Recently, Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado have all received big deals from their current teams. These deals show that teams reward baseball’s best players with big contracts. After Mike Trout’s deal, several other stars could get big paydays in the near future.
Every year, Major League Baseball teams look to sign their star players to big deals. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Los Angeles Angels have agreed on an MLB-record, 12-year, $430 million deal with center fielder Mike Trout, who has racked up 240 home runs, two American League Most Valuable Player, a Rookie of the Year crown, and has arguably been the sport’s best player throughout his eight-year career.
With Trout’s deal, he is the fourth player after Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper, and San Diego Padres infielder Manny Machado to sign a mega contract in the past month. In the future, several other stars could be primed for big paydays.
Here are five current players who should get big deals.
In terms of five-tool players, Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, can bring excitement whether he is hitting, running, fielding, or throwing. In 2018, Betts won the AL MVP with a .346 batting average, 32 home runs, 80 RBI on a Red Sox team that won 108 games and the World Series. Betts and Trout were scheduled to be free agents after the 2020 season. With two years left before free agency, the Red Sox would be wise to sign the AL MVP on a long-term deal.
Over a six-year career, Gerrit Cole has been one of baseball’s hardest throwers. After the Houston Astros acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cole turned into a legitimate ace. Cole went 15-5 with a 2.88 earned-run average and a career-high 276 strikeouts in 200.1 innings. With just one year before he reaches free agency, Cole could find himself at the top of 2020’s free agency class.
With Bryce Harper as a teammate, Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was usually overlooked. Over a six-year career, Rendon has put four 20-home run, and back-to-back .900 OPS seasons together with the Nats. After losing Harper to the Phillies, Rendon should be Washington’s biggest power threat and its next target to sign before hitting free agency after the 2019 season.
For decades, wins often showed how effective a starter was in an individual year. In 2018, New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom showed that winning does not always show the complete dominance of an ace starter. On a Mets team that won 77 games, deGrom won the NL Cy Young by striking out 269 hitters and finishing with a minuscule 1.70 ERA in 217 innings. Despite deGrom’s age, the Mets should consider giving their ace a deal that suits his pitching repertoire.
Relievers are not always able to keep up their dominance. Over the past five years, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances has proven to be one of baseball’s most dominant relievers. Last year, Betances fanned 115 batters in 66.2 innings. With Aaron Hicks’ seven-year deal recently completed, the Yankees can look to sign Betances, an impending free agent, and keep him with relievers Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, and Adam Ottavino in baseball’s best bullpen.
While some free agents still remain without a job, MLB is still handing out big contracts to its current stars.