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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Marco Estrada

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ALCS - Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Five Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Marco Estrada has had an interesting couple of years with the Blue Jays. We traded Adam Lind for him, and many of us weren’t pleased with the trade. But then he had a terrific season.

Last winter, we signed him for 2 seasons and $26 million, and many of us were a bit worried about paying much for someone who only had the one good season. Then, there were others irritated that the Jays signed Estrada and Happ instead of signing David Price.

There were worries that his 2015 season was driven by an extremely low BABIP (lowest in the league for a pitcher with over 160 innings) and there was a worry that his strikeout rate was dropping.

It turned out that Marco’s 2016 season was just as good as his 2015 season. His ERA was up a bit (3.48, up from 3.13), but his strikeout rate took a nice jump (22.8, up from 18.1). His BABIP was up (.234, from .216), not quite as off the charts love as last year, but shows that he is getting a lot of weak contact.

Last year I put up a poll asking if Marco’s fWAR would go up or down from the 1.8 it was last year. Well, his fWAR was 3.0 last year, so 55% of us were right. Course his bWAR was down a tick (3.4, down from 3.6).

Marco turned 33 in July of last year, and he’s coming into a contract year. I guess the question is:

What sort of contract will Marco get next year?

Presuming he has a season like last year? (That’s presuming a lot, he’s been so good). He’ll be coming into his mid-30’s. But then he’ll have 3 excellent seasons on his resume.

I’d imagine he’d get another 2-year deal, somewhere in the $13 to $16 million a season. Maybe an option year.

The other question is:

Will he still be a Blue Jay in 2018?

That’s a tough one. The Jays will be wanting to get younger. Francisco Liriano will be a free agent too.

Will Sean Reid-Foley be ready? Maybe Conner Greene? Could the Jays work in two rookies into the rotation? Or maybe Joe Biagini will be part of the rotation?

I really enjoy watching Marco, so I hope he will be around longer.