On the very day when the Blue Jays traded away their longtime centre fielder in Kevin Pillar, they locked up one of their other outfielders to a contract extension.
The Blue Jays announced they signed Randal Grichuk to a five-year contract extension. This deal will pay him $52 million through the 2023 season.
#BlueJays announce 5-year, $52-million extension for OF Randal Grichuk.
The deal reworks his 2019 $5 million salary and his final year of arbitration next season, plus buys out three free-agent years from 2021-23.
Front office is banking on that age-27 breakout this summer.
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) April 2, 2019
The 27-year-old outfielder was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2020 season, but this deal buys out his final two years of arbitration and three years of free agency.
Contract extensions are in vogue around Major League Baseball these days as players are locking in with their respective teams. This deal gives the Blue Jays some security in the outfield and they’re probably banking on seeing the June-to-September 2018 version of Grichuk as opposed to the April-to-May 2018 iteration.
The extension also answers the question of whether Grichuk was part of the next potential wave of contention for the Blue Jays. Along with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and now former Blue Jay Kevin Pillar, all were scheduled to hit free agency at the end of 2020.
The value on this deal is a safe bet for both camps; Grichuk gets that added security of a five-year deal and not having to worry about testing free agency. The Blue Jays add an everyday outfielder to their stable for at least five seasons.
Grichuk’s career numbers are a little underwhelming, but after a horrendous month of April and missing all of May due to injury, he posted some of baseball’s best power numbers in the second half of 2018. After making an adjustment to become more upright in his batting stance, Grichuk clubbed 20 of his 25 home runs during the final four months of the 2018 campaign.