Blue Jays, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. avoid salary arbitration
The Toronto Blue Jays and Dominican-Canadian Vladimir Guerrero Jr. agree to $14.5MM deal for the 2023 season to avoid arbitration. Guerrero Jr., who spent his entire career as a member of the Blue Jays organization, was the universally recognized top prospect in baseball before his major league debut in 2019.
While his debut season was solid for a rookie, he fell short of those lofty expectations by slashing .271/.339/.433 (106 wRC+) in 123 major league games. The shortened 2020 season was more of the same for Guerrero Jr., as he posted a wRC+ of 110 while largely repeating his stats from 2019, with slight improvements to his ISO and strikeout rate largely canceled out by a drop. in your BABIP:
However, Guerrero Jr. he delivered on the promise of his top prospect status and then some in 2021. In 161 games, Guerrero Jr. posted a phenomenal .311/.401/.601 slash, good for a whopping 166 wRC+ that led the slugger to not only his first All-Star appearance, but also a second-place finish in the All-Star Game. MVP voting behind Shohei Ohtani.
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After that stellar season, Guerrero Jr. was down to earth a bit in 2022, though he was still much better than he had been in the first two seasons of his career. A cut line of .274/.339/.480 was good for a wRC+ of 132, a second All Star appearance and some MVP votes on the negative ballot.
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