MLB: Contract Extensions of This Past Offseason

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIApril 5, 2012

MLB: Contract Extensions of This Past Offseason

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    This past offseason was filled with contract extensions.

    It seemed like every week, there were two or three players locked up to multi-year deals.

    There are even a few more possibly in the works, as both Ian Kinsler and Cole Hamels are seeking contract extensions with their respective teams.

    Kinsler's deal seems like the most likely to happen, but either one could score a huge contract in the near future.

    Aside from player/manager extensions, even commissioner Bud Selig joined in the fun. He signed a two-year extension after a majority of baseball's owners were in favor of the motion. The deal is said to be worth $22 million annually with the use of his own private jet.

    Not bad.

    Selig will likely retire after this contract extension is up, but hey, he's said the same thing about his previous extensions.

    All in all, several big-name players were locked up this winter, and their respective teams figure to reap the benefits of having their star players around for the foreseeable future.

    Note: The contract extensions are listed in the order they were agreed on.

CC Sabathia

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    There were reports that CC Sabathia would opt out of his contract if the team didn't approach him with a contract extension.

    Needless to say, the Yankees ponied up the cash necessary to keep Sabathia in pinstripes.

    The extension will keep him in pinstripes through the 2016 season and push the parameters of his original contract to eight years and $182 million.

    The deal includes a 2017 vesting option.

    With several other teams said to be interested in Sabathia, the Yankees had no choice but to offer him a huge deal.

Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers

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    Coming off of a very successful campaign in their first season together as partners, manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers were each awarded with three-year extensions with club options for two more years.

    If all goes well, they could be partners in Arizona through the 2016 season.

    The options for 2015 and 2016 will have to be decided upon shortly after the 2013 season.

    The team won 94 games last season after starting off just 15-22 in their first 37 games, so Gibson will look to get his club off to a hot start in 2012.

Matt Kemp

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    On the heels of a second-place finish in the NL MVP voting, Matt Kemp cashed in with the Dodgers—big-time.

    Kemp and the Dodgers agreed on an eight-year, $160 million extension that will keep him in Los Angeles through the 2019 season.

    After falling just one home run shy of the illustrious 40-40 club, Kemp will look to be even better in 2012.

    The Dodgers, even though they figure to improve from last season, will need Kemp to be his best if they hope to contend with the Diamondbacks and Giants in the NL West.

Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean

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    The combination that lead the Giants to a World Series victory in 2010 was awarded this offseason, as manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean were locked up to contract extensions through 2013, with club options for 2014.

    Sabean and Bochy, the longest tenured at their respective positions in the major leagues, will look to lead the Giants back to the playoffs in 2012 after failing to defend their World Championship last season.

    With an improved offense, they could challenge the Diamondbacks for the top spot in the NL West.

Matt Moore

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    The Rays love locking up their young players to team-friendly extensions, and top prospect Matt Moore was no exception.

    Similar to what the team did with Evan Longoria, the Rays locked up Moore to a five-year extension worth about $14 million.

    If that wasn't enough, the team also holds options on the following three seasons that could push the total value of his deal to $40 million.

    Oh, by the way, he's only pitched 19 innings in the majors.

John Danks

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    Despite all the rumors that general manager Kenny Williams was listening to offers on his ace, John Danks and the White Sox agreed on a five-year, $65 million extension.

    Williams had claimed that he was gearing up to rebuild the roster, but that would have involved trading away high-priced veterans like Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Danks.

    Instead, he just decided to lock up Danks for even more money.

    Confused? Yeah, you share that feeling with most of the baseball world.

Howie Kendrick

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    After posting the best season of his career in 2011, Howie Kendrick was awarded by the Angels with a four-year extension worth $33.5 million.

    The deal covers his final year of arbitration, as well as his first three free-agent years.

    Kendrick posted career highs in home runs (18), runs (86), triples (six) and slugging percentage (.464) last season and was named to his first All-Star Game.

