Discussion: Next Young Pitcher To Be Extended

One of the game's best young pitchers signed a contract extension yesterday that will take him to his 30th birthday, as the Marlins finally locked up Josh Johnson to a four-year deal worth $39MM. The extension mirrors the deal Kansas City gave Zack Greinke before last season, and is just the latest example of a club willing to assume the risk of a breakdown in exchange for cost certainty.

Paul Maholm, Scott Baker, Ubaldo Jimenez, Adam Wainwright, Matt Cain, Jon Lester, and James Shields are other young arms who have sacrificed the superior earning power of the arbitration process for financial security in recent years. Who do the readers of MLBTR think the next young pitcher to agree to an extension could be?

Leaving aside the big names like Tim Lincecum, Justin Verlander, and Felix Hernandez, here's a few pitchers who already have, or will soon enter into their arbitration years…

  • Yovani Gallardo – the Brewers' young ace struck out 204 batters and allowed just 150 hits in 185.2 innings last season, and will be arb eligible following the 2010 season.
  • Matt Garza – one of Tampa's many young power arms, Garza has struck out 7.3 batters per nine innings in his career, and has made 62 starts over the last two years. He's arb eligible as a Super Two this offseason.
  • Jair Jurrjens – perhaps the best pitcher no one talks about, Jurrjens led the NL in starts last year and owns a 3.21 career ERA. He'll be up for arbitration after the 2010 season.
  • Wandy Rodriguez – his breakthrough season last year included a 3.06 K/BB ratio and 193 strikeouts in 205.2 innings. Wandy is arb eligible for the second time this offseason after earning $2.6MM in 2009.


87 Responses to Discussion: Next Young Pitcher To Be Extended Leave a Reply

  1. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Gotta be wainwright.. He will be a FA just before carpenter and lohse’s combined 25MM come off the books. I can see the cards extending pujols and waino next offseason.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Gotta be wainwright.. He will be a FA just before carpenter and lohse’s combined 25MM come off the books. I can see the cards extending pujols and waino next offseason.

  3. scottandwtb 5 years ago

    Braves should absolutely lock up Jurrjens through at least one free agent year. Love to see them extend Escobar too. (An Hanson for that matter, when he gets closer to arb eligible)

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Yeah they gotta lock jair and hanson up before they start to get real expensive

    • FourScore16 5 years ago

      Exactly!! The Braves need to try and lock up both Jurrjens and Escobar through their arb years.

  4. scottandwtb 5 years ago

    Braves should absolutely lock up Jurrjens through at least one free agent year. Love to see them extend Escobar too. (An Hanson for that matter, when he gets closer to arb eligible)

  5. slr5607 5 years ago

    i think that Jurrjens is a solid choice. He hasnt completely dominated or anything, but he is a good young pitcher with the ability to be a #2 starter for the Braves. I wouldn’t be surprised for the Braves to lock up Hanson earlier than the norm…that would be a great 1-2 for a long time to come.

    As a Giants fan, I still consider Matt Cain a young pitcher with the chance of getting extended AGAIN. He is the workhorse of that rotation, no matter who is the “ace”. The Giants also need to find out what they think of Jonathan Sanchez…if they value him more than his trade value and they think he is going to be a forceful LHSP, they should consider a 3 year extention to possibly keep him “cheap for the next few years. Sometimes they act like he is going to be Johan Santana (i dont think he will), but if he does become a consistant pitcher, then a 3 year 9 million dollar deal would be a steal for him, while not being too much of a risk.

    • alan777 5 years ago

      jurrjends has the ability to be a #2 starter?how about is already a #1.not overpowering but finished with a 2.60 era.thats a number 1 anywhere basically.and i agree with locking up escabar.i love him man lol

      • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

        Currently Jair is a num 2, but he’s not a bad num 1. Two non-Lincecum years are hard to classify someone as an Ace. I just hope Jair changes agents. Yunel and Jair should be locked up so that we can spread out the money while we get some cheap players (Freeman, Kimbrel, Heyward) coming in these next few years.

    • alan777 5 years ago

      jurrjends has the ability to be a #2 starter?how about is already a #1.not overpowering but finished with a 2.60 era.thats a number 1 anywhere basically.and i agree with locking up escabar.i love him man lol

  6. slr5607 5 years ago

    i think that Jurrjens is a solid choice. He hasnt completely dominated or anything, but he is a good young pitcher with the ability to be a #2 starter for the Braves. I wouldn’t be surprised for the Braves to lock up Hanson earlier than the norm…that would be a great 1-2 for a long time to come.

