Report: Barney, Carrera reach pacts with Blue Jays
By Daniel Kramer
The Blue Jays on Thursday agreed on two arbitration-avoiding pacts -- with utilty man Darwin Barney ($2.8875 million) and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera ($1.1625 million), according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
The club has not confirmed either agreement.
It's a significant raise for the seven-year veteran Barney, who was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $1.6 million after earning $1.05 million in '16, his first year in Toronto, where he had a resurgence of sorts
Barney, 31, was the most well-traveled Blue Jay last year, having played six positions -- even tossing an inning as pitcher -- over 104 games, hitting .269 with a .695 OPS. He also belted 19 extra-base hits, including four homers, while knocking in 19 runs.
A former Gold Glove Award winner, Barney has proven to be a utility luxury who can step in anywhere, particularly across the infield. Ryan Goins, who lost his utility backup job to Barney last year, has been working in the outfield this offseason with hopes of retaining a roster spot in '17, leaving Barney as the primary backup infielder.
The Blue Jays' infield appears set, but if health issues arise -- as they did last season with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and second baseman Devon Travis -- the club has a comfortable option in Barney, who can also in emergency situations play outfield, where the Jays don't have as much depth.
Carrera, who fought his way to the fourth outfield spot last spring, will platoon with Melvin Upton Jr. this season. Carrera last year set career highs in games played (110) and runs scored (47) but hit .248, his lowest mark in three years, with a 22.6 percent strikeout rate.
Along with Upton, as of now, Carrera will likely compete for playing time with Dalton Pompey and Steve Pearce. His salary figure came just shy of his $1.2 million projection via MLBTR in what is the 29-year-old's first year of arbitration eligibility.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.