The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly nearing a two-year extension with veteran right-hander Marco Estrada, according to a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Thursday night.
The news comes with one day left before decision day based on whether Estrada will accept or decline the $15.8 million qualifying offer in which the club sent out last week.
This offer is well deserved for the 32-year-old who had a phenomenal first season in Toronto, after coming over from the Milwaukee Brewers in a mid-May trade that sent Adam Lind the other way.
There was talk that Estrada would decline the qualifying offer as he would prefer a multi-year contract, in which it seems the Blue Jays are in the midst of working out given tomorrow being the final day to make it happen.
As part of a statement from interim general manager Tony LaCava regarding the potential transaction, he said, "We’d love to have him back. He was a big part of our success this year.”
This move would add more depth and stability to the starting rotation which would likely include RHP R.A. Dickey, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Marcus Stroman and RHP Drew Hutchison, which would be similar to how it was this past season, given the exception of David Price who the team has had no communications with thus far into the offseason, making a 2016 return unlikely.
In the past, Estrada has struggled with regards to strikeout and walk rates which for the fourth consecutive season have fallen alongside his run prevention.
If Estrada works on these things in spring training, as it seems he will be re-joining the club, the Blue Jays could have a potential ace on their hands as he was Toronto's most consistent performer after joining the rotation in early May.
Over the course of the 2015 season, Estrada 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.
Having Estrada locked up for the next two seasons could give him the chance to play a large factor in leading this team towards many anticipated wins with hopes of reaching playoff ball again, after having clinched this past season for the first time in 22 years, in front of fans who have loved everything he has had to offer and hope for more of going forward.