Blue Jays sign Estrada to one-year extension

 Marco Estrada has signed a one-year contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays that will keep him with the club through the 2018 season. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

Marco Estrada has signed a one-year contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays that will keep him with the club through the 2018 season. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays and Marco Estrada have come to terms on a one-year, $13-million contract extension designed to keep the 34-year-old hurler in Toronto through the 2018 season.

Having first come north as part of the deal that sent first baseman/designated hitter Adam Lind to the Milwaukee Brewers in advance of the 2015 season, Estrada has pitched to an overall ERA of 3.81 with 466 strikeouts against 187 walks over 94 games - 88 of which have been starts.

Those totals include a 2015 season that saw the native of Sonora, Mexico establish career-bests in WHIP (1.044), H9 (6.7), ERA (3.13) and wins with 13. Numbers impressive enough to have him finish 10th in American League Cy Young Award voting while commanding a two-year,  $26M contract that November.

It's been a tale of two Marco's in 2017 as, in his third season with Toronto, the veteran hurler has experienced both the highs similar to his previous work up north and the harsh realities brought on by general inconsistencies.

Although Estrada got out of the gate well, his ERA had ballooned to 5.52 by mid-July, which lead some to believe that the veteran hurler was, at times, tipping his pitches during starts.

Despite his recent struggles, the well-known changeup artist's overall pedigree and knack for coming up big in postseason situations kept his name in the mix as various trade rumors swirled up until the July 31st non-waiver deadline.

Remaining in Toronto, Estrada has recorded an ERA of 3.75 while going at least six innings in seven of his ten starts dating back to the deadline.

Wednesday's announcement will help offset some of the Blue Jays needs as they enter what promises to be a busy offseason for the club.

Should no further trades/starting pitching acquisitions take place between now and next April, Estrada will join Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ and, barring any further major blister issues, Aaron Sanchez in the Blue Jays rotation next season. Joe Biagini and a handful of other names including both Sean Reid-Foley and Ryan Borucki will likely compete for the final spot in the Blue Jays' rotation next spring.

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Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for www.BackInBlue.ca, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.