The beginning of the season gets teams and fans alike hot and bothered off of early hype, and we hear the word EXTENSION get thrown around A LOT. So, I figured, why not look into an extension candidate from every team that I think should get a deal done to keep them around long-term so fans can go and buy a jersey? But please, don't go and buy a jersey based on my predictions.
Mets: 1B Pete Alonso(27), Arb Eligible '23,'24, Free Agent 2025.
Steve Cohen and the Mets have a lot of upsides thus far in 2022, and Polar Bear is right in the middle of things thus far. The former RoY and 2x HR Derby Champ are one of the players on the Met's that I would buy other than their Arb and extend if I was Cohen. I am giving Alonso a 7yr extension to keep him around until he is 35 and milk his power while in his prime. The deal 7yrs a $112MM extension, which would give him about $16MM AAV, roughly what Jose Abreu and Anthony Rizzo make.
Marlins: 2B/SS Jazz Chisholm(24), Arb Eligible '24-'26, Free Agent 2027
The young phenom from the Bahamas is probably one of the most exciting players to watch in all of the NL and MLB in general. Chisholm has a great mix of speed, power, energy, and ability to drive in runs. Already a cornerstone for the Marlins in year 2. I would give Chisholm a contract similar to Ozzie Albies, 7yrs, $35MM. But I am giving Chisholm 7yrs, $55MM, which would be close to $8MM AAV.
Braves: 3B Austin Riley(25), Arb Eligible '22-'25, Free Agent 2026. The former first-rounde into his own during thon, earning himself a silver slugger award and replacing the offense in Acuna and Ozuna that was missed during 2021. If I were the Braves, I would lock in Riley as a long-term piece alongside Albies, Acuna Jr, and Olson. Regarding the length and money, I am giving Riley a deal close to Rockies 3B Ryan McMahon(6yr, $70MM). I am going 7yrs, $85MM, which shakes out to around $12MM AAV.
---UPDATE the man got paid 10/$212MM
Phillies: 3B Alec Bohm(25), Arb Eligible '24-'26, Free Agent 2027. The Phillies 3B needs to be locked up long-term alongside Harper, Castellanos, and JT to help lead this team is competing in the competitive NL East. I would give Bohm a 6yr, $55MM deal. Which likely wouldn't fly since Bohm is a Scott Boras client.
Nationals/Padres: OF Juan Soto(23), Arb eligible '23,'24, Free Agent 2025. I don't need to say much for Soto to make his case for a MASSIVE extension. Soto is a generational talent, and either the Nationals need to be an otherworldly offer. I hope the team gets sold to a group that genuinely wants to invest in Soto and the Nat's, OR he gets traded for an absolute haul and gets a massive deal. Either way, Soto is in line for possible Mike Trout-level money. I would give Soto a 15yr, yes 15yr, $570MM extension that would shake out to $38MM AAV, more than Trout and would be one of the richest for a position player in MLB history.
--UPDATE HE GOT TRADED TO THE PADRES, but my eval stands.
Cardinals: SP/RP Jordan Hicks(25), Arb Eligible '23, Free Agent 2024. Hicks is being used early in 22 as a starter and could become a good one. I like Hicks and his complex throwing abilities. Is he a starter or reliever? The value for him is in being a starter. Hicks and Flaherty would be an excellent 1/2 punch after Waino hangs it up after this season. I am giving Hicks a likely modest 5yr, $45MM extension. Very close to what German Marquez of the Rockies makes.
Brewers: SP Corbin Burnes(27), Arb Eligible '23,'24, Free Agent 2025. The Cy Young winner looks like an absolute bargain, but that shouldn't last long for the Brew-Crew's ACE. I am all in on Burnes if I am the Brewers, and I am giving him Robbie Ray like money. 5yrs, $110MM, and keeping my ACE in town.
Pirates: SS O'Neil Cruz(23), Arb Eligible '25-'27, Free Agent 2028. Cruz is a massive 6'7" SS who has crushed at each level of the minors, and it's due for a call-up to the MLB at any moment and possibly by the time this posts in June(writing on APRIL 26th), he is killing it in The Show. I would sign Cruz to a similar deal that Tim Anderson got at 23(6yr, $25MM). I would give Cruz a 7yr, $35MM extension to lock up the left side of Pirates INF.
Stay tuned for part 2, which will have two bonus players at the end!
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