Blue Jays Reach Three-Year Extension With Star Shortstop Bo Bichette Prior to Arbitration

Blue Jays Shortstop Bo Bichette Fixes Hat in Blue Jays Dugout Prior to Game
Blue Jays Shortstop Bo Bichette Fixes Hat in Blue Jays Dugout Prior to Game (Photo Credit): John E. Sokolowski/USA-TODAY Sports

Last night news broke that the Toronto Blue Jays and star shortstop Bo Bichette have reached a three-year extension, avoiding arbitration. The 24-year-old shortstops arbitration case was originally set for tomorrow, but the Blue Jays chose to avoid it altogether. This was the best-case scenario after the news of an arbitration hearing broke in January. 

With what looked like the two sides needing a third-party arbitrator, fans and the media began to speculate on Bo Bichette’s future with the team. Sometimes, harsh words could be said in arbitration hearings, as Jays’ fans know firsthand from the Marcus Stroman situation. It’s definitely a positive to see that the two sides agreed seeking arbitration. The 24-year-old is a key part of the franchise as the Blue Jays continue building around this young core.

This wasn’t the only reason Blue Jays fans and media members began to speculate, I first hand was included. With the Blue Jays’ offseason clearly targeting getting better defensively, it was certainly odd that Bichette was the only Blue Jay heading to arbitration. Last season Bichette had twenty-three errors at the shortstop position, ranking as one of the highest at the position league-wide. Bo’s biggest criticism has been his defensive game at the Major League level, but the 24-year-old certainly makes up for it using his bat. 

Last season Bichette had an absolutely monstrous finish, being a key contributor in the team clinching a playoff spot. Bichette finished the 2022 season with a .290 batting average, twenty-four home runs, ninety-three runs batted in, and thirteen stolen bases. Bichette remains a key bat in this Blue Jays offense with a unique blend of power and contact. According to Baseballsavant.mlb.com, Bichette ranks in the ninety-second percentile of expected batting average and ninety-fourth percentile in HardHit percentage. 

This move is utterly shocking to me, I didn’t expect this result to arise prior to arbitration. However, I’m certainly glad it did, not only for right now but long-term. Bo Bichette brings so much good to the Blue Jays, and having a tense relationship between a player and management is never good.

I’m looking forward to what Bichette can bring in 2023, especially offensively. If Bo can build off his electric September, I think Blue Jays fans are in for a real treat. 

Thanks for reading! For more baseball content, follow me on Twitter at ITR_Anselmo.

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