When the Blue Jays claimed first baseman Justin Smoak off waivers from the Mariners in late October they clearly had something unconventional in mind, because there was little chance of them wanting to exercise his $3.65 million option for 2015.
Sure enough, the Blue Jays declined the option in favor of a $150,000 buyout and then non-tendered Smoak … and today he re-signed with Toronto on a one-year, $1 million contract.
Smoak was once a top prospect, but he’s hit just .224 with a .689 OPS in 566 games as a big leaguer, including .202 with a .614 OPS this past season. He does have 20-homer power and good plate discipline, so for a million bucks the Blue Jays will try to get some decent production out of the 28-year-old.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.