TORONTO [PeterPaul.ca] — The Toronto Blue Jays made a host of moves Saturday acquiring pitcher Marco Estrada from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for first baseman Adam Lind while extending qualifying offers to LHP J.A. Happ, C Josh Thole and star outfielder Melky Cabrera.
Lind, a fan favourite, was selected by the Blue Jays in the third round of the 2004 draft and posted a .273 average with 146 HRs and 519 RBI over nine seasons as a Blue Jay. During 290 at-bats in 2014, Lind averaged .321 adding 93 hits for 139 total bases, 6 HR and 40 RBI.
Speculation only grew that Lind was on his way out after first baseman Justin Smoak was claimed off waivers on Tuesday. He was declined an offer Saturday but “remains under team control and is arbitration eligible.” The 27-year-old appeared in 80 games for the Mariners last season batting .202 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs.
Cabrera was extended a qualifying offer of $15.3 million USD on Saturday, ending days of speculation that he would be traded. He had a .301 batting average with 16 HRs, 73 RBI and a .808 OPS in 2014 and rebounded from off-season surgery prior to the season to stay mostly injury free.
Happ and Thole were extended offers of $6.7 million USD and $1.75 million USD respectively. Terms were not disclosed. Options for RHPs Brandon Morrow, Sergio Santos and Dustin McGowan were all declined, allowing them to elect free agency.
Third baseman Brett Lawrie, infielder Maicer Izturis, RHP Chad Jenkins and outfielder Andy Dirks were activated from the 60-day DL and have been placed on the 40-man roster.