TORONTO – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is the highest earner among the Toronto Blue Jays’ pre-arbitration players at $605,400, as the club reached agreement on 2021 salaries and avoided renewals with all 27 of its 0-3 service-time players.
Cavan Biggio at $604,000 and Danny Jansen at $601,800 were the only other players to crack the $600,000 threshold, with Rowdy Tellez at $598,100 falling just short. Bo Bichette ($587,800), Ryan Borucki ($595,200), Jordan Romano ($584,000) and Trent Thornton ($592,900) are other notables among the group.
The Blue Jays announced the 27 agreements Thursday, noting that right-handers Joel Payamps and Anthony Castro reached agreements with their previous clubs. Salaries were obtained through industry sources.
The major-league minimum for 2021 is $570,500 and teams are free to renew pre-arbitration players at that sum or another of their choosing, although they typically have a system for providing raises.
The Blue Jays’ scale provides increases of up to $25,000 based on career playing time and up to another $15,000 based on career active days on the roster (time on the Injured List counts toward service time, but not in the salary scale) for a maximum raise of $40,000.
To compensate for the shortened 2020 season, the Blue Jays gave extra credit in both categories to those eligible.
The process can sometimes create friction, and players can demonstrate their displeasure with the club’s offer by declining it, the way Aaron Sanchez did in the spring of 2017. The right-hander turned down a modest raise – calculated under an old system used by the Blue Jays – and was renewed for the major-league minimum.
Under the system they use now, players who don’t reach agreement are renewed at the midpoint between the big-league minimum and the salary offered under the Blue Jays’ scale.
The Blue Jays haven’t had any renewals the past four years under a scale that drew praise from a few agents last spring.