Again on April 26, 2019, the Blue Jays promoted the sport’s No. 1 prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to the majors. Three months and three days later, they referred to as up Bo Bichette, one other prime prospect within the sport.
Since then, the 2 sons of former huge league stars have develop into stars in their very own rights. Bichette has earned MVP votes in 2021 and 2022 (and he would possibly once more in 2023). A two-time All-Star, he is led the majors in hits in back-to-back years and owns a profession .299/.340/.487 slash line with 89 homers and 51 steals.
Guerrero is a three-time All-Star, one-time Silver Slugger and one-time Gold Glove winner. He gained the 2023 Dwelling Run Derby and in addition earned MVP votes in each 2021 and 2022, ending because the runner-up to Shohei Ohtani in 2021. He has a profession line of .279/.355/.490 with 130 house runs and led the league in house runs in 2021 with 48.
Few groups have a cornerstone duo of their caliber, not to mention a younger cornerstone like that pair. Bichette is simply 25 years outdated, whereas Guerrero is 24.
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However in some unspecified time in the future, the 2 gamers are going to should be paid. And given what they’ve completed so far within the majors, they’re each doubtless set for large paydays.
How for much longer can the Blue Jays be assured to have these two stars beneath contract? Here is what you want to learn about their contract statuses.
When are Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette eligible at no cost company?
The choice by Toronto to name up each Guerrero and Bichette in the identical yr gave the Blue Jays a transparent timeline. Each gamers will probably be hitting free company after the tip of the 2025 season.
Their conditions aren’t totally the identical, nonetheless. Bichette agreed to a contract for 3 years and $33.6 million that coated his remaining three years of arbitration eligibility, which means his wage is locked in place. Nevertheless, he has sure incentives that may elevate his wage for the remaining seasons — $2.25 million per yr for successful MVP, $1.25 million per yr for ending second or third, and $250,000 for putting fourth or fifth.
Guerrero, nonetheless, will nonetheless be arbitration-eligible in each 2024 and 2025. He agreed to a one-year deal that paid him $14.5 million in 2023, and usually contracts solely get increased because the participant positive aspects extra expertise.
The excellent news for the Blue Jays is that they’ll have house to increase the 2 star skills. According to Spotrac, they’ve solely three gamers at present on the payroll (not together with these eligible for arbitration): George Springer, Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios. Springer will probably be owed $24.2 million, Gausman $23 million and Berrios $18.7 million.
After 2026, the one participant left is Berrios, who’s beneath contract via 2028, although he does have an opt-out after the 2026 season.
The query will probably be how a lot Guerrero and Bichette will probably be paid on these contracts.
Guerrero has had his ups and downs. He was arguably the most effective hitter in baseball in 2021. However he noticed his OPS+ drop from 167 in 2021 to 133 in 2022 and 117 in 2023. Nonetheless, Spotrac places his market worth at a mean annual wage of $35.4 million per yr, with a market worth deal of 12 years, $425,558,916. That may be a large contract to placed on the books.
And the deal for Bichette may not be less expensive. Trea Turner inked a contract for 11 years and $300 million with the Phillies in free company this previous offseason, essentially the most profitable deal ever given to a shortstop. Whereas he has discovered extra on-field success than Bichette, he was additionally 29 years outdated when he signed the deal, a yr older than Bichette will probably be when he hits free company. That is additionally three extra years for Bichette to show he deserves to be the brand new highest-paid shortstop within the sport.
Preserving the 2 stars round long run will not be unattainable. However no less than for the following two seasons, they are going to be cheap stars to retain. Toronto is actually going to be seeking to maximize their probabilities with these two on their present offers earlier than the associated fee goes up exponentially.