Blue Jays nearing one-year extension with Marco Estrada


Pitcher Marco Estrada of the Blue Jays wearing a nickname jersey on Player's Weekend.

It may have been a bit short-sighted for the Blue Jays to sign the 34-year-old to one more extension in the hopes that he'll have one more breakout year.

Estrada is 9-8 with a 4.84 earned-run average over 31 starts this season and 31-25 with a 3.81 ERA over three combined years as a Blue Jay.

The Toronto Blue Jays were not supposed to finish at the bottom of the AL East. "You have, right now, four guys (himself, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ) that are guaranteed to come back and if everybody gets healthy and we don't have any injuries to worry about like we did last season, you saw what we can do".

"I feel extremely strong", he later said.

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Of course, there is the trade market, but Oakland isn't about to give up another Donaldson this winter, and even if the Orioles entertained the idea of trading Manny Machado, the two positions he plays, third base and shortstop, are already filled by guys that make over $20 million a season. "You've got to get the ball in the air, I think, if you're going to be successful". But if the front office wants to contend in 2018, as they have said they intend to, then they'll need some experienced depth to help improve on their 2017 performance.

After making a winning return to the Blue Jays roster from a three-game paternity leave, Osuna looked back to his clinical best to work a flawless ninth inning, getting the Royals to go in order the top of the ninth to pick up his 37th save of the season.

Estrada made six postseason starts in 2015 and 2016 for the Blue Jays, going 3-3 with a 2.64 ERA. Atkins said Estrada has bought into the plan. While declining to offer specifics, Estrada said "personal issues" were at the root of his midseason struggles. His ERA is up almost a point-and-a-half year-to-year, and the current 4.84 mark he carries would be the highest for any single season in his career.

"There is a ton of home runs being hit, more than normal", Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. In 11 starts since, he has a 3.74 ERA and a.223/.282/.398 opponent's batting line. "I knew in my heart I wanted to come back".