We’ve got some Blue Jays news (?) shoved in the middle of a News and Notes article from Jon Heyman at the New York Post…
The Jays in nearby Dunedin can really hit. And their outfield, which formerly had one part-time center fielder, now has three who can do it. Their baserunning is also much improved, a consideration with those pizza-box bases.
The Jays made a contract suggestion for Alek Manoah this winter. Word is they were “not close.”
The way this information is presented is funny because it goes from Heyman complimenting an improvement the team made over the off-season and then quickly chiming in with a quick jab that they’re “not close” on a “contract suggestion,” which makes it appear as though there’s some rift between the team and their young ace.
Heyman calling it a “contract suggestion” indicates that no actual offer was made from the Blue Jays to Manoah but it also doesn’t give any indication of how serious the talk was. It’s more than likely just the standard early stages of a negotiation, in which both sides present what they feel would be a worthwhile long-term agreement for them to make.
From Toronto’s perspective, they’d be looking for a hometown discount from Manoah in exchange for security, while Manoah would likely only want to lock himself down in exchange for a gigantic bag of cash given how well the first two seasons of his Major League career have gone.
Manoah landed in the big leagues a few weeks into the 2021 season and he’s been putting up results ever since. He posted a 3.22 ERA over 20 starts as a rookie and then he followed that up with a 2.24 ERA over 31 starts and a third-place Cy Young finish in 2022.
He’ll be eligible to go to salary arbitration for the first time following the 2024 season and is set to become a free agent after the 2027 season.
Pre-arbitration contract extensions for pitchers aren’t as common as the ones that get handed out to position players given the volatility of the position but they still happen. Back in October, the Braves signed Spencer Strider to a six-year contract worth $75 million following his rookie season. German Marquez, Bake Snell, Freddy Peralta, and Miles Mikolas are other examples of pre-arb pitchers signing long-term deals with varying rates of success.
Personally, I’d love to see Alek Manoah be a forever Blue Jay, as the start of his career has put him on course to become a franchise great. But given the fairly risk-averse approach of the front office and Manoah’s confidence and likelihood of betting on himself, a pre-arb long-term contract seems unlikely.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)