TORONTO (AP)Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided salary arbitration Friday night by agreeing to a $14.5 million contract for next season.
Toronto had 12 players eligible for arbitration – only Tampa Bay with 14 had more. The lone member of that Blue Jays group who did not settle by Friday’s deadline was shortstop Bo Bichette.
Bichette and the Blue Jays are relatively far apart. He requested $7.5 million this year, and the team offered $5 million. If the sides are unable to strike a deal, they would go to a hearing before a three-person arbitration panel sometime between Jan. 30 and Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The panel would award either number.
Also agreeing to one-year contracts were Toronto closer Jordan Romano ($4,537,500), catcher Danny Jansen ($3.5 million), right-hander Adam Cimber ($3.15 million), outfielder Daulton Varsho ($3.05 million), infielder Cavan Biggio ($2.8 million), infielder Santiago Espinal ($2.1 million), left-hander Tim Mayza ($2.1 million), right-hander Trevor Richards ($1.5 million), reliever Erik Swanson ($1.25 million) and right-hander Trent Thornton ($1 million).
Guerrero, runner-up in 2021 AL MVP voting, earned $7.9 million last season. The two-time All-Star batted .274 with 32 homers, 97 RBIs and an .818 OPS in 160 games. He also was a surprise Gold Glove winner at first base.
Bichette had 189 hits to lead the American League in that category for the second consecutive season. He batted .290 with 24 home runs, 43 doubles, 93 RBIs and an .802 OPS in 159 games.
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