The Toronto Blue Jays followed the news of trading away their longest-tenured player, Kevin Pillar, by announcing that they’ve acquired an outfielder, Socrates Brito, to take his place and by signing Randal Grichuk to a five-year contract extension.
Brito, 26, has been a fringe-major league for the past few years for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and is a left-handed hitting, defensive-oriented center fielder, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Acquired by San Diego on waivers at the end of March, he was then flipped to Toronto for minor league outfielder Rodrigo Orozco who was slated to start the year in New Hamsphire. Orozco was the co-batting champion in the Florida State League for the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2018.
Brito has gotten 175 major league plate appearances and owns a .202/.229/.351 slash line with five home runs (four of which came in 2016). Brito has shown flashes of hitting ability, hitting .318/.383/.540 with 34 doubles, five triples and 17 home runs in 114 games for Reno, the Diamondbacks’ top farm team last year. We should keep those stats in perspective as Reno is a hitter’s haven in the batter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
The Blue Jays also announced that they have extended Randal Grichuk with a five-year, $52-million extension, buying out three of his arbitration years. He gets a raise this year to $7 million, and gets $12 million in 2020 and then three years of $9.33 million in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
While the optics may look bad, seeing as the Jays are making this announcement as their beloved center fielder is on his way out of town, this shows the Jays’ commitment to Grichuk and their faith in him to be around for the next five seasons. There are no opt-outs or options on the deal. Ben Nicholson-Smith noted on Twitter that the $52-million commitment to Grichuk is the biggest financial commitment to one player that this current front office has made.
What do you think about the trade or contract extension? Let us know in the comments.
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