|Jays lock up Mathis through 2013. (Getty Images)|
The Blue Jays have agreed to a two-year, $3 million contract extension with catcher Jeff Mathis, the club announced Tuesday night. Included in the deal is a $1.5 million club option for the 2015 season.
Mathis was set to be a free agent after the season prior to the agreement.
Mathis, 29, is hitting .215/.252/.415 with six homers and 19 RBI in 147 plate appearances this season, but his value isn't with the stick. Mathis is a strong defensive catcher who leads the AL with a 39 percent rate of throwing out would-be base-stealers.
The big takeaway from this deal is the presence of both J.P. Arencibia and Travis d'Arnaud. Mathis is being paid backup catcher money here, and that will remain his role moving forward. That means the Jays will head into next season with two worthy options as starting catcher ahead of Mathis, unless they trade one -- which appears likely.
Arencibia, 26, is hitting .242/.279/.466 with 16 homers and 50 RBI in 81 games this season. He's on the disabled list recovering from a fractured hand. D'Arnaud, 23, is hitting .333/.380/.595 with 16 homers and 52 RBI in 67 games for Triple-A Las Vegas. He came into the season as a top 20 prospect in all of baseball.
So there will be a decision made between the two at some point, possibly this coming offseason in a trade that lands the Jays pitching.