Dan Szymborski recently did an ESPN Insider post on baseball’s most team friendly contracted players. Because we have access behind the paywall, we’ll give you a look.
Szymborski says Correa is the tops in baseball, with the Astros controlling Correa until after the 2021 season and him already adding a 2016 surplus value of +26.2 wins.
This 2015 American League Rookie of the Year posted a .279/.345/.512 line after his midseason call-up while playing solid defense at a key defensive position, and he wasn’t even the legal drinking age until September. Impressive, but what makes him No. 1? Because the Houston Astros control Correa for the next six seasons.
The truly scary thing for the rest of the league is that, given his age and how quickly he advanced through the minors, he could actually improve. ZiPS projects Correa to be a 6-7 WAR player in his prime, and he’s years away from the Astros having to pay him anything close to what that level of performance merits. Correa is the most exciting young shortstop in baseball sinceAlex Rodriguez, who, as you might remember, turned out to be a pretty decent player. The sooner the Astros make him filthy rich and lock him up long term, the better it is for the franchise. On a related note, anyone still wish the Astros had signed a bunch of mediocre free agents and tried to win 75 games in 2011 rather than finishing with the worst record in baseball, earning them the first pick in the 2012 draft? That’s what I thought.
So who follows up Correa?
Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Anthony Rizzo, and Chris Sale.
Syndergaard, Buxton, Archer, Jose Fernandez, Sano, J.P. Crawford, Schwarber, Addison Russell, Orlando Arcia, Sonny Gray, Luis Severino, Kevin Kiermaier, Starling Marte, Carlos Carrasco, and Bumgarner round out the top 25.