Bo Bichette figures to be one of the centerpieces for the Blue Jays for the foreseeable future, but the budding superstar said on Sportsnet’s Good Show this week that a contract extension isn’t anything he’s thinking about at this time (audio clip).
“It’s been brought up and it’s definitely something I’m interested in, but at the same time I’m not going to sell myself short,” said Bichette. “We’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m not too worried about. I’ve still got a lot to prove in my career, and really the last thing on my mind is a contract extension.”
He’s only played in 75 games at the MLB level, but Bichette looks the part of an All-Star right now. The former top prospect has put together a .307/.347/549 slash with 16 home runs, 27 doubles, a triple and eight steals through his first 340 trips to the plate. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2022 season and is controlled all the way through 2025, however, so there’s ample time for the Jays to worry about financial matters down the road. Of course, the more Bichette established himself and the closer he inches to arbitration or free agency, the more the price tag on an extension will rise.
A couple more notes on the Jays…
- Right-hander Matt Shoemaker also joined The Good Show this week to chat about his time with the organization and his upcoming venture into free agency. The 34-year-old was dominant in five starts with the Blue Jays in 2019 before suffering a torn ACL that ended his season. He returned in 2020 with lesser results, but Shoemaker’s overall body of work in Toronto was solid: 11 starts, 57 1/3 frames, 3.14 ERA, 4.30 xFIP, 50-to-18 K/BB, 49.7 percent ground-ball rate. Home runs were a huge issue in 2020, but Shoemaker could represent a reasonably affordable piece of rotation depth and made clear that he’d love to return. “I just want to go to a team that’s just hungry, right?” said Shoemaker. “And the Jays are hungry, man. Like, we’ve got this really young team who just love the game, fiery players, really talented.”
- Toronto GM Ross Atkins said at season’s end that the Jays haven’t given up on the idea of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. being able to play some third base, even if he’s not a primary option there. The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm makes a case against prioritizing versatility in this case and opines that Guerrero should simply be left to try to hone his craft at first base. Chisholm notes that defensive metrics and the eye test alike have panned Guerrero at both positions but likens Guerrero’s move across the diamond to the one made by Edwin Encarnacion several years ago — a move that eventually resulted in Encarnacion putting up some solid defensive marks at the less-demanding position. Guerrero still needs to develop better instincts at the spot, and getting regular reps at the spot should help.