Category Archives: contract extensions

Anaheim Angels sign Mike Trout to six-year Contract Extension


On the eve of the opening weekend of the baseball season, baseball’s brightest star signs his contract extension a day after baseball’s best hitter of the generation signs his own.

This is great for baseball: the Angels keep their homegrown star for six more years, and $144.5 million was all it took to do it. Trout could have conceivably signed a deal worth $30 million dollars per year, instead this contract checks in at an AAV of just over $24-millon per.

The fact that it comes on the start of Opening Day weekend just makes it all that much sweeter and easier to smile about. Mike Trout will be an Angel for a long, long time. We tip our cap to all Anaheim fans out there like M.J. Lloyd and Mike Hllywa on this day of rejoice.

On Miguel Cabrera’s Monster 10-year Contract Extension

There aren’t many players who are worth a 10-year, $292 million dollar contract extension; but Miguel Cabrera is that player.

People will say what they will – that Cabrera won’t be able to live out this deal at the top of his game, or they’ll point towards the Pujols contract and it’s impending doom ending. But Cabrera is his own case study. In the past two years he’s basically won two Triple Crowns. He’s dominated the game of baseball for almost the last decade like some of the legends our grandfathers tell stories about.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Miguel Cabrera is a timeless, generational talent. A rare pearl that is found once every few decades in the deep seas. Due to the Hall of Fame numbers he’s putting up year over year (he’s averaged 6.7 bWAR over the past five seasons), this deal is going to end up paying for itself because I believe that Cabrera is one of those rare gate attractions that people will pay to see. Like the Siberian Tiger at the local zoo, he’s the one thing you just have to see when you visit Motown. I know I want to get up north this summer just to see the guy take some hacks live.

And after he retires, he’ll be remembered as a Detroit Tiger. Don’t tell me that it would have been good for baseball for Cabrera to end up on the Mets, or the Phillies, or any other team in his final years. If the Tigers don’t ink this type of deal, someone else would have when the time came. It’s best for the game if he remains in Detroit and continues to chase records wearing that pseudo-Black.

The deal could reach 12 years and $352 million total. The biggest winners in all of this are the fans of the Detroit Tigers franchise. Baseball’s king remains in Camelot for another decade plus. The Tigers just need to find the resources to surround him with the missing link and get a World Series ring on his finger.

This is the type of contract that only the class organizations have earned the right to ink a player to. The Detroit Tigers fit that description right now – they’re one of the few. You can’t argue with what they’ve done to this point in building the machine. That’s a competitive and respected team year after year. This move is no different: except it’s a winning move in more ways than just the wins it will yield on the field.

Julio Teheran signs long-term extension with Atlanta


The Braves are doing their part to lock up their core and create a window to compete. They already signed Freddie Freeman to the long-term extension, making him the face of the franchise. They extended Jason Heyward two years – though this doesn’t really count as a long-term deal because Heyward was under team control for those years anyways with arbitration.

Today, they agreed to a six-year pact with pitcher Julio Teheran. Teheran is reportedly guaranteed $32.4 million in the deal.

I’m personally very impressed with Teheran and think he’s got a future ahead of him with All-Star appearances, and competing for Cy Young Awards. As a 22-year old he posted a flashy 3.20 ERA to go along with sparkling control that allowed him a 170 to 45 K to BB ratio.

And the best part of this deal? We’re probably going to get six more years of Bryce Harper-Julio Teheran duels. That figures to be must see television another 75 or so times it occurs.


Were the Braves drawing a line in the sand with Heyward & Freeman extensions?


Earlier in the week the Atlanta Braves made waves in the baseball world by signing Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward to contract extensions. Instead of just reporting the news that hundreds of other sites beat us to, we’ll try to react to something interesting and developing that is just now a footnote of this story.

FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi states that the Braves were signaling to the world their choice between Freeman and Heyward.

You could have described this as the Braves committing multiyear contracts to a pair of 24-year-old stars who already have earned their first All-Star selections. But the chasm of more than $120 million tells you what this really was: a choice between the two.


At first my intuition said to me that the Heyward deal was a simple two-year bridge to a longer term contract. It would allow the Braves time to see what happens with Heyward before guys like Dan Uggla come off the books – and rightfully so. As high as we once were on Heyward, he remains one of baseball’s great enigmas. He has lost a little luster on his once flawless diamond.

