The Toronto Blue Jays capped off an active day of roster moves Tuesday by signing outfielder Randal Grichuk to a five-year contract extension worth $52 million US.
The new deal covers the 2019 to 2023 seasons.
The 27-year-old was slated to make $5 million this year. He was eligible to become a free agent after the 2020 season.
Sportsnet reported that Grichuk’s new 2019 salary will be $7 million plus a $5-million signing bonus. He will earn $12 million in 2020 followed by salaries of $9,333,333 in 2021-23.
GM Ross Atkins declined to detail the contract breakdown.
Grichuk, 27, is coming off a 2018 season in which he hit. 245 with a career-high 25 home runs as well as 32 doubles and 58 extra-base hits. A native of Rosenberg, Texas, Grichuk has a .247 career batting average with 92 homers and 245 RBIs in six years in the majors.
Atkins cited Grichuk’s character and work ethic.
“Obviously the performance is a key part of it but we will rest well at night with his effort, with his professionalism, his commitment to being great. And being a part of something special is important to him,” said Atkins.
“The offence has always stood out. He’s always performed. He’s always hit the ball hard, he’s always hit it far and it usually goes over the fence at a pretty good rate. In our view he’s been an above-average defender and those are hard things to piece together.”
OFFICIAL: We’ve signed <a href=”https://twitter.com/RGrich15?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RGrich15</a> to a 5-year contract extension through the 2023 season! <a href=”https://t.co/GeRHEiPTMl”>pic.twitter.com/GeRHEiPTMl</a>
Atkins said the Jays believe Grichuk can play all three outfield positions, although he has spent most time in right.
The six-foot-two 213-pounder was acquired by the Blue Jays in January 2018 from the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal that sent right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone and RHP Conner Greene the other way.
News of the rich new deal came hours after Toronto sent outfielder Kevin Pillar to the San Francisco Giants for three players.
Atkins said the two moves were unrelated.
“The discussions with Randal started in spring training and it just so happened that this is when it culminated,” he said. “Complete coincidence.”
The Jays also acquired speedy outfielder Socrates Brito from San Diego.