    As a Giants fan, I still consider Matt Cain a young pitcher with the chance of getting extended AGAIN. He is the workhorse of that rotation, no matter who is the “ace”. The Giants also need to find out what they think of Jonathan Sanchez…if they value him more than his trade value and they think he is going to be a forceful LHSP, they should consider a 3 year extention to possibly keep him “cheap for the next few years. Sometimes they act like he is going to be Johan Santana (i dont think he will), but if he does become a consistant pitcher, then a 3 year 9 million dollar deal would be a steal for him, while not being too much of a risk.

  7. derelickmyballs 5 years ago

    Garza a Super 2 this year?

  8. derelickmyballs 5 years ago

    Garza a Super 2 this year?

  9. comegys 5 years ago

    Brett Anderson; Billy locked up Harden, Zito, and Mulder before arbitration.

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago

      Yes please.

      Although, Anderson is too far away from FA right now; I’d think next offseason would be the time to talk extension with him.

  10. comegys 5 years ago

    Brett Anderson; Billy locked up Harden, Zito, and Mulder before arbitration.

  11. What about John Danks? Sox have already tried, I’m sure they’re gonna push harder. Something similar to what they gave Floyd, I guess a bit higher.

  12. What about John Danks? Sox have already tried, I’m sure they’re gonna push harder. Something similar to what they gave Floyd, I guess a bit higher.

  13. BravesRed 5 years ago

    I want Jurrjens and Moylan extended.

  14. BravesRed 5 years ago

    I want Jurrjens and Moylan extended.

  15. laaweosme 5 years ago

    Probably, lestser jurrjens with the way he’s pitching he will decline arb, became a fa and probably a 3y/$25 mill, so lester will prob because he will get money AND a very good shot at playoffs.

  16. laaweosme 5 years ago

    Probably, lestser jurrjens with the way he’s pitching he will decline arb, became a fa and probably a 3y/$25 mill, so lester will prob because he will get money AND a very good shot at playoffs.

  17. ateam043 5 years ago

    I want Clayton Kershaw signed now way ahead of time….

    • From an organizational standpoint, there is no reason to pay the guy more than league minimum. Young pitchers are fickle and can go from Cy Young candidate to hittable just from an extra year of the league seeing their stuff. Best to wait, especially with so many other people up for arbitration raises.

      On the other hand, Billingsley’s value may never be lower, and after a semi-injury plagued season now may have been an opportune time to give him some security and you save a buck.

  18. ateam043 5 years ago

    I want Clayton Kershaw signed now way ahead of time….

  19. quintjs 5 years ago

    When virtually all these deals buy out free agent years it isn’t just about cost certainty – its about keeping a player under control longer.

    Matt Kemp is about cost certainty – a deal that doesn’t keep him a dodger any longer.

    Would the Marlins really have signed a 2 years deal with Johnson? of course not because all that would have done was guarnateed them having to pay him when they didn’t have to otherwise.

    A lot of teams don’t even consider long term deals for young players UNLESS they get free agent years. I know the Red Sox are on record as saying that is a requirement of assuming the injury risk.

    Young players entering their prime like Lester, Johnson, Greinke is one situation where teams want the years on the contract.

    • markjsunz 5 years ago

      The Marlins bought two years of his free agency but they paid him 13 million plus for each of those years. Both sides assume some risk, and both sides get some security. And the main thing both sides were agreeable to the terms.A good deal all around.

  20. quintjs 5 years ago

    When virtually all these deals buy out free agent years it isn’t just about cost certainty – its about keeping a player under control longer.

    Matt Kemp is about cost certainty – a deal that doesn’t keep him a dodger any longer.

    Would the Marlins really have signed a 2 years deal with Johnson? of course not because all that would have done was guarnateed them having to pay him when they didn’t have to otherwise.

    A lot of teams don’t even consider long term deals for young players UNLESS they get free agent years. I know the Red Sox are on record as saying that is a requirement of assuming the injury risk.

    Young players entering their prime like Lester, Johnson, Greinke is one situation where teams want the years on the contract.

  21. Guest 5 years ago

    “Jair Jurrjens – perhaps the best pitcher no one talks about”

    absolutely, which is a shame. never understood why there was all that talk about extending vazquez and yet no one seems to even realize jj exists. lock him up soon, wren!

  22. Guest 5 years ago

    “Jair Jurrjens – perhaps the best pitcher no one talks about”

    absolutely, which is a shame. never understood why there was all that talk about extending vazquez and yet no one seems to even realize jj exists. lock him up soon, wren!

