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Giles, Shoemaker, Drury agree to 1-year deals

@KeeganMatheson
January 10, 2020

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with all three of their remaining eligible players, agreeing to deals with Ken Giles, Matt Shoemaker and Brandon Drury prior to Friday’s deadline. Giles will earn $9.6 million in 2020, his final year of team control with Toronto. That marks a notable

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with all three of their remaining eligible players, agreeing to deals with Ken Giles, Matt Shoemaker and Brandon Drury prior to Friday’s deadline.

Giles will earn $9.6 million in 2020, his final year of team control with Toronto. That marks a notable raise from his $6.3 million in '19, which surpasses the estimate of $8.5 million from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Shoemaker will earn $4.2 million, while Drury will earn $2.05 million.

Giles, 29, is coming off one of the best seasons of his career in his first full year with the Blue Jays. The right-hander recorded 23 saves, giving him 114 career, while posting a 1.87 ERA with 83 strikeouts over 53 innings. Giles’ name was expected to bounce around in trade talks this offseason, and while that’s still possible leading right up to the July 31 Trade Deadline, his value to the Blue Jays remains very high.

When Giles came to Toronto in 2018 as part of the Roberto Osuna deal, he brought with him a reputation as a talented closer whose emotions too often got the best of him. A change in mental approach prior to 2019 brought results that were immediate and obvious, however, as Giles established himself in a leadership role in Spring Training and earned praise throughout the organization as the season went on.

Shoemaker missed nearly all of last season due to a torn ACL in his left knee, but the veteran right-hander was excellent in his five starts prior to going down, posting a 1.57 ERA. He’s thrown just 137 1/3 combined innings over the last three seasons, a number the Blue Jays hope that he can reach in 2020 alone. If Shoemaker is able to do that -- and with an ERA close to his career mark of 3.81 -- he’ll be a much-needed piece of rotation depth to keep things steady on the back end.

Like Giles, this is the final year of arbitration eligibility for Shoemaker, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.

The Blue Jays are still looking for Drury to find his footing in Toronto, and that will likely need to come in a utility role this season. Drury is in line to be the top reserve at third and second base behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio, respectively, and his limited experience at shortstop will be a factor in the Blue Jays’ infield depth picture. The 27-year-old also started 16 games in the corner outfield positions last season, showcasing the trust that manager Charlie Montoyo has in his versatility.

Drury is expected to compete with Santiago Espinal and Breyvic Valera in Spring Training, and it remains possible that the Blue Jays will look to add a veteran infielder with some shortstop experience as insurance behind Bo Bichette, most likely on a Minor League deal.

Last offseason, Toronto reached agreements with its eight arbitration-eligible players. Reliever Ryan Tepera was the lone player who went to arbitration. The Blue Jays eventually won that arbitration case, and Tepera earned a $1.525 million salary for the 2019 season.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter @KeeganMatheson.