Blue Jays avoid arbitration with Marco Estrada, Michael Saunders

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with right-hander Marco Estrada and outfielder Michael Saunders by agreeing to one-year contracts.

Estrada, acquired from Milwaukee last November for first baseman Adam Lind, agreed at $3.9 million, up from $3,365,000. He Estrada went 7-6 with a 4.36 ERA in 39 games with the Brewers last season.

Saunders, acquired from Seattle last month for left-hander J.A. Happ, gets $2,875,000, a raise from $2.3 million. He hit .273 with eight homers and 34 RBIs in 78 games with the Mariners in 2014.

A day earlier, Toronto agreed with left-hander Brett Cecil at $2,475,000.

Two Blue Jays remain in arbitration: infielders Josh Donaldson and Danny Valencia, both in arbitration for the first time. Donaldson asked for $5,725,000 and was offered $4.3 million; Valencia requested $1,675,000 and was offered $1.2 million.

Toronto has not gone to arbitration with any player since right-hander Bill Risley in 1997.

In addition, Toronto agreed to a minor league contract with infielder Munenori Kawasaki, who was sent outright to the minors off the 40-man roster after the season. Kawasaki appeared in 64 games at second last season and hit .258 with no homers and 17 RBIs.

Toronto sent right-hander Cory Burns outright to Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.

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