Over the last month, a lot of players have elected to forego participation in future free agent classes by signing contract extensions. Ten players within two years of free agency have signed contracts worth more than $50 million, totaling over one billion dollars in future guarantees. The list includes the best player in baseball, two of the very best pitchers in the game, and multiple other MVP candidates. It’s hard to get a sense how much of signing these contracts is due to players trying to avoid free agency, and much is due to teams simply having boatloads of cash and happily paying their star players to stick around. Earlier today, we published Opening Day payroll numbers showing another decline, with these extensions having little effect on current salaries. To help make some sense of all these extensions, there is a survey below that might help answer some of our questions.
The survey is relatively simple one, asking two basic questions about each of the 10 players who signed extensions, as well as one other rumored to have been in talks. The first question gets at how good the player is now by asking what type of contract he would have received had he been on the open market this past offseason. While I could ask how the player did with his extension, the answer can be kind of mushy. Instead, I’ll ask you to project in the future, and based on what you know about the player now, estimate what the player would receive in free agency when he would have become eligible. For all but the the last three extensions, that period is after the current season.
The relevant player pages with projections are linked below, with the survey to follow.
Thanks for your help.
Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.