Predicting which MLB players will soon join the $200 million contract club | Launderer’s report

0 out of 8

    Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    There have been 23 different contracts over $200 million given out in MLB history. The first came on December 11, 2000, when Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

    Last offseason, shortstop Corey Seager became the latest player to join this exclusive club when he signed a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers. At least a few more names will likely be added to the list in the years to come.

    Here, we attempted to predict that the next seven MLB players will receive a $200 million contract. It’s a mix of upcoming free agents and expansion candidates, but all could possibly agree a new megadeal in the next calendar year.

1 of 8

    (Jacob deGrom)Eric Espada/Getty Images

    SS Carlos Correa

    The Minnesota Twins signed Carlos Correa to a three-year, $105.3 million contract this offseason, but the deal includes opt-out options after the 2022 and 2023 seasons. If he decides to test at the open market again, he will have no problem getting $200 million. The question is how much above $200 million will his asking price be and whether he will instead choose to maximize his earning power on short-term trades.

    RHP Jacob de Grom

    Baseball’s best pitcher when healthy, Jacob deGrom hasn’t taken the mound in an MLB game since July 7, 2021. Although he could return later this month, his recent issues of arms could make teams more hesitant to sign him in the long term. agreement, which in turn could make him decide not to step down this upcoming offseason. Short-term, high-budget deals might be his best approach in the future.

    BY Juan Soto

    After Juan Soto reportedly rejected a 13-year, $350 million extension offer in February, it’s hard to see the Washington Nationals finding a way to lock in their homegrown superstar for the long term. He will be a free agent after the 2024 season, when he looks likely to test the open market.

2 out of 8

    Xander Bogaerts (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    Shortstop Xander Bogaerts has four years and $80 million left on the six-year, $120 million extension he signed with the Boston Red Sox in March 2019, but he can opt out for the first and only once this upcoming offseason.

    “According to sources close to Bogaerts, the shortstop is currently considering opting out of the contract after 2022, but hopes to stay in Boston and complete his career with the Red Sox,” ESPN’s Joon Lee reported last October.

    The 29-year-old is one of the best attacking players in the game and he has expressed his willingness to move to second or third base in the future which should help him age better.

    If Marcus Semien could secure a seven-year, $175 million deal last offseason when he was a year older and had a shorter track record of success, Bogaerts should have no trouble eclipsing $200 million. , whether he re-signs with Boston or takes the lead. somewhere else.

3 out of 8

    Walker Buhler (G Fiume/Getty Images)

    As the Clayton Kershaw era draws to a close, the Los Angeles Dodgers already have their next local ace in Walker Buehler.

    The 27-year-old is 45-14 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 669 strikeouts in 622.2 innings since the start of the 2018 season, making a pair of appearances All-Star and finishing in the top 10 in NL Cy Young vote twice along the way.

    He is currently playing on a two-year, $8 million contract that bought out his first two years of arbitration, and he will be eligible for arbitration in 2023 and 2024 before entering the open market for the first time after the 2024 season.

    The only pitcher in MLB history to sign an extension north of $200 million is Kershaw. All other $200 million pitcher deals were made through free agency.

    The Dodgers have done a great job developing pitching over the past few years, but there’s reason to believe Buehler is the team’s most important player going forward.

4 out of 8

    Rafael Devers (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    If Xander Bogaerts does opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox this winter, there’s no guarantee he won’t find a better deal elsewhere. That in turn could make locking up Rafael Devers the Red Sox’s No. 1 priority.

    At only 25 years old, Devers is already in his sixth season in MLB. He hits .341/.371/.603 for a career-high 170 OPS+ with 21 doubles, 11 homers, and 2.6 WAR in 51 games.

    Devers is making $11.2 million this year and has a year of refereeing control left before entering free agency for the first time in the 2023-24 offseason.

    Devers and the Red Sox talked about an extension before the season, but they were reportedly “very far” in negotiations and nothing materialized. Expect those talks to be revisited this winter, and with a heightened sense of urgency.

5 out of 8

    Aaron Judge (Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Aaron Judge publicly rejected a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer from the New York Yankees just before Opening Day, betting on himself in a contract year.

    So far, so good on this bet.

    The 30-year-old is hitting .303/.371/.657 with an MLB-leading 18 home runs and 38 RBIs in 47 games. He has also shown himself capable of playing center field on a semi-regular basis to further add to his appeal.

    The injury red flags are still there, but Judge played 148 games last year and has been healthy so far this season. As long as he can stay on his feet the rest of the way, that shouldn’t be a limiting factor in his free agent market this coming offseason.

6 out of 8

    Joe Musgrove (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

    With all due respect to Sean Manaea, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Bassitt and aging veterans Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw, there is no doubt that Joe Musgrove will be the most attractive candidate for a long-term contract among starting pitchers. of the next free agent. to classify.

    The 29-year-old took a significant step forward in his San Diego Padres debut last year, posting a 3.18 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 203 strikeouts in 181.1 innings. He was even better at the start of this year.

    After nine starts, Musgrove is 5-0 with a 1.86 ERA, .98 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 58 innings. His nine quality starts lead all pitchers.

    Robbie Ray (five years, $115 million) and Kevin Gausman (five years, $110 million) are well below the $200 million mark last offseason, but Musgrove has been more consistent over the course of his career. The shortage of impact weapons in this year’s free agent class also works in his favor.

7 out of 8

    Shohei Ohtani (Elsa/Getty Images)

    Shohei Ohtani signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract in 2021 to buy out his first two years as a referee. He likely cost himself a good chunk of change in the process with a modest $5.5 million in salary this year following his AL MVP win.

    Ohtani is under the club’s control through arbitration for one more year in 2023 before reaching free agency, and a record deal could be on the way

    The recent extensions granted to Mookie Betts (12 years, $365 million) and Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million) could be a starting point in the negotiations. But given Ohtani’s unique profile as a two-way player, it’s hard to come up with a good contract comparison.

    Is a 10-year, $400 million deal out of the question?

    Either way, he’ll have no problem going over $200 million with his next contract. It’s worth watching if the Los Angeles Angels can find a way to keep Ohtani and Mike Trout together long term, though.

8 out of 8

    Trea Turner (John McCoy/Getty Images)

    After watching former teammate Corey Seager leave town to sign a 10-year, $325 million deal with the Texas Rangers, expect Trea Turner to seek a similar salary this winter as a co-head. poster for the next class of free agents alongside Aaron Judge.

    The 28-year-old is one of baseball’s most complete players.

    Turner led the NL in batting average (.328), hits (195) and steals (32) last season while hitting a career-high 28 home runs and making a seamless transition from shortstop to second base defensively to accommodate Seager.

    Returning to his natural shortstop position this year, Turner was once again extremely productive with 127 OPS+, 20 extra hits, 10 interceptions and 1.3 WARS in 50 games.

    Turner’s age, skill set and healthy background give him a great shot at not only joining the $200 million club, but the even more exclusive $300 million club.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Wednesday’s games.

Neal T. Doss