But Morosi just might be right. This is really going to follow one of two possible paths. Neither of which look like the long-term future of Heyward is a certainty in Atlanta. We see Heyward putting together the best full year of his career this season in Atlanta, and then in 2015 in his contract year he has a MONSTROUS season and plays himself into a contract the Braves now probably can’t afford. The other path would be if Heyward simply remains a solid player. At that point he’ll probably still ask for too much we assume, and Atlanta would allow him to seek a contract they don’t see him worthy of in another city.

By committing the big dollars to Freeman, Frank Wren has gone with the safer option. And the Freeman contract is unlikely to end badly. Even if his ceiling might be a bit lower than Heyward’s, his floor looks to be higher at this point. He has a future that should be full of All Star appearances, even if he never wins an MVP. If Heyward ever puts it all together, he’ll bring home that award. But he’s been puzzling at best during his short career.

Over the next few years it will be interesting to see how Atlanta attempts to manage this situation with Heyward.

Reds sign Brandon Phillips to six-year $72.5 million contract extension

Brandon Phillips will be a Cincinnati Red for life.

No, Cincinnati’s ownership group has not lost their minds. They’re simply doing what championship caliber organizations do day in and day out. And we applaud them for taking one of the most important steps there is to keeping the band together for a good long while.

I often sat back and thought about what I was going to write about–what would my post even say–the day that Brandon Phillips left town. Aside from Jay Bruce, there’s no Cincinnati Reds player I have more man-love for. Phillips is the heart and soul of the organization I love, and he’s everything the game of baseball should be about. Fortunately for me, I don’t think I’m ever going to need to write a Brandon Phillips farewell post like I’ve had to do with guys like Josh Hamilton and Adam Dunn. And that’s good, because it would have been much too painful.

Brandon Phillips–DatDudeBP–is one of the best all around guys in baseball. His contributions go beyond his WAR or his slugging percentage or how many gold gloves he wins. You put Brandon Phillips on the field 150 times a year, and fans are going to want to show up to watch this friendly fellow who creates a game within the game (I’ve seen Phillips field ground balls between his legs, etc.) just to keep himself fully entertained with this game he enjoys playing so much.

If Phillips, Bruce, or Joey Votto were playing in the Boston, New York, Los Angeles, or even a Chicago market; they never leave town. I say good for Castellini and company for not allowing it to happen here. Anything in line with making us a winning organization–isn’t that what Castellini told us all along he was interested in doing? Isn’t that why we all flamed past ownership groups when they did not? Everyone should be thrilled about these contracts.

I’ll take this core and whatever results come with them, and the assurance that they’ll be our nucleus over a group of new faces that we hope will work out. I’m thrilled with the Reds movement to keep their cornerstones in place and I think they have provided a large amount of their fan base with what they’ve always wanted by keeping Phillips in town until 2017.


$225 Million Will Get You a lot of Lattes

The Reds locked up Joey Votto today to a 10-year, $225 million dollar contract. It’s the largest contract in Cincinnati baseball history. Hell, it’s the largest contract in Cincinnati sports history.

I’m shocked by this, but extremely pleased. At the end of the day, I think Votto is going to age well and be extremely productive over the course of the next decade. It almost guarantees the franchise relevancy of some fashion well into the next era and roster nucleus.

The reactions will continue to roll in with some saying that the Reds went too far, or that the Reds got a bargain; I think it was somewhere in between and a fair deal.

I tip my cap to Reds owner Bob Castellini. The Reds ponied up and didn’t scrimp on this one. They kept their homegrown superstar in the Queen City for the length of his career. You could not ask for more from an owner in this type of market. Castellini is getting props all around the sports world right now.

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And give the Reds bonus credit for the timing of this announcement. The Votto signing comes as the Reds are headed home from Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona; and perhaps will serve as the last act before a season to remember begins.

Reds finalize Johnny Cueto extension

The Reds locked up yet another young player long-term today, finalizing terms with pitchers Johnny Cueto on a $27 million dollar, 4-year contract.

Cueto gets $3.4 million this year, $5.4 million in 2012, $7.4 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014. Cincinnati has a $10 million option for 2015 with an $800,000 buyout.

Cueto went 12-7 last season, establishing career highs in wins and innings. He led the staff with 138 strikeouts and made 18 quality starts. The bullpen blew six save chances behind him, the second-highest total for any pitcher in the majors. Cincinnati was shut out in three of his seven losses.

I like the move. I look at it in a couple different ways. If Johnny Cueto was a Red in the late 90’s or from 2000 to 2004ish, he would have been advertised as a front-line guy. He’s got stuff that allows him to be a #2 starter in his sleep and with a little more development he’s one of the guys you definitely consider having a chance hulking up and turning into that coveted #1 guy the Reds really need.

