Signed, sealed and delivered. The Blue Jays once again avoided the arbitration process Friday by reaching agreement with their three remaining arbitration-eligible plays -- left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ, catcher Josh Thole and infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Thole signed a two-year deal worth $2.5 million ($1.25 million in both 2013 and 2014), with a club option worth $1.75 million in 2015. Happ signed a one-year deal worth $3.7 million, while Bonifacio also agreed to a one-year pact worth $2.6 million. By reaching agreement with the three players, the Blue Jays have avoided going through the arbitration process since 1997, pitcher Bill Risley being the last player to do so. Happ, 30, was acquired last season in the trade with Houston, while Thole came along in the trade with the Mets that featured Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. Bonifacio was acquired in the off-season as part of the mega-deal with the Miami Marlins. Happ will enter spring training as the Jays' sixth starter, which means he either will make the club as their long reliever or be shipped to triple-A Buffalo as part of their rotation. He will be the Jays' first option if any of their projected starters runs into injury. In 10 appearances with the Jays last season, including six starts, Happ was 3-2 with a 4.69 ERA. Thole's claim to fame is that he is a capable receiver for the knuckleball-throwing Dickey. He will battle veteran Henry Blanco for the backup role behind J.P. Arencibia.
Jays sign Happ, Thole, Bonifacio
Toronto Sun | Jan 19