  23. Jurrjens won’t be extended past his ARBY days, Boras is going to ship him to NY.

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Dumb comment.

    • I really don’t think so, Jair Jurrjens has personal ties with the Braves organiztion and has said on a few occasions he dreamed of being an Atlanta Brave for life as a young boy in Curacao. I think Wren realizes that Jurrjens,Hanson,and Minor will be something special and be the closest thing we will see to the Madduz/Smoltz/Glavine trio, not to mention the hopes of Vizcaino and Teherean which come 2012 could give the Braves potentially would of the most dynamic rotations some of us have or will see.

      • Maybe, I really doubt that Boras won’t shop him.

        • Andy_B 5 years ago

          I used to believe that when a player would say something like I’ve always dreamed of being on a great organization like ______. But as a cardinals fan when we traded Brett Wallace to the As and he stated that he always wanted to play for a great organization like the A’s I realized that all players just say that shit. Because no one really wants to play for the A’s.

          Beyond that players don’t hire Scott Boras to be their agent because they want to give hometown discounts. Very doubtful Jurrjens gives up his free agency years for any kind of discount.

          • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

            You do realize Wallace grew up in the A’s back yard right?

      • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

        I’d say Teheran or Vicaino, though Minor will get there faster and has good stuff.

  24. Jurrjens won’t be extended past his ARBY days, Boras is going to ship him to NY.

  25. lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

    I could see Billingsley get extended now. Coming off a bad year, but the Dodgers still gave him almost 4M. Most projection tools expect him to bounceback and put up great numbers.

    I dont see Kershaw getting extended yet. We still have him for at least 4 years(not sure about exact service time). Wait till he gets to arb, then he gets extended…

  26. If Jurrjens and Hanson both put up numbers this year that they are projected to this year I’d go ahead and give em both 6/60. I know thats alot but it buys out 3 and 2 free agent years respectively and I think that might earn the Braves some points down the line since they paid them before they had to. Moylan deserves to be locked up also. With the Jurrjens and Hanson contracts I’d slightly back load them so that when D-Lowe and Hudson come of the books they will have more money.

  27. ultimate913 5 years ago

    I honestly don’t expect any Boras clients to get extended. It goes against everything Boras has done for his other clients.

  28. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    I have a feeling Jurrjens will be traded in 2011. Biggest reason being that he is a Boras client and Boras has already spoken out many times against teams locking up players through their ARB years. That along with the fact that we will by 2011 have Vizcaino, Teheran, Minor, DeVall and many others that could slide into the rotation.

    Hanson will be more established by then and could possibly be in the #1 starter spot by then not to mention Lowe, Hudson and Kawakami will all still be under contract by then.

    • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

      2 problems here. Braves will wait until after the first arby. If they were to trade him, it’d be in 2012 AND after they offered an extension. Also Vizcaino and Teheran are in A-ball. They have a year or two left before they come up. I project them in 2013 or maybe in 2012, if they are as heraled(sp?) as they claim.

    • Why in the world would the Braves trade a possible future Cy Young winner? With Hanson and Jurrjens, we could have the best 1-2 punch in baseball (sometime in the future, when they both hit their prime). In fact, I don’t think anyone would be better, I think they will be the equivalent of Sabathia-Burnett, except JJ will be better than Burnett

  29. timmah_55 5 years ago

    How about all the young arms out in the NL West? Tim Lincecum, Jonathon Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and Jorge De La Rosa all should be considered.

    • It said Tim Lincecum aside. Jonathon Sanchez sucks. Jorge De La Rosa sucks. The rest are good.

      • bravesman218 5 years ago

        You’re right, Jonathon Sanchez really sucks, I mean with the no hitter and all

  30. klwillis45 5 years ago

    YoGa seems a decent bet. Hall & Suppan are off the books after 2010, Prince likely after 2011. Braun is already locked up.

  31. It’ll be out of those three, Jair Jurrjens. Considering Wandy Rodriguez isn’t the most consistent pitcher. Next Garza, i just don’t see getting a long term deal from a team with a low budget. Then you have Yovani Gallardo, and no offense to him, he just doesn’t have the upside to Jurrjens.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Doesnt have the upside? Come on..

    • AstrosWS20 5 years ago

      Yeah that’s ridiculous dude. Gallardo has much more upside that Jurrjens but Gallardo has A LOT more risk. Gallardo has history of injuries which brings down his value. Jurrjens ceiling is a lower level #1 or maybe even a solid #1. Gallardo when healthy has the ability and stuff to win a Cy Young every year he makes 32-33 starts.

