After a disastrous 2014 season with the Brewers in which he allowed 29 home runs, the last thing Marco Estrada needed was a move to the launching pad known as Rogers Centre. However, Estrada fared just fine with the Blue Jays, going 13-8 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. That performance earned him a two-year extension to stay in Toronto, but Estrada could have a hard time reaching that same level of success. As good as he can be at inducing soft contact, he won't be likely to repeat a .218 BABIP rate. Estrada is due for some ERA and WHIP inflation, so don't reach for him before the late rounds in standard mixed leagues.
Estrada re-signed with the Blue Jays, agreeing to a two-year, $26 million deal Friday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports. Estrada decided to forgo the $15.8 million qualifying offer that would've payed more annually in favor of a multi-year deal to go back to Toronto. The 32-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015, going 13-8 with a 3.13 ERA mostly working as a starter, though a 4.40 FIP suggests he benefited from a bit of luck. He figures to slot back into the starting rotation in 2016.
Estrada was extended a qualifying offer by the Blue Jays Friday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Estrada joined the Blue Jays last offseason after a trade with the Brewers and the right-hander promptly posted a career-best ERA, (3.13) WHIP (1.04) and win total (13) while throwing 181 innings, by far the most he pitched in his career. This move now ensures Toronto will receive some sort of draft-pick compensation should the 32-year-old decline the offer and sign with another club, however the Blue Jays are expected to make a push to re-sign the veteran hurler.
Estrada will start Game 1 of the ALCS against the Royals on Friday, John Lott of the National Post reports. The right-hander earned a victory over Texas in Game 3 of the Division Series, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four in 6.1 innings. Estrada will look to ride that momentum into Game 1 against a Kansas City team he held to four total runs in two regular-season starts (12.1 innings).
Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin is out of the lineup for Game 3 against the Rangers on Sunday. Martin will take a rest as Dioner Navarro gets the call behind the dish to catch Marco Estrada. It seems likely that Martin would be behind the plate should his team force a Game 4.
Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada did not factor into the decision on Monday against the Orioles, surrendering four hits, three earned runs and a walk over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out two. The veteran right-hander enjoyed his third consecutive quality start, capping off a generally strong September. He was considerably sharp with his control as well, throwing 58 of 82 pitches for strikes, although he once again induced single-digit swings-and-misses (7). Estrada figures to play an important role on the Blue Jays' postseason pitching staff, considering the career year he has posted in his age-32 season.