Jays sign Frasor, Accardo and Bautista
Only two arbitration-eligible players remain without deals for 2009
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with three players on Tuesday, agreeing to terms on contracts with pitchers Jason Frasor and Jeremy Accardo and utility man Jose Bautista for the upcoming season. Toronto also exchanged salary proposals with relievers Brian Tallet and Shawn Camp.
Tallet and Camp are the Blue Jays' only remaining arbitration-eligible players without contracts for the 2009 campaign. If necessary, the arbitration hearings are scheduled to run from Feb. 1-21, but Toronto can negotiate with the players up until their scheduled meetings. The Blue Jays haven't gone to arbitration with a player since 1997.
Frasor, 31, who is entering his sixth season with the Blue Jays, agreed to terms on a $1.45 million contract after earning a $1.125 million salary through arbitration last year. Last season, the right-hander posted a 4.18 ERA across 49 games, during which he struck out 42 hitters in 47 1/3 innings. Frasor limited batters to a .204 average, including a .174 mark against right-handers, representing the seventh-best average in the American League.
Working in a middle-relief role, Frasor also allowed just four of the 32 baserunners (12.5 percent) he inherited to score, marking the second-best total in the Major Leagues. When pitching at home inside Rogers Centre, Frasor posted a 1.80 ERA. Frasor performed best on multiple days of rest, spinning a 1.17 ERA with three to five days off between outings, compared to a 6.39 ERA on just one day of rest.
Accardo, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, agreed to terms on a contract worth $900,000. The right-hander appeared in just 16 games for Toronto last year before having his season come to an end on May 10 due to a right forerarm strain. Accardo went 0-3 with a 6.57 ERA and four saves prior to landing on the disabled list. In 2007, Accardo posted a 2.14 ERA and saved 30 games in 64 relief appearanced for the Jays.
Bautista -- acquired from the Pirates in exchange for catching prospect Robinzon Diaz on Aug. 21 last season -- will earn $2.4 million in '09 after making $1.8 million last year. Bautista, who can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield, hit .238 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in 128 games last season. In 21 games with Toronto, the 28-year-old Bautista hit .214 with three homers and 10 RBIs.
Tallet, 31, who earned a $640,000 salary through arbitration last year, requested a $1.3 million salary for the upcoming season. The Jays countered with an offer of $950,000 for the left-hander, who logged a career-high 51 games out of the bullpen in '08. In those appearances, Tallet posted a 2.88 ERA -- his best in three seasons with Toronto -- and limited hitters to a .182 average with runners in scoring position. Tallet worked two or more innings in 12 games and turned in a 0.36 ERA in those outings.
Camp, 33, has requested a $950,000 contract for 2009, while the Jays tabled a $700,000 offer. Camp went 3-1 with a 4.12 ERA in 40 relief appearances in his first tour with the Blue Jays last season. Over 39 1/3 innings, the right-hander struck out 31 batters and issued 11 walks. Camp also limited hitters to a .263 average, including a .204 mark against right-handers.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.