Saunders, Estrada agree to terms with Blue Jays

Michael Saunders. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays avoided arbitration with pitcher Marco Estrada and Canadian outfielder Michael Saunders on Friday by agreeing to terms on one-year contracts.

Estrada’s deal was worth US$3.9 million while Saunders will earn $2.875 million.

Estrada, a 31-year-old right-hander, was 7-6 with a 4.36 earned-run average last season with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Blue Jays acquired him Nov. 1 in a trade for first baseman Adam Lind.

Estrada made 18 starts and 21 relief appearances last year, when he made $3,365,500. He is 23-26 with a 4.23 ERA over seven seasons with Washington and Milwaukee.

Saunders, a 28-year-old Victoria native, was acquired Dec. 3 in a trade with Seattle. The Mariners picked up pitcher J.A. Happ in the deal.

Saunders made his major-league debut with the Mariners in 2009 and spent parts of six seasons with the team. He earned $2.3 million in an injury-plagued 2014 season, when he hit .273 with eight homers and 34 RBIs.

Over 553 career big-league games, Saunders has a .231 average with 51 homers and 182 RBIs.

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