Blue Jays Sign Six To New Deals, Bautista and Frasor Headed for Arbitration

Nathan ColeCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2011

TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 23:   Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during the game against the Seattle Mariners on September 23, 2010 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays defeated the Mariners 1-0. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

Alex Anthopoulos, the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, had a busy couple of days leading up to the 1pm Tuesday deadline for arbitration cases.  

The Blue Jays had eight players who filed for arbitration and thus had to work out new contracts with each of them or have the chance of going to a hearing where it would be independently assigned.

The Blue Jays, as an organization, haven't gone to arbitration with any of their players since Bill Risely in 1997, a pretty impressive record of contract negotiations.  They signed three to new contracts on Monday, then another three on Tuesday, but a deal wasn't reached with Jose Bautista or Jason Frasor.

On Tuesday, before the deadline, the Jays were successful in signing outfielder Rajai Davis to a two-year, $5.25 million deal with a club option for a third year at $3 million, as well as both Brandon Morrow and Yunel Escobar on one-year deals worth $2.3 and $2.9 million, respectively.

The day before, they signed Jesse Litsch ($830,000), Shawn Camp ($2.25 million) and Casey Janssen ($1,095,000), all to one year deals.

There is a chance now that record could be broken, as Anthopoulos has stated that he will not negotiate one-year deals after the deadline but could still work out multi-year contracts.

The arbitration hearings are still a ways off, so it is possible that new contracts could be worked out in the meantime.  Bautista's agent requested a $10.5 million salary while the Blue Jays countered with a $7.6 million offer, a rather large discrepancy, but one that could be predicted by the difficulty involved in figuring out comparisons for Bautista's tenure in the majors.

They are a little closer in the negotiations with Frasor, as he submitted a $3.725 million offer while the Jays countered with $3.25 one-year salary.