Jon Heyman reports that the Blue Jays and infielder Brandon Drury have agreed on a one-year, $2.05 million contract for the 2020 season, avoiding arbitration. Drury was in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Drury, 27, posted a meager .218/.262/.380 slash line along with 15 home runs and 41 RBI over 447 plate appearances this past season. He played all over the diamond, including the corner outfield. He spent most of his time, however, at third base.
Drury is likely to play a similar role in 2020, going wherever the Jays need him to go.
The Jays have two outstanding arbitration cases remaining with Ken Giles and Matt Shoemaker.
Jon Heyman reports that 11 MLB umpires have opted out of the 2020 season or have otherwise declined to participate. He says “some are said to have family members who are ill.” The umpires’ identities are not yet known.
Umpires, like players, have the right to opt-out with full pay if they are in a high risk group due to preexisting health conditions. Umpires can, obviously, be older as well, so age factors into it for some as well. Also like players, umpires who are themselves not high risk can opt-out if they have concern for the health of family members, though they will forego paychecks.
Recently, one umpire who is high risk — Joe West — made headlines for not only choosing not to opt-out but for also giving voice to COVID-19 denialism, questioning official statistics about infections and deaths.
The latest on West: