Home News Bo Bichette, Blue Jays reach deal to avoid arbitration

Bo Bichette, Blue Jays reach deal to avoid arbitration

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with shortstop Bo Bichette, avoiding arbitration in 2023 and covering his three years of arbitration eligibility, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

The contract, which has not yet been made official by the club, doesn’t tie Bichette to the Blue Jays for any additional years beyond his original team control, but it gives both sides some financial certainty in the years to come. Bichette, who turns 25 in early March, could still hit free agency following the 2025 season. 

Bichette’s name has long been centered in extension discussions alongside Vladimir Guerrero Jr. With so many young superstars across baseball signing massive deals — some before even reaching their arbitration years — there’s an obvious temptation from both sides. It’s about finding a point in the middle that makes sense for both, though, which team president Mark Shapiro has called “shared risk” in the past.

“The closer they get to free agency, the more that changes their equation of risk,” Shapiro said in early December. “It makes them probably less willing to give up the risk of what it means to be out there. The timing, it impacts the sharing of the risk and that sweet spot equation. I think that’s the right word. We’re looking for the sweet spot.”

At the same time, a young player like Bichette knows how valuable they would be on the open market with up to 30 bidders, not just one, so these situations will be fascinating to watch in the coming years and that spotlight will only grow brighter. With Bichette and Guerrero, you could also add in Alek Manoah as an early extension candidate, fresh off a third-place finish in American League Cy Young Award voting at 24. 

The season ahead is ripe with potential for Bichette, who played a surprisingly average brand of baseball through much of 2022. Then, in September, he erupted. 

From Sept. 1 on, Bichette hit .406 with seven home runs and a 1.105 OPS over 32 games, playing with that electric energy we saw so much of in previous seasons. The free-swinging shortstop is a perennial All-Star candidate when he’s at his best, and given his age, there’s still significant upside for a player who is described throughout the organization as one of this club’s hardest workers.

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