Monday, June 2, 2014

Could extending top prospects before they're called up become the new trend?

In case you missed it, the Astros signed a groundbreaking contract extension with prospect Jon Singleton for 5 years, plus 3 option years, that could be worth up to $35 million.  He becomes the first player without any major league service time to sign such a deal.  The team then announced that he would be called up on Tuesday.

This is not the first time such a deal has been considered, as the Pirates reportedly offered top prospect Gregory Polanco a 7-year, $25 million contract extension and the Astros tried to sign top prospect George Springer to a 4-year deal with 3 option years that could have been worth up to $23 million.

With the specter of "Super Two" status hanging over many top prospects heads and making teams wary of bringing them up too soon, it makes sense for teams to look into extending their prospects to provide themselves with cost certainty and allow them to call up the prospects earlier.

It also makes some sense for the prospects, in that they get the chance to reach the big leagues earlier and make some serious money without having to first prove themselves at the major league level.

The risk for the team is that the prospect is a bust and they're on the hook for millions of dollars for a player who is not worth it.  On the flip side, the player is at risk on missing out on more earnings should he hit the ground running.

Personally, I like the idea and would have been all for the Cardinals doing a similar deal with Oscar Taveras so he could have been called up earlier to help the team's struggling offense.  Ben Humphrey, over at Viva el Birdos, speculated that such a deal would have cost the Cards around $18.6 million for 6 years.  Well worth it, if you ask me.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues or if the teams and the MLBPA will just do away with the Super Two rule during the next collective bargaining agreement.

No comments:

Post a Comment