The Toronto Blue Jays have extended a qualifying offer in the direction of veteran right-hander Marco Estrada, according to a club announcement made on Friday afternoon.
Estrada will have until November 13 to either accept or decline the offer. Should it be declined, any other team would have to forfeit its top unprotected draft pick to sign him as a free agent while the Blue Jays would get a compensatory pick at the end of the first round of the MLB Draft in June.
This offer comes as well deserved for the 32-year-old who had a phenomenal first season in Toronto having come over from the Milwaukee Brewers in a mid-May trade, which send Adam Lind the other way.
Estrada could accept rather than seeking a new contract with an opposing team this winter. The contract in which will be extended to Estrada is for one-year, $15.8 million deal. However, he might decline because a multi-year deal locking up his career would be comforting.
Estrada joined the Toronto rotation later in the season and proceeded to deliver the best performance of his career, logging a 3.13 ERA in 180 innings and continuing with an outstanding postseason that saw him surrender just five runs with an 11-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 19.1 innings.
Over the course of a playing career, Estrada has earned roughly $10 million, so the qualifying offer alone could pay him one-and-a-half times his career earnings in just one season.
The starting pitcher has never been on a multi-year deal and enjoyed the security that such a pact would afford him, and it’s likely that he would have received significant multi-year interest without the qualifying offer.
Estrada came over in a mid-season trade in 2014 in exchange for Lind, who had been struggling to hit the ball as that was the time of which the team realized they needed to start winning.
One big problem for Estrada in previous years had been his strikeout and walk rates which started going in the wrong direction though he was enjoying quality seasons with the Brewers. Once Estrada had arrived, Toronto started him in the bullpen where he racked up a few innings as a reliever to start out before being moved to the starting rotation where he posted a 3.13 ERA having made 28 starts while pitching 181.0 innings allowing 67 runs on 134 hits, 24 of those being home runs while striking out 131 hitters.
If Estrada returns, he could play a big role as one of the main factors leading this team to the playoffs for the second-consecutive year. There is a possibility that he could be offered a long-term contract and Toronto fans, who have enjoyed all that he has brought aboard here, will continue to head out to the ballpark and take in all that he has to offer.