Toronto deciding on tendering contract to Revere, others
Deadline for clubs' decisions on arbitration-eligible players is Wednesday night
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET to make a decision on whether to tender a contract to energetic left fielder Ben Revere.
Wednesday night is the deadline for all teams to tender contracts to their players who are eligible for arbitration. If teams feel the price tags will be too high, they can instead opt to cut players loose and let them hit free agency.
Revere's status is up in the air because he is likely to get a substantial raise through the arbitration process. That project raise might be too pricey for an organization that currently has Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista starting in the outfield, with Michael Saunders and Dalton Pompey as options in left.
The 27-year-old Revere originally was considered a short-term replacement when he was acquired from Philadelphia prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. He struggled early but finished with a .319 batting average and a .734 OPS while providing solid defense in left.
Interim Blue Jays general manager Tony LaCava wouldn't non-tender Revere until at least exhausting all possible trade scenarios. Toronto was in a similar situation last year with a club option for Adam Lind, who had it picked up and was then immediately dealt to the Brewers for right-hander Marco Estrada.
Revere, who earned $4.14 million in 2015, might end up being the odd man out for financial reasons, but the Blue Jays have a few other options as well. LaCava could instead opt to cut ties with Saunders.
Saunders missed the entire 2015 season after he tore the meniscus in his left knee while shagging fly balls in Spring Training. Prior to that, he was considered a key piece to the lineup after he came over in a trade with Seattle for left-hander J.A. Happ. Saunders is a career .230 hitter with a .682 OPS in 562 career games.
Right-hander Steve Delabar is another possibility to be non-tendered, but his contract isn't nearly as prohibitive. But the Blue Jays have some depth issues in the bullpen, so it's possible Toronto would prefer to keep all of its arms intact.