I like his upside, make-up, and overall stuff better than I like Edinson Volquez. Volquez might have more pump to his fastball by a few MPH on nights, and he has the dubious distinction of being the man the Reds dealt Josh Hamilton to acquire; but on a day when you have to win a ballgame between the two I’m rolling with Cueto.

A lot of folks want to talk about this ‘average’ off-season the Reds have had. I’ll say this: they’ve done what they needed to do and what they should have done. They’ve locked up their young talent. The centerpiece of that being the true long-term deal they gave to Jay Bruce.

They followed with giving Joey Votto a good faith raise, and now Cueto is locked up to what the Reds became accustomed to calling a ‘long-term’ contract (it’s pretty good if you can get four years in Cincinnati. See Phillips, Brandon). There’s been whispers about the desire to give Edinson Volquez some financial security in the way of a new contract.

I lobbied for so long for them to do this. Take the blueprint of other teams who have had success, namely the 90’s Indians under John Hart. They’re giving themselves a window to compete. Now you’ve got the 24-year old Cueto along with Bruce, Votto, Volquez (presumably), and Aroldis Chapman all under contract within that window.

This is when they’re going to go after it. They can add pieces if they’re close, and I expect them to subtract and re-sculpt a little bit if they fall out of things. I would hate it but I wouldn’t be shocked if Brandon Phillips’ future in Cincinnati is hinged on how well the Reds perform over the first 5/8’s of next season. But that’s what I believe.

I applaud Bob Castellini for shelling out some money to try and make this team a winner though. Like someone else said, he’s never spent this kind of money on employees in the produce busienss. And it might not be this year–it might not even be next year. But over the window of time with these young guys along with the prospects the Reds have down in the farm system and what they will continue to acquire–they’re going to catch the Phillies in a down year. Or a year where they’ve gotten particularly ‘older’. And that’s when you’re going to be glad that this window was created.

Reds ‘lock up’ Joey Votto for 3 years, $38 million

Reports are that Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed on a 3-year deal today worth $38 million dollars that will allow the two sides to avoid arbitration.

To me, I still think there’s a shot that Votto isn’t a Red to see the end of this contract. It’s obvious that this isn’t a long-term deal. The reason for that is that Votto is probably wanting more money than the Reds know they’re ever going to be able to pay him.

The club should be commended for awarding the MVP a raise without having to have their arm twisted in an arbitration case.

This deal also gives a portrayed ‘window’ for the club and the player to work out a deal, but in two years from now–which is a relatively short time in sports–if no deal is worked out for a longer term deal the Reds will probably start fielding offers for Votto. This could happen even sooner and it will be key to watch what the Reds do with Yonder Alonso in that time. If Alonso remains a Red, it’s a telling sign that the club doesn’t feel that Votto is going to be in Cincinnati beyond the life of this deal.

Anyone who thinks that Votto is going to be a career Red at this point is really going out on a limb.

Reds make Jay Bruce the face of the Franchise

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Cincinnati Reds have signed Jay Bruce to a 6-year, $51 million dollar extension. The deal could be worth $63 million dollars and a club optional 7th year.

This is obviously one of the happier posts that we’ve made on this blog during the almost four years we’ve maintained it. It’s a win-win deal for both the club and the player, and it mirrors the deal that Justin Upton signed before last season.

Jay Bruce is a class act, and we’re very happy that he’s going to be in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future. In a quiet offseason, this has been the big move that we hoped for and now the Reds finally have a guy to truly build around through good times and bad.

If you’ve watched Bruce play on any number of nights, he’s more than worth every single penny.

Dusty Baker signs 3-year extension with Reds

National syndicates are running with it now. It won’t be long now–as is often the case after you see that happening.

But Hal McCoy breaks the story, and we can honestly let out an exhale of worry now that Dusty Baker is coming back for three years.

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker will be back next season, armed with a new multi-year contract – probably a three-year extension.

The deal could be announced before the Reds begin postseason play next mid-week for the first time in 15 years, but more likely after postseason play is completed.

This is great in a lot of ways. Dusty gets an opportunity for a happy ending. An opportunity to get that elusive World Series title before he retires. And he gets to see things through with his young boys. His young players who he’s become very much attached to.

My one fear–as far as this team competing for years to come–would be they would have to replace Baker and find a new manager to mesh with these young guys. What many outsiders don’t realize is that Dusty Baker has shed the reputation of being a veterans manager and has adapted. He’s become a father-like figure to many of these young guys.

I love Dusty Baker. He’s the perfect manager and perfect man for these Cincinnati Reds. He’s a good man, a leader of a group of good young guys in this game. Here’s to seeing it through and three more years that trump your first three, King Dusty.

