Springer is led into the Blue Jays' spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, to get a physical. If all goes according to plan, Toronto will find the celebrity it's been looking for winter.
The contract would be the largest given from the Blue Jays in business history. Their sole contract that topped $100 million was a $126 million extension given to Vernon Wells in 2006.
Springer, the spark plug for the Houston Astros' crime in the leadoff spot for the past four seasons, was among the most coveted free agents on the market this offseason. He hit a team-high 14 home runs last year and added a second four in the postseason, as the Astros dropped to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.
While a number of his teammates struggled offensively last year amid fallout from the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, Springer, who earned a prorated $7,777,778 out of a $21 million salary following avoiding arbitration, has continued to put up better numbers because. He hit .265 using 32 RBIs in 51 matches in 2020 while decreasing his strikeout rate to 17.1%, a career best.
Since Springer turned right down a yearlong, $18.9 million qualifying offer, Houston will receive an extra pick in next July's amateur draft following the fourth round, and Toronto will lose its second-highest draft pick and also forfeit $500,000 of international signing bonus pool space for the 2022-23 signing period.
Ahead of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Springer hit 20 home runs in five of the previous six campaigns. He earned three direct All-Star nods, from 2017 to 2019, also has been named World Series MVP in 2017, if the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.
In addition, he has hit a first-inning leadoff home run 39 times throughout his career, which ranks fourth in American League history.
In 2019, Springer set career highs with a .292 batting average, .591 slugging percent, .383 on-base percent and 6.2 WAR (wins over replacement).
Defensively, Springer continues to be very strong as a regular center fielder at age 31 and might easily slide to either of the corner outfield areas, if necessary. Blue Jays centre fielders accounted for minus-7 defensive functions saved in 2020, tied with all the New York Yankees for 26th in MLB. Springer accounted for 6 DRS as a center fielder in 2020, tied for fifth best at the place.
The Blue Jays' outfield was extremely productive on crime in 2020, blending for 40 home runs. The sole outfield with much more homers than the Jays' belonged to the Dodgers (50).
In general, in seven seasons with the Astros, Springer has a .270 career batting average with 174 house runs and 458 RBIs.
A slow free-agent market saw only 21 of 181 players who became free agents after the World Series enter Tuesday with finalized agreements.
Blue Jays Nation first reported Springer's agreement with Toronto on Tuesday night, while MLB Network first had the terms.