With teams pretty much done making trades and free agency signings, one thing left to do in some cases is being contract extensions with some players. The Washington Nationals have Stephen Strasburg to consider, the Toronto Blue Jays with both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion and the New York Mets with Matt Harvey.
As in true Mets fashion, no one has talked to Harvey about giving him more money for more years. He’ll make $4.3 million in 2016 and can only hit free agency in 2019. But considering Harvey is willing to think about a long term deal right now and how good he’s been, with a 2.71 ERA, 1.019 WHIP and an impressive 5.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio, it might be sooner than later that the Mets start discussing a new deal with their soon to be 27-year old ace.
Another ace-type pitcher who could be lined up for an extension is Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Right now, he’s on a $10.4 million deal, heading towards free agency at the end of the season. If he remains injury free and keeps up his performances, he’ll be eligible for a huge contract, so it might be in the Nationals best interest to press an extension now. Scott Boras, who represents both him and Harvey, thinks if an extension is going to happen, it’ll be closer to the end of the year. Strasburg started in just 23 games last season, posting a 3.46 ERA and striking out 11 batters per nine innings.
One double extension situation a lot of teams have been following is the one the Toronto Blue Jays are in with Bautista and Encarnacion. The Blue Jays seem to be spending a bit more than they would have liked to, but that’s the price of suddenly becoming a success. Encarnacion especially would hope to avoid free agency if possible. He’s making $10 million in 2016, hitting 151 home runs while batting .274.
Bautista, like Encarnacion, will probably run out of power at some point. He’s past his 35th birthday (Encarnacion is 33) so might prefer signing a somewhat long term deal now than hit free agency. He’ll make $14 million in 2016, coming off his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance. He led baseball in walks with 110 last season and has hit 227 home runs since 2010.