Estrada receives qualifying offer from Toronto
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have decided to extend a $15.8 million qualifying offer to free-agent right-hander Marco Estrada.
Estrada has until Nov. 13 to accept the offer. If he declines and then signs with another team, Toronto would receive a pick in next year's Draft as compensation.
The Draft pick associated with Estrada likely will have a negative impact on his value in the free-agent market. Some teams typically do not sign players that received qualifying offers, because they don't want to forfeit a pick, while other organizations won't offer as much money.
Estrada will have to weigh the pros and cons of accepting the offer. He would have been in line for a lucrative multiyear contract, and that remains a possibility, but so is settling for a one-year commitment.
Estrada's 3.13 ERA ranked fifth in the American League last season, and despite not having a spot in the rotation during Spring Training, he became one of the club's most reliable pitchers. He went 12-8 as a starter and also won a pair of potential elimination games during the postseason.
If Estrada accepts the offer, Toronto would have more depth in the rotation than it did a week ago. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey recently had his option picked up by the Blue Jays. The other potential starters include right-handers Marcus Stroman and Drew Hutchison.
Even if Estrada sticks around, the Blue Jays still need to find at least one or two more starters. That could come by transitioning relievers Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna to the rotation, but a more ideal scenario would see another starter added through free agency.
Estrada is 36-34 with a 3.95 ERA in 188 career games. One of the biggest reasons for his success was that his home run rate dropped from 1.7 in 2014 to 1.2 this year.