      • bravesman218 5 years ago

        I beg to differ: over Jurrjens’ 2 full seasons in the big leagues, his ERA is 3.14. Over Gallardo’s 2 full seasons, HIS ERA is 3.70. Last season, Gallardo made 30 starts, and threw 185 innings, with an ERA of 3.73, 94 walks, and 1.31 WHIP. Last season, Jurrjens made 34 starts, threw 215 innings, with an ERA of 2.60, 75 walks, and a 1.21 WHIP. Last season, they were both healthy and made 30+ starts, and yet Jurrjens was way better, and at least in the same ZIP code as the Cy Young award. Gallardo wasn’t. So, in response to your claims, you’re dead wrong. When they are both healthy, Jair Jurrjens is by far the better pitcher compared to Yovani Gallardo.

  32. Aduncaroo 5 years ago

    Randy Wells. I kid, I kid. Hendry is probably looking for a reason to hand out a no trade clause though…

    But seriously, if the Braves don’t at least try and lock up Jair, they are crazy. As someone said above, he IS the best pitcher that no one talks about. To say he has the potential to be a #2 is crazy, as he was already at least that last year.

    I guess I’ll admit that I haven’t see as much of Hanson as I’m hoping to next year, but the dude just broke in last year. No reason to lock him up just yet.

  33. goldenglove002 5 years ago

    I don’t think Jurrjens will get locked up too soon. The way their young pitching is developing they probably won’t mind going year by year until they have a better idea of which of the many strong and young pitching prospects are going to develop. I am a little worried however about what he might command in his first year of arb. I think whatever lincecum gets will probably give us an idea (JJJ isn’t that good yet,but not far behind in some respects)

    • Guest 5 years ago

      jair is a very consistent, very intelligent pitcher with very good control, but i dont think you can put him near lincecum. the k’s just aren’t there. he’s definitely a top of the rotation guy, though.

      • bravesman218 5 years ago

        No, I don’t think he should be placed in the Lincecum category. That category consists of 3 pitchers: Lincecum, Halladay, and Felix Hernandez (when healthy). They just don’t grow on trees. But with his numbers, Jurrjens would already be the number 1 for a number of teams. But since he’s with the Braves, he will have to settle for being the number 2 in the future best 1-2 punch in the league (Hanson-Jurrjens)

  34. laaweosme 5 years ago

    In responce to vtadave and adjpb basically jj is to good for the braves and will sign a big contract because alanta has little playoff chance but money , while boston has the money AND playoff chances.

    • satoshii 5 years ago

      Is English your second language or something?

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      huh? how the hell did Boston get in the conversation? And JJ isnt a FA… Boston has no chance of talking to him for a while. JJ will stay in ATL for a while, as they have money. And they have no playoff chance? Look at some of their prospects coming up from the minors… they will be scary in a few years. And they have two aces in the making in JJ and Hanson.. They have young talent that can rival some of the most talented teams in the league

  35. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    JJ would’ve been a serious Cy young contender last year if the run support he was getting wasn’t so atrociously bad.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      same could be said for a lot of other players.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        if the braves had the offense to give jj more run support in the first half, then vazquez would’ve been getting the cy young before jj. but, yea you both have an excellent point.

  36. angryredmenace 5 years ago

    Jon Lester…Wait.. what?

  37. InTheKZone 5 years ago

    I think Gallardo has to be resigned by the Brewers. I think out of the guys listed, he is the best and very well could be one of the best pitchers in the game in the next 2-3 years if he keeps it up.

    Out of those not listed, I think Kershaw, Billingsley, and Felix (obviously) should be resigned by their respective teams.

  38. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    Wandy Rodriguez is the guy I’d sign. He took a long time to get where he is today-improving a little each season. The dude learned how to PITCH along the way. He reminds me a bit of Ted Lilly. I think he’d be a good bet to keep around for several years.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

      Wandy’s really not all that young, though. I’d still lock him up for 3-4 years if I were the Astros.

    • AstrosWS20 5 years ago

      I’d love if the Stros found a way to save a little bit of money over the next few years but I’m not sure if Wandy is as good as he was in 2009. I hope I’m wrong but I’m not sure how smart it’d be.

  39. jphenix2002 5 years ago

    Jurrjens or Gallardo

  40. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    If I were Frank Wren, I would try to sign Hanson, JJ and Yunel to long term deals right now. Come September, I wouldn’t mind thinking about signing Heyward to a long term deal (Ryan Braun type) either. (I know that this is really early talk about this, but he is that kind of player)

  41. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    Just wait till Heyward replaces chip in the #3 spot

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