Twins lock up Joe Mauer for 8 years

Joe Mauer signing an 8-year, $184 million contract extension with the Minnesota Twins is good for the game of baseball.
The Twins are set to open Target Field on this Opening Day 2010, and this is just good mojo for the fans who will come out in the freezing temperatures and risk frost-bite to watch some baseball.
Aaron Gleeman has written about the Twins for a long time, and he re-iterates:
Target Field was built to give Minnesotans the pleasure of outdoor baseball after decades in the Metrodome, but also to increase revenue enough to support a competitive payroll capable of retaining star players nearing free agency. As a 27-year-old homegrown former No. 1 overall pick coming off an MVP season Mauer fits that bill as well as any player ever will, which is why the decision was a no-brainer for the Twins despite the incredible amount of risk involved.
Mauer leaves a possible $70 million on the table that he could have gotten from the Yankees, but I like this. I like it because sometimes the villans can’t buy the assets no matter the price. I like it because should a superstar like Mauer pop up in cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or Kansas City; maybe they won’t take the first ticket out of town.
That’s what this move means to me. Good for Mauer and good for the Twins. The little organization that could.

Justin Upton: The Face of Diamondbacks Baseball

The Arizona DiamondBacks made a very positive move today, locking up Justin Upton to a 6 year, $50 million dollar contract extension.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and right-fielder Justin Upton have finalized a six-year deal worth more than $50 million, two people close to the negotiations told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. The people said the deal was finalized Monday night and will be announced Wednesday
We’ve given Upton a lot of praise on this very site. He’s one of the most exciting young players in baseball and if he chooses to do it, he could end up a 40-40 guy. Clearly, there’s no more safer option to build around from a standpoint of a position player in all of baseball.
I know in talking to fans in Arizona, they thought Upton would walk as soon as he was eligible to go elswhere. Being that he’s just 21 years of age, when this deal ends he’ll still be just entering his prime years at age 27. He’ll be eligible for a monster contract then if he does anything close to what he was doing last season.
The USA Today post is quick to point out that this is similar to the wise move the Tampa Bay Rays made when they locked up Evan Longoria to a long term deal while buying out several of his arbitration years.
Again, this is a great move. This kid is going to be a superstar, having already OPS’d above .900 at his age and coming off a season in which he hit .300 for the year. Only Hall of Famers and locks for the Hall have ever had a season like Upton had last year at his age in terms of OPS. He’s in elite territory and if the Dbacks can support him he’s going to be doing things on the grand stage in Octobers to come. You have to love seeing a team lock up a young player to keep him out of the hands of all the evil empires out there.
D’backs, Justin Upton finalize 6-year, $50 million plus contract. [USA Today Daily Pitch]

To keep a Prince, you must pay him handsomely

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a nice piece on Prince Fielder this morning. The message to Brewers ownership is simple: sign the guy. Now.
Take a look at the numbers that Prince put up as a 23 year old and 25 year old.
It’s funny, because our feelings have always been that this guy’s value is at least equal to his mammoth size. While Ryan Braun was the one taken care of in Milwaukee, Prince could just as easily have a case made to build the franchise around him.
Yet it was Braun who got the contract extension, and Fielder who was drug through the mud a little bit. Last offseason at this time there were rumors of him being traded to the Red Sox; a team he could easily end up part of should he not be locked up in Milwaukee long-term.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio seems to know that Fielder is a special player.
“A player like Prince comes along every 10 years or every 15 years,” admitted Attanasio. “So you have to take advantage of it. It’s a great problem to have.”
Until you have to break out the check book. Be honest.
“We hope we can work something out with Prince,” added the Brewers’ owner. “I think he made a number of comments during our fan weekend that he loved it here in Milwaukee, so we’ll go from there.”
If I’m Fielder, I expect to get paid in the very near future or I’m going to walk to the open market and show the Brewers my worth by finding out what some of the big boys will offer to let me wear my big baggy pants in their city. How many teams in baseball could use a guy who is as likely as anyone in the league to drop 50 bombs through his prime years (years he won’t approach for another two to three seasons).
Prince is only signed through this year, and if he leaves town; Braun won’t be enough to make the Brewers a competitor. In essence, they’ll waste even having Ryan Braun through his prime years. Corey Hart and Rick Weeks won’t be enough to get it done around Braun.
They need a Prince.
Do the right thing Milwaukee. We’re speaking to ownership. Your fans deserve it. Offer Fielder $120 million over 5 or 6 years and see what happens.