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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Who will sign the next mega-extension?

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees, age 28
Eligible for free agency after the 2022 season

Unlike many of the game’s young stars, Judge’s age might work against him; he’ll be entering his age-31 season when he first hits free agency. Judge’s impact on the Yankees’ lineup isn’t in question, but his ability to stay healthy is an issue. If the Yankees decide to extend one player, Torres seems like a better bet than Judge for both his age and durability.

Juan Soto, OF, Nationals, age 22
Eligible for free agency after the 2024 season

Soto is widely considered the best pure hitter in the game, so it would make sense for the Nationals to do whatever it takes to keep him in Washington for a long time. But with three more arbitration-eligible years before he becomes a free agent, Soto could set arbitration salary records if he continues to produce at his epic levels. Boras might view Soto as the only player who could approach (or pass?) Mike Trout’s record $426.5 million deal, so locking him up before he has a chance to test the market feels unlikely.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:02 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aaron judge, juan soto

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. puck Posted: February 19, 2021 at 10:57 AM (#6005803)
How about Wander Franco. Who was the Astro who signed a multiyear deal right away? It was a guy who didn't stick, right?

Edit: Jon Singleton.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6005804)
I thought I heard a rumor the White Sox may be doing this with Andrew Vaughn.
   3. flournoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6005806)
No pitchers on the list.

Have there been any young pitchers who've signed long-term pre-free agency extensions like the ones bandied about here?
   4. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6005808)
I would like to communicate that I am open to a huge contract from a Major League team.
   5. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 19, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6005815)
How about Wander Franco.

With the Rays? Unless he signs a real sweetheart deal for Tampa there's no way he gets a long contract with them.
   6. Buck Coats Posted: February 19, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6005817)
I dunno, Longoria got one
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: February 19, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6005819)
Have there been any young pitchers who've signed long-term pre-free agency extensions like the ones bandied about here?
I don't think so. Plenty of pitchers have signed pre-free agency extensions, but they have not been super-long and have (always?) come closer to free agency.
   8. reech Posted: February 19, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6005826)
Lindor is gonna get PAID !

   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6005842)
Have there been any young pitchers who've signed long-term pre-free agency extensions like the ones bandied about here?
Not nearly as early as Tatis, or some other position players, but Stephen Strasburg signed a 7-year/$175M extension with the Nationals, covering 2017-23, in May of 2016, while still on the contract covering his last arbitration year.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6005896)
The Yanks' 9 years for Cole is the longest I can think of since Kevin Brown. Chris Archer signed a 6-year + 2 options after 150 innings ... this would have been the last option year. But that was a standard money in the bank in exchange for cheap options contract not a Tatis thing.
   11. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6006008)
Soto is widely considered the best pure hitter in the game

Why exactly is Soto a "pure hitter"? Is it because he hit .351 last year, without too many of those pesky home runs?
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6006013)
Soto leading MLB in OBP & SLG also plays a part. Underestimate him at your peril. The WaPo’s Tom Boswell argues that Soto should get Tatis money now:
Two central elements of a 14-year deal to a 22-year-old need to be brought into sharp focus. First, with the caveat that all sports money is crazy, $340 million spread over 14 years isn’t nearly as much money as it seems. The “present value” of Tatis’s $340 million, made in equal payments over 14 years, is “merely” about $232.9 million — or $16.6 million a year.

As long as Soto stays vertical, and nothing in his history suggests he won’t, he’ll be a bargain at Tatis prices through age 35. He’ll probably have earned the whole value of the entire contract by the time he’s 30.
So, a bargain! Not my money, but if I were the Lerners, I’d try to time a Juan Soto extension to whenever tickets go on sale for this season.
   13. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6006014)
Why exactly is Soto a "pure hitter"?

He drinks only distilled water and pure grain alcohol.
   14. JJ1986 Posted: February 20, 2021 at 03:24 PM (#6006015)
"Pure hitter" usually means a guy who derives his value from his BA, like Luis Arraez, but I think it this case it just means "hitter" if you don't adjust for position.
   15. Lars6788 Posted: February 20, 2021 at 07:22 PM (#6006040)
Pure hitter - either your Tony Gwynn type or a guy who has power to all fields but has no apparent holes in his swing that can be consistently exploited.
   16. puck Posted: February 22, 2021 at 01:37 AM (#6006173)
on the topic of long term deals for guys who haven't played yet--that came up in the Kevin Mather (Mariners) stuff (link to transcript).

He mentioned Kelenic turned down a deal. But talked about Evan White and Marco Gonzalez's deal. Interesting to try this with multiple players.

We will offer long term contracts, we did a long term deal with Marco Gonzales. We did a long term deal with Evan White...when I say long term deal, he had not played a game in Major League Baseball, and we signed him to a $24 million contract, overpaying him in year one, two, and three. Fair in years four, five, and six. And then, if he’s a superstar, we have the option to exercise and keep him in years seven, eight, and nine. Weep not for Evan White, but if he’s a superstar, we’re only gonna pay him $15 or $16 million a year, [while] on the free agent market he might get $20 to $24 million a year. So we took the risk in the early years, and he took the risk that he’s a superstar in the later years of his contract and he’s probably underpaid. He took a lot of heat for signing that deal, the union really pushed back and said, don’t do it. But I like Evan White, he’s a nice young man, and he made the comment, he said, “I have $23 million guaranteed. That changes a person’s life. I’m signing the deal. And if I’m good and they pick up my options, I’ll have $55 million guaranteed. That changes my family’s, my grandkids’ lives.” I like the young man. We will offer more long term deals.

And there’s a certain pitcher that I won’t mention, who was in the bullpen at T-Mobile Park during our summer camp. And this was reported by one of the coaches. The players were sitting around talking about Evan White and, you know, he made a mistake signing this long term deal and delta. And this particular pitcher, who is going to be here in 2022, he said, “If somebody offers me $23 million guaranteed, find me a pen as fast as you can, I’m signing.” So we’re going to do that, our ownership is committed, we’re eager to sign these players up [and] we’re willing to take that risk. Some we’ll win on, some we’ll lose on, but we’re going to try to get three or four more players signed on these long term deals over the next two years.

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