Star first basemen Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Pete Alonso both avoided arbitration with their respective clubs Friday in record fashion.
Guerrero and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $14.5-million contract for the 2023 season, the team announced, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. His deal came just a few minutes after Alonso avoided a hearing with the New York Mets by inking his own $14.5-million pact
The two contracts are now tied for the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible first baseman, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Guerrero helped lead Toronto back to the playoffs last season by hitting .274/.339/.480 with 32 homers, 97 RBIs, and eight stolen bases across 160 games. In addition to earning an All-Star berth for the second straight campaign, the 23-year-old earned his first Gold Glove award after a marked defensive improvement.
Guerrero has another two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before free agency.
Toronto agreed to one-year deals with 11 of its 12 arbitration-eligible players Friday, including Guerrero. Shortstop Bo Bichette is now the team’s lone eligible player without a deal for 2023, meaning he and the team will now exchange figures in advance of an arbitration hearing. The sides could still work out a deal before a hearing occurs.
Alonso was a force for the 101-win Mets last season, hitting .271/.352/.518 with 40 home runs and a league-leading 131 RBIs. The 28-year-old was named an All-Star for the second time in his career and finished eighth in National League MVP voting.
This is Alonso’s second year of arbitration eligibility. He has one more year remaining before reaching free agency.
The Mets also reached agreements with all of their other arbitration-eligible players, save for reigning NL batting champion Jeff McNeil.
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