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Locking Up Young Stars: Martin, Kendrick, Kotchman, Pedroia, Uggla

Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times takes a look at the spate of recent long-term deals for young stars.  Talking to different players and agents, Shaikin found no consensus on whether such contracts are a good idea.

  • Some folks (including Shaikin and Pat Gillick, apparently) believe it's wise for richer clubs to go year-to-year to avoid getting stuck with a bad contract.  I'm sure teams have done comprehensive studies on these types of contracts, but my guess is that flops are few are far between.  I can only think of a handful (Angel Berroa, Eric Hinske come to mind).  As Scott Boras says, teams usually choose players who will succeed.
  • Boras advises his clients to go year to year and maximize their total earnings.  He suggests young players signing long-term are getting "30 cents on the dollar."  Paul Cohen, author of the Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria contracts, preaches security over maximum earnings.
  • Ned Colletti revealed that he has twice approached catcher Russell Martin about an extension, and has been denied.  Martin will be arbitration-eligible after this season and should add an extra zero to his $500,000 salary, at least. 
  • Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick would consider a long-term offer, and GM Tony Reagins isn't opposed to long-term deals for young players.
  • First baseman Casey Kotchman is a year-to-year guy.  He astutely notes that in most professions employees aren't even guaranteed one year.
  • Jumping over to the Boston Herald - the Red Sox have twice approached Dustin Pedroia about a deal.  Pedroia is amenable to the idea. 
  • It's not known if the Marlins are planning to buy out Dan Uggla's arbitration years, but he seems open to it.


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