Teoscar Hernandez and Ross Stripling have agreed to new contracts with the Toronto Blue Jays. The team avoided arbitration with Hernandez, settling for a one-year, $4.325 million deal. Stripling, the Blue Jays other arbitration-eligible player, agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 15, 2021
Teoscar Hernández Signing Is a Nice Reward
Teoscar Hernández has come a long way since being acquired from the Houston Astros in 2017. Hernandez led the Blue Jays with 16 home runs and 34 RBI for a breakout 2020 season. He posted a 146 OPS+, ranked seventh in the AL with a .519 slugging percentage and a .919 OPS. Hernández tied for the league lead with seven assists while finishing 11th in the final tally of AL MVP voting. The Silver Slugger recipient was eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career. Last season, Hernández earned $578,600. He will now be the second-highest position player on the roster behind Randal Grichuk.
Blue Jays Continue To Keep Pitching Depth
The Blue Jays were in need of pitching depth. At the 2020 trade deadline, They managed to acquire both Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling in separate deals. Now, they have both pitchers back on one-year contracts. Stripling came to the Blue Jays in a trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Stripling finished the 2020 campaign with a 6.32 ERA in five appearances with the Blue Jays. With one additional year of arbitration eligibility left, Stripling will become a free agent in 2023.
Blue Jays Sign International Prospect
Earlier Friday morning, the Blue Jays signed 16 year old international free agent prospect Manuel Beltre. The Dominican native, who came in at No. 24 on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 international free agents, signed for $2.6 million. The Blue Jays have $5,348,100 to spend during the international signing period, which lasts until December 15. He appeared in the Dominican Republic’s under-14 and under-15 international squads. With more than 200 at-bats in 2020, Beltre is considered one of the most advanced hitters in this year’s international free agent class.
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