By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
Although he has yet to have thrown a competitive pitch in 2018, Marcus Stroman is already 0-1.
On Thursday, the 26-year-old right-hander revealed on Twitter that he had lost his arbitration case and will now earn $6.5M for his services in 2018.
"Lost arbitration," Toronto's righty wrote on the well-used social media platform. "It is what it is. Looking forward to going out and dealing again. The negative things that were said against me, by my own team, will never leave my mind. I'm thick skinned so it will only fuel the fire."
When the two sides exchanged salary figures in January, Stroman checked in at $6.9M while the Blue Jays countered with what would go on to become the winning offer.
In 2017, Stroman established career highs in starts (33) and wins (13) while eclipsing the 200 innings pitched plateau for the second consecutive year. Additionally, his overall WAR of 3.4 last season tied him with Justin Smoak for second place on the Blue Jays roster behind only Josh Donaldson's 5.0 mark.
Using WAR as a metric to contextualize and establish Stroman's American League starting pitching comparables from last season, the Astros' Brad Peacock (3.4) will earn $2.44M while Kansas City's Danny Duffy (3.4) will pocket $14M in 2018, per Cotts. Both players are signed to existing deals and did not enter the arbitration process this year.
This year's proceedings marked the second time Stroman and the Blue Jays needed an arbitrator to determine an adequate a salary figure. In 2017, a gap of $300,000 separated the two sides, and it was Stroman who came out on top after the hearing, earning $3.4M.
"Just being real. Not mad at all." Stroman added. "I’m aware of the business. Just opens your eyes going through the arbitration process. Second time going through it. Still love my team and the entire country of Canada. More upset that I had to fly to AZ and miss my Monday workout."
BLUE JAYS SIGN GARCIA
You can add another candidate to the list of hurlers vying for that fifth spot in the Blue Jays rotation as, on Thursday, the club and free-agent southpaw Jaime Garcia came to terms on a one-year, $8M pact that includes a club option for the 2019 season.
Garcia, 31, checks in with a career ERA of 3.69 supported by a WHIP of 1.302 and an overall K/9 of 7.3 across 185 major league assignments, 174 of which have come as a starter.
Featuring an arsenal that includes three off-speed pitches, a four-seam fastball and a sinker capable of producing enhanced swing and miss rates, the 6-foot-2 product of Reynosa, Mexico has had success keeping the ball on the ground throughout his career. With a career HR/9 of 0.8, it's also worth noting that he's excelled at limiting round-trippers.
Beginning with Atlanta, Garcia pitched for three teams in 2017 and finished the campaign with a FIP of 4.25 through 27 starts.
Now in camp with the Blue Jays, it's likely that Garcia will be in direct competition with Joe Biagini and a growing cast of other rotation hopefuls in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.
- Follow Andrew Hendriks on Twitter (@77hendriks)