    Staying healthy as always been an issue for Kendrick, but he is a top-10 second baseman when he's on the field.

Ryan Vogelsong

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    Ryan Vogelsong was one of the biggest surprises of the 2011 season, as he posted a 13-7 record with an ERA of 2.71 (the third lowest in the National League).

    To reward Vogelsong for his stellar performance, the Giants offered him a two-year extension worth about $8 million. The deal contains a club option for a third season.

    Assuming he pitches in a similar fashion in 2012, this deal was a great, team-friendly contract.

    The Giants weren't done locking up their starting pitchers, however, as a few more extensions were agreed upon later on in the offseason.

Gio Gonzalez

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    After trading several of their top prospects for Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals wanted to be sure that he'd be pitching for them for the foreseeable future.

    The extension will keep him in D.C. through the 2016 season, and it also contains options for 2017 and 2018.

    It is worth $42 million, and it covers his four arbitration-eligible seasons as well as his first three years of free agency.

    If he can stay healthy and pitch like he has the past two seasons, this will be a great deal for the up-and-coming Nationals.

Pablo Sandoval

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    Pablo Sandoval rebounded from a down season in 2010 to hit .315 with 23 home runs and 70 RBI last season.

    To reward him for his efforts, the Giants offered him a three-year extension worth $17.5 million.

    The deal will buy out his final three arbitration years.

    Before this current deal expires, don't be surprised if the Giants lock him up for even longer. When healthy, he's one of the best hitters in the game.

Mike Morse

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    Mike Morse was the best hitter on the Nationals last season. He mashed 31 home runs, drove in 95 runs and hit .303.

    To reward him, the Nationals offered him a two-year extension worth $10.5 million.

    If he produces at a similar level in 2012, expect another extension for him in the near future. With offense at a minimum in Washington, the Nationals won't want to lose their best offensive contributor.

Brandon Morrow

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    Brandon Morrow has always been a very inconsistent major leaguer. He has great potential, but he's never been able to put it all together.

    Last season, despite a career-high 4.72 ERA, Morrow went 11-11 and struck out 203 batters in 179.1 innings.

    Promptly, the Blue Jays decided to lock up Morrow with a three-year, $21 million extension with an option for the 2015 season. If the option is picked up, Morrow will make $30 million over the life of the deal.

    The Jays are a very exciting young team, and Morrow is one of the bright young arms of the rotation.

    Morrow figures to be a nice No. 2 starter behind Ricky Romero in 2012.

Rafael Betancourt

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    The Rockies were pretty creative when they gave Rafael Betancourt his contract extension.

    Prior to the deal, Betancourt was under contract for the 2012 season. He also had an option for 2013. 

    Colorado decided to guarantee him the 2013 season and instead hold a team option for the 2014 season. The salary for the 2013 option was then guaranteed as result ($4.25 million). 

    The 2014 option is of the same value.

    After trading away Huston Street, the Rockies named Betancourt their closer.

    Interesting and semi-irrelevant fact: Betancourt has hit just one batter in his entire career—one! That's over the course of 2,302 batters faced.

Nick Masset

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    Nick Masset had a down season in 2011, posting his lowest single-season ERA (3.71) since 2008 (3.92). This was partly because his WHIP was a grotesque 1.521.

    That didn't scare the Reds away, though, as they decided to lock him up with a two-year extension worth $5.5 million.

    The team-friendly deal extends beyond his arbitration years and covers his first year of free agency.

    Masset may be in line for some saves this season if Sean Marshall or Aroldis Chapman falter, as Ryan Madson will be out for the season while he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Jose Arredondo

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    In another team-friendly contract, the Reds extended set-up man Jose Arredondo two years for just $2 million.

    The deal will only cover his next two seasons of arbitration.

    Last season, Arredondo posted a 3.23 ERA in 53 innings of work. The only fault of his is his terrible K/BB ratio of 48/31.

    If he can minimize the walks, he has the potential to become one of the best set-up men in the league.

