Blue Jays tender deals to all arb-eligible players

Blue Jays tender deals to all arb-eligible players

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays tendered contracts to all four of their arbitration-eligible players prior to Friday night's 8 ET deadline.

Right-hander Marcus Stroman, infielder Darwin Barney, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and lefty Aaron Loup all remain under club control. Toronto also announced that first baseman Chris Colabello and utility man Andy Burns cleared waivers and were outrighted off the 40-man roster.

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Teams had until Friday evening to make decisions on arbitration-eligible players, but in Toronto's case, the decisions weren't too difficult. Stroman, Carrera and Loup were no-brainers, and while Barney's salary may be a little higher than anticipated, it wouldn't be high enough to compel the club to part ways with a key depth piece.

In mid-January, teams and unsigned arbitration-eligible players will exchange 2017 salary figures. The following month, an independent arbiter will hear both sides, then pick one of the two figures as the appropriate salary. Until the time a hearing starts, teams and players can avoid the process by agreeing to a deal.

According to MLBTradeRumors, Barney is projected to earn $1.6 million, but there's a chance that number could be on the low side. The 31-year-old made $1.05 million in 2016 after taking a paycut; the year before, he earned $2.525 million as an arbitration-eligible player with the Dodgers. Loup and Carrera are projected to earn $1.2 million, and Stroman is looking at $3.5 million.

Barney will be getting a raise no matter what happens, and the Blue Jays were likely wise to hang onto him. Devon Travis is Toronto's starting second baseman, but he has struggled to stay healthy during each of the last two seasons and the bench combination of Barney and Ryan Goins has proven to be a nice luxury to have. The Blue Jays also do not have a prospect at second base who is close to being big league-ready.

In 104 games last season, Barney hit .269 with 19 extra-base hits. The former Gold Glove Award winner provides plus defense at second and short with the ability to play third base and occasionally even the outfield during emergency situations. He seems likely to begin the season as Toronto's primary backup infielder, and if Travis goes down, Barney would be expected to platoon with Goins.

Colabello and Burns remain in the organization, but they are no longer on the 40-man roster. Other teams from around the league had the ability to claim them, but instead they cleared and at least for now remain under club control. Colabello posted an .886 OPS for the Blue Jays in 2015, but this year, he received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. He later appeared in 40 games for Triple-A Buffalo but struggled with a .180 average and .536 OPS.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.