Hypothetically Speaking: The Dan Haren Contract Extension

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Hypothetically Speaking: The Dan Haren Contract Extension
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Last August, the Diamondbacks signed Dan Haren to a very team friendly four-year/$44 million extension that replaced the final two years of his previous contract. By all accounts, Haren was willing to take less than he might have warranted on the open market because he loved Arizona and being with the Diamondbacks.

But now as the 2009 season comes to a close, Haren's contract extension is looking like even more of a steal for the Diamondbacks. Haren, 29, is putting up the best numbers of his career with the Diamondbacks this season (14-9, 2.90 ERA, leading the NL in K/BB ratio and WHIP) and has developed into one of the best starting pitchers in the National League.

So hypothetically speaking, how much larger would Haren's contract with the Diamondbacks have been if he waited until this summer to negotiate a contract extension? Instead of $44 million over four years, how much more could Haren have earned? $20 million? $30 million? Or even more?

Would $80 million over six years have been unrealistic?

My guess is no. Not only would Haren have had more leverage in negotiations (FA after 2010), but he would be coming off the best season of his career at 29-years-old.

Please leave your predictions/thoughts in the comments.


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