Tim Lincecum

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    Tim Lincecum's insistence on not signing a long-term contract with the Giants led to him signing just a two-year extension to stay in San Francisco.

    He will be guaranteed $40.5 million (a $500,000 signing bonus is included), with the potential to make much, much more in incentives.

    See if you can follow this.

    He can earn an extra $500,000 if he wins a third Cy Young award, $250,000 for second place, $100,000 for third, $75,000 for fourth and $50,000 for fifth.

    Oh, by the way. If he wins the Cy Young in 2012, the bonus for winning the award again in 2013 is $1 million.

    He can also receive $100,000 if he's selected to the All-Star Game and $50,000 if he wins a Gold Glove.

    Sounds like he will be a very, very rich man by the time these next two years are up.

Ron Washington

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    For the second consecutive season, the Rangers were the class of the American League. Also for the second consecutive season, the Rangers lost in the World Series.

    The man behind the helm for both seasons was Ron Washington, and the Rangers made sure to keep him around for another World Series run.

    The team locked him up through 2014, as they hope to improve upon last season's already-strong team.

    Washington's Rangers could be on their way to the World Series yet again in 2012.

Matt Belisle

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    Matt Belisle was one of the top relievers in the league last season.

    In 72 innings, Belisle recorded a 3.25 ERA and a 10-4 record. With all 10 wins coming in relief, he led the league in wins out of the bullpen. He was also second on the team in that category.

    His great season led to a nice two-year extension with the Rockies. The deal runs through 2013 and contains an option for 2014. 

    Look for him to continue his success in 2012.

Clayton Kershaw

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    There's no doubt that Clayton Kershaw is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the league. Many would argue that he's the best, period.

    After winning the Cy Young last season, the Dodgers knew that they needed to lock him up before he commanded too much money through arbitration.

    He signed a two-year contract extension worth $19 million in February. The deal covers his next two arbitration-eligible seasons but does not cover his final season of arbitration.

    If the Dodgers were smart, they'd lock him up to a five or six-year deal sooner rather than later.

Elvis Andrus

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    In an effort to buy out all of Elvis Andrus' arbitration years, the Rangers agreed to a three-year extension with the young shortstop.

    The deal is worth $14.4 million.

    Andrus is one of the best young shortstops in the game, having stolen 102 bases and put together a line of .271/.340/.343 in his three-year career.

    He likely would have earned more than $14.4 million in his three years of arbitration combined, so this was a good deal for Texas.

Nelson Cruz

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    Nelson Cruz put together a respectable season in 2011 (.263, 29, 87), but it's safe to say that his ALCS against the Tigers helped in earning him a contract extension with the Rangers.

    In that six-game series, Cruz hit a series record six home runs and drove in 13 runs.

    As a result, he was locked up to a two-year deal worth $16 million. It also contains $500,000 in incentives.

    The deal will cover his final two arbitration-eligible seasons.

Joe Maddon

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    Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in the game today. He won AL Manager of the Year last season just to prove it.

    He signed a three-year extension with the Rays that will keep him in Tampa through the 2015 season.

    Maddon has led the Rays to the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, the first three times the team has made the playoffs in its existence.

    After overcoming a huge deficit to to win the AL Wild Card last season, Maddon proved that he deserves an extension. He got it and will likely be with the club even beyond it.

Kyle Kendrick

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    Kyle Kendrick has been a rather inconsistent major leaguer over the course of his five-year career.

    He bounced back strong last season, posting an 8-6 record with a 3.22 ERA. That came in 34 games, 15 of which were starts. 

    His 1.221 WHIP was the lowest mark of his career.

    To reward the young pitcher, the Phillies extended him for two years. The deal, which is worth $7.5 million, will keep him a Philly through 2014.

    Hopefully, inconsistency won't remain a problem for Kendrick.

Ryan Zimmerman

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    The Nationals fan favorite will be playing in D.C. through at least the 2019 season, as Ryan Zimmerman agreed to a six-year extension worth $100 million in February.

