Arthur: Contract extensions are getting bigger than ever

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on March 29, 2019:

Last week, several of the best players in baseball signed huge contract extensions with their teams. From Mike Trout to Jacob deGrom, teams have been aggressive about offering—and players hasty in signing—contracts that push their free agency back years and even decades. While extensions like these are not getting any more frequent, they are locking down a higher caliber of player for a longer period of time than at any point in the last couple of decades.

Trout is the headliner, of course, owing to his status as the best player in baseball and the size of the contract. At nearly $430 million, Trout’s extension is the largest deal in baseball history and figures to lock him up for most, if not all, of the rest of his illustrious career. Alongside reigning NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom’s four-year, $120 million pact, a ton of Wins Above Replacement became locked in last week.

But in between Trout and deGrom, a half-dozen other players signed, from the other league’s Cy Young award winner, Blake Snell, to Paul Goldschmidt. They ranged from established veterans like Justin Verlander to a player who had never taken a major-league at-bat in Eloy Jimenez. For a week, it seemed like the anemic free agent market had been replaced by a hyperactive extension frenzy.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 29, 2019. Last Updated: March 29, 2019.