladdy extension discussion below:

 

 

Karen Soutar: Yes, please!!!

Doyle: I’m not sure if I think that’s a priority this offseason. They need to build a championship team. They’re so close. I suppose if it doesn’t hinder ‘going for it’s in 2023, then extend away

Karen: To me this should be their number one priority. Make sure they have him long term. I understand the fact that he is under team control (arbitration eligible) through the end of 2025 and they would almost certainly pay more in those three seasons to extend him long term than they would just signing him to one year contracts or going to arbitration. But again, the longer you do that, the more you risk losing him to free agency and that’s not what I want to see. Keep him. Keep building around him. Hall of Famer. Career Blue Jay. And multiple championships with him in a Jays uniform.

Bob Ritchie: I think there are two factors that make it challenging to extend Vlad before the 2023 season. First, $60 million is a reasonable estimate of how much Vlad will make in the 2023-2025 period. Therefore, he will have some financial security before he is eligible for free agency. This is a disincentive for him to sign a fair-value, long-term deal before the 2023 season. Second, assuming that fWAR will be the basis for a fair-value contract, what fWAR is the starting point? Is it 2021’s 6.3 or this season’s current 3.5 estimate? Vlad’s camp will likely be closer to 6.3; the Jays will probably be at the lower end of the range. That might be too large a gap for both sides to come to an agreement before next season.

Karen: Logical, analytical and rational as always. Here is my data driven, facts based reply to that: I don’t care! Back up the Brinks truck. Pay him lots of money!!! Keep him in Toronto forever.

Doyle: Bob has an interesting point in the two very distant sides of the WAR angle. Likely, the Jays will look to pay closer to his 3.5 value. That said, if they try that, Vlad had better flip a table and walk out the door. It is a disrespectful offer, in my opinion. When a guy is having a season that most people are calling a “down season”, you don’t get to hold it over him like that is his ceiling, particularly when hsi down season has resulted in nearly 30 HR, 84 RBI and a .278 avg. He’s also chipped in 8 stolen bases, by the way. I’d be furious and wouldn’t entertain an extension even if they came back with something closer to what I originally asked. There’s a point where being cheap is just off-putting and not smart.

Karen: If anything I think signing Vlad will help them win, both in 2023 and beyond and not just because of what he does on the field.

I can’t say “everyone” but I think it’s a widely held belief that signing Hyun Jin Ryu had a domino effect in terms of getting other big name free agents to sign with the Jays, something they have had all kinds of problems doing for much of this franchise’s history. Sign him and free agents for the next 10-15 years will know they have the opportunity to play alongside one of this generation’s biggest stars.

Steve Fek: Quite simply, Vladdy has no motivation to sign an extension now. The new floor has yet to be established under the new CBA. As I have stated before, on podcasts and here, his securing long term generational wealth is not a necessity; merely an option. I would say Ryu’s contract was the 2nd most impactful in Jays history. Behind only Stieb’s extension and contract in 1984(5). As Karen said, his choosing Toronto and Jays pursuing him aggressively set groundwork for Springer and Gausman deals and Berrios extension.

Doyle: There is no rush to extend him. Sure, you hedge bets in case of him living up to his potential, but by waiting, the Jays could be taking a chance that he continues a 3.5 WAR pace rather than 6 or even 9 like Judge’s 2022. It’s a risk that we don’t often think about.

YOUR TURN! Weigh in on the Vladdy Extension topic below!

 

 


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