    For a while, it seemed as if an extension wouldn't get finalized, as Zimmerman was holding out for a full no-trade clause.

    In the end, he got what he wanted.

    Zimmerman's been with the Nationals through all the bad seasons, and now, he'll be with them when they make their much-anticipated rise.

Salvador Perez

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    Catcher Salvador Perez has played just 39 games in his major league career, all coming last season as a member of the Royals.

    That didn't stop Kansas City from locking him up with a five-year extension worth $7 million.

    Granted, he produced very well in his limited time last season. In 148 at-bats, he posted a line of .331/.361/.473 with three home runs, 21 RBI, eight doubles and two triples.

    He's just one of many young stars that the Royals will be putting on the field in 2012.

Sean Marshall

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    Prior to the Reds' signing of Ryan Madson to a one-year contract, Sean Marshall was poised to be the team's closer of the future.

    With that in mind, Cincinnati awarded Marshall with a three-year extension worth $16.5 million.

    When Madson was signed, Marshall shifted over into the setup role.

    Then, Madson was in need of Tommy John surgery, so Marshall was pushed back into the closer's role.

    It's been a roller coaster offseason for Marshall, but he seems ready to live up to his extension.

Andrew McCutchen

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    Andrew McCutchen hopes to turn the Pirates back into a contender during his time in Pittsburgh.

    Luckily for him, he'll have plenty of time to do so.

    He and the Pirates agreed on a six-year extension worth $51.5 million that will keep him with the team through the 2017 season. The team holds an option on him for the 2018 season.

    His guaranteed money falls just shy of the franchise record of $60 million signed by Jason Kendall on a six-year deal in 2000. 

Yadier Molina

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    After losing Albert Pujols to the Angels this offseason, the Cardinals wanted to be sure that another one of their stars didn't get away next offseason.

    With a five-year extension worth $75 million, St. Louis was able to lock up Yadier Molina through the 2017 season.

    It also includes a $15 million option for 2018.

    The deal makes Molina the second-highest paid catcher in the game today (Joe Mauer).

Cameron Maybin

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    The flurry of March extensions began when San Diego locked up their young star, Cameron Maybin, with a five-year extension worth $25 million.

    The deal includes an option for a sixth year worth somewhere between $7 million and $8 million.

    The 10th-overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Tigers, Maybin established himself as an everyday player in 2011 with the Padres.

    He hit .264 with nine home runs, 40 RBI and 40 stolen bases.

Glen Perkins

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    Even after filing a grievance against the Twins in 2010, Glen Perkins found himself with a contract extension with the club this offseason.

    The lefty set-up man and the club agreed on a four-year extension worth $10.3 million. A club option for the 2016 season was also included.

    This deal comes on the heels of Perkins' best season as a reliever.

    In 65 games, Perkins went 4-4 and recorded an ERA of 2.48.

Alcides Escobar

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    Manager Ned Yost has always had confidence in Alcides Escobar, even when he was just a young, raw shortstop with the Brewers.

    Although still raw, Escobar found himself accepting a four-year contract extension this offseason. The deal is worth $10.5 million, but could potentially reach $21.75 million if the team decides to pick up both of his options.

    The deal is well below market value for someone who has the potential to be one of the top shortstops in the game, and Yost should be happy that he gets to manage Escobar for the next several seasons.

Derek Holland

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    Derek Holland emerged as an ace last season, going 16-5 with a 3.98 ERA. He struck out 162 batters in 198 innings (32 starts). He also tied for the AL lead with four shutouts.

    The young lefty was rewarded with a five-year extension worth $28 million. The deal includes two team options.

    With Holland as the ace at least through 2016, the Rangers seem poised to make yet another run at the World Series.

Nick Hundley

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    Despite owning just a .255/.314/.420 career line, general manager Josh Byrnes believes that Nick Hundley is one of the team's core players.

    Because of that, Brynes gave Hundley a three-year extension with a club option for 2015. The deal is worth $9 million.

