Jays Tender Contracts to Frasor, Tallet, Bautista, League

The Jays tendered contracts to four arbitration-eligible players: Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Jose Bautista, and Brandon League.  Bautista is the most expensive of the four, having made $1.8 million last year.  Personally, I would have non-tendered him, but that's probably because I think he isn't any good. 

Frasor, Tallet, and League are probably too valuable to non-tender.  Frasor is the most expensive of the three relievers and had a bad season last year, striking out 42 and walking 32 over 47 1/3 innings and posting a lousy 1.44 Whip.  He did a nice job with inherited runners, though, and has a reasonably good 113 ERA+ over his career.  He dominated righties last year (.578 OPS against) and would make a good righty specialist perhaps.  Tallet has had three fine years for the Jays, the best of which was 2008, in which he posted a 148 ERA+ and 47 Ks walks and 22 walks Ks in 56 1/3 innings.  With talk of perhaps trading B.J. Ryan and/or moving Scott Downs to the rotation, Tallet is a good lefty arm to hang on to and way too valuable to just let go. 

As for League, he posted a 2.18 ERA last season and a fantastic 19/5 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings over the second half of the season, when he really came into his own.  He induced a ton of groundballs throughout the season and could be living up to his closer of the future label.  No brainer.

Personally, for $2 million, I might've cut Bautista loose.  An 89 OPS+ career is nothing special for a corner infielder, and he hasn't been getting any better despite entering what is normally an offensive player's prime.  He's not a great fielder so I'm not really seeing the upside.  The Jays could do worse as injury insurance for Rolen, but I'd go with Inglett.  Bautista has hit lefties well in his career and would be a good platoon mate in the event of an injury, but that's a little expensive for the righthanded part of an injury contingency platoon.  He could still be cut loose though, a la Sparky from last season, so we'll see.

 

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