Toronto Blue Jays: Randal Grichuk celebrates contract extension with big outing

Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a solo home run in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a solo home run in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

After signing a contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, Randal Grichuk’s bat had a breakout performance against the Baltimore Orioles.

Hours after trading Kevin Pillar, the Toronto Blue Jays decided to lock up Randal Grichuk to a five-year, $52 million extension which definitely came out of nowhere even though it was in the works for a couple of weeks.

The Blue Jays made the announcement during Tuesday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles and in his first start (he pinched hit on Tuesday night) Grichuk helped the team’s offence break out of its funk with a multi-home run game.

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With Pillar gone, Grichuk will be counted on as the veteran presence in the outfield with Anthony Alford, Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez being brought along on a fulltime basis. Even having 27-year-old around during his prime will provide some peace in mind as they try to build a contender.

Grichuk will also be asked to bring some power to the lineup after hitting a career-high 25 homers in what was an up and down year last season. While he might not bring the same level of hustle defensively as Pillar, Grichuk isn’t a liability in the field.

He even had a nice exchange with a fan who gave it to him after Trey Mancini‘s home run to center field.

"“I actually had one fan on Mancini’s home run saying ‘Pillar would have caught that,”’ Grichuk told reporters. “So that was definitely nice of him. But it’s one of those things where I know I can play centre. … [I] know that defensively I can make plays and make things happen and trust in my abilities.”"

Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair wrote after the game that fans should try to appreciate what Grichuk brings both offensively and defensively. Change takes time to get used to but considering what still awaits with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, Blue Jays fans shouldn’t be too concerned with Grichuk taking Pillar’s spot, in time they will see that it will be a big benefit in the long run.

Matt Shoemaker provides another impressive outing

The Blue Jays rotation has been the biggest strength a week into the season but they haven’t gotten the run support. Shoemaker pitched deep into the game once again going seven innings striking out eight and only allowed two hits.

Whether the rotation can keep up their current pace remains to be seen but you have to be encouraged by what has been an impressive sample so far. Obviously, the offence will have its inconsistencies but you get the sense that the team is heading in the right direction.

This doesn’t change the fact that the team didn’t make it a point to go out and sign a top free agent. They know that the young players need to gain experience and the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees aren’t going to remain at the bottom of the division too long.

Next. Looking back at Kevin Pillar’s memorable moments. dark

What do you think about Grichuk’s deal? Can he replace what Pillar brought and will this team improve on last season? Let us know in the comments below.