    It's a very team-friendly deal for the Padres, and it will buy out the rest of Hundley's arbitration-eligible seasons.

Dustin McGowan

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    The oft-injured right-hander came into Blue Jays camp this spring with a guaranteed spot in the rotation.

    Little did he know he'd be leaving camp with some job security as well.

    He and the Blue Jays agreed on a two-year extension, with a club option for a third year. The deal could potentially be worth $7 million.

    If healthy, McGowan will be a nice addition to a young Jays rotation.

Jonathan Lucroy

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    There were rumblings that Zack Greinke, John Axford and Shaun Marcum were all going to be discussing contract extensions with the Brewers this offseason.

    Instead, the only extension awarded was to catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

    Lucroy and the Brewers agreed on a five-year extension worth $11 million this March.

    Although not great offensively, Lucroy is an animal behind the plate.

    He posted a fielding percentage of .993 last season while allowing just one passed ball. Brewers pitchers led the league with 62 wild pitches. 

Cory Luebke

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    Many believe Cory Luebke to be the future ace of the Padres staff. They may be right if he can replicate his 2011 success in the future.

    Last season, he posted a 6-10 record with a 3.29 ERA in 17 starts (46 total games). He also posted a K/9 ratio of 9.9.

    The Padres liked what they saw enough to award Luebke with a five-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2015.

    Two club options for 2016 and 2017 were also included in the deal.

Alex Gordon

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    Alex Gordon had his best season as a big leaguer in 2011, hitting .303 with 23 home runs and 87 RBI. He also won his first career Gold Glove in left field.

    In an effort to lock up yet another one of their young stars, the Royals offered him a four-year extension worth $37.5 million.

    It included a player option for 2016 valued at $12.5 million.

    Many felt that Gordon stole the Gold Glove away from Brett Gardner, but his 20 outfield assists were definitely deserving of the award.

Matt Cain

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    The final extension handed out to the Giants rotation this offseason went to Matt Cain, one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball over the past three seasons.

    He was compensated as such, as his new contract makes him the highest-paid right-handed pitcher in major league history.

    The initial parameters of his deal are six years and $127.5 million, but a vesting option for 2017 can push the total value up to $141 million.

    The option would vest if he pitches 200 innings in 2017 or 400 innings between 2016 and 2017 and is not on the disabled list for a right elbow or right shoulder injury at the end of the 2017 season.

Asdrubal Cabrera

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    Asdrubal Cabrera broke out in a big way in 2011, posting career highs in nearly every major offensive category.

    He posted a line of .273/.332/.460 with 25 home runs and 92 RBI. He also added 32 doubles and three triples.

    In response to that breakout season, the Indians signed Cabrera to a two-year extension through 2014 worth $16.5 million.

    The deal is presumably for just two years so the Indians can see how top prospect Francisco Lindor is developing by the time the deal ends.

    If he isn't ready, expect Cabrera to be locked up long-term.

Joey Votto

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    Joey Votto got paid in a big way with his contract extension.

    The extension is worth $225 million over 10 years, and the combined value of his full contract is now $251.5 million over 12 years.

    That number represents the largest guaranteed contract in major league history.

    The Reds may have overpaid a bit for Votto, but he is the face of the franchise and will surely be a key factor in the team's success in the upcoming seasons.

    Votto's contract is just the fourth in major league history to eclipse $200 million.

Jonathan Niese

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    Although more extensions will likely follow this season, Jonathan Niese's extension with the Mets represents the last official extension of the offseason.

    Niese and the Mets agreed on a five-year extension worth $25 million on Wednesday. The deal also contains two club options that can push the value to $52 million.

    Before the deal, Niese would have been under contract for four more seasons. 

    The deal does buy out his arbitration-eligible seasons, however.

    The new-look Niese (he actually got an aesthetic nose job at the request of Carlos Beltran this offseason) will look to prove he's worth the new contract in 2012.