Players That Would Have Been Free Agents After 2010

With more and more young players signing long-term extensions that buy out arbitration and free agent years, the amount of talent in future free agent classes isn't as impressive as it could be. Here's a list of players who would have been free agents for the first time after this season (meaning they will accrue their sixth full year of service time in 2010), but instead are still under contract for another year or two (or more)…

  • Joe Blanton: The Phils have Blanton under contract for $17.5MM total in 2011 and 2012. There's plenty of value in being a league average workhorse, so he might have been able to find more on the open market.
  • Zack Greinke: Kansas City owes the reigning Cy Young Award winner $13.5MM in both 2011 and 2012. He would have been the most sought after free agent in years, and would have been in a position to challenge CC Sabathia's $161MM record deal.
  • Dan Haren: Arizona wisely locked up their ace, and will pay him $12.75MM in both 2011 and 2012. They also hold a $15.5MM option for 2013 ($3.5MM buyout). Haren would have been in line for a deal similar to the five year, $82.5MM contracts signed by John Lackey and A.J. Burnett, if not more.
  • Maicer Izturis: The Halos control him for the next two seasons at just $6.9MM total.
  • Scott Kazmir: He's under contract for $12MM in 2011 with a $13.5MM club option for 2013 that could be bought out for $2.5MM. Could he have done better than one year, $14.5MM guaranteed on the open market? 
  • Yadier Molina: The youngest Molina brother will earn $5.25MM in 2011, and St. Louis will presumably pick up his $7MM option for 2012. Given the dearth of quality catchers, he definitely would have found more than $12.25MM on the open market.
  • Justin Morneau: He'll earn $14MM each year from 2011-2013. The market for players with Morneau's skill set has dropped off considerably, but his age (still just 29) would have been a help.
  • Brandon Phillips: It feels like he's been around forever, but Phillips wouldn't have been eligible for free agency for the first time until after this season. The Reds owe him $11MM in 2011, then have to decide between $12MM option or a $1MM buyout for 2012.
  • Alexis Rios: Would Rios have been able to the match the $50MM he's owed through 2014?
  • Ramon Santiago: Detroit owes their utility infielder $1.25MM next season. Not bad scratch for a bench player.
  • Grady Sizemore: Cleveland locked Sizemore up super early in his career, and still have him under contract for $7.5MM next year with an $8.5MM option for the year after. He would have been one of the most sought after free agents after the season.
  • Chris Snyder: He's guaranteed $6.5MM after this season, possibly more if the D'Backs pick up $6.75MM option for 2012.
  • Huston Street: He has yet to pitch this year, but Colorado owes their closer $15.3MM over the next two seasons, and there's also a $9MM mutual option for 2013. Considering his shoulder injury, he's probably glad to have the guaranteed money coming to him.
  • Nick Swisher: The Yanks owe Swisher $9MM for 2011, then have to decide between a $10MM salary or a $1MM buyout for 2012. He probably would have been able to find more than that as a free agent.
  • Kevin Youkilis: The Red Sox control their first baseman for $12MM in both 2011 and 2012, then could retain him for 2013 with a $13MM option or a $1MM buyout. He would have bested that on the open market.
  • David Wright: The Mets have their franchise player under contract for two more years at $29MM total. He might have been able to quadruple that as a free agent.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contract for the info.


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26 Comments on "Players That Would Have Been Free Agents After 2010"


5 years 3 months ago

I know it’s been only like 30 games, but Rios has looked really, really good this year.

He’s got the best contact rate of his career, above average power output, above average defense in center field, and he’s already stolen 9 bases. I know it’s early, and Rios almost surely wouldn’t get $50M as a free agent because of his 2009 struggles, but he might end up making good on Chicago’s investment.

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

yes yes he has, you can tell that last season was simply a bad season. When he came to chicago he was pressing and trying to hard and his stance was different. Greg Walker actually helped someone, he got rios to keep his hands down and that has helped turn him around.

wachsta
5 years 3 months ago

Rios has looked good this season but there’s no way he gets that contract on the open market. Also, maybe the market for players with Morneau’s skill set has dropped, but the price tag sure hasn’t.

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

you could argue that his defense would get him close to that deal, if he keeps going like he is now for the entire season he should steal 30+ and hit 25-30+ home runs, hit for about a .280 avg and be up for a gold glove in center. Now these are all thoughts and projects, and probably biased due to me being a whitesox fan but he very well could get those numbers then we could look at that deal as a bargain or at least as a even deal

5 years 3 months ago

What????? David Wright at 54 Million per year? Please tell me that this is either a major typo or you meant to say that he could get $108 Million over 8 years. Based on the contracts that have gone out over the past few years, I don’t think that David Wright would have been getting much more than the 14.5MM per year that he is getting for 2011-2012.

5 years 3 months ago

He didn’t mention the years, I think it was implied that he could have gotten that much guaranteed money, regardless of how long he was signed for.

5 years 3 months ago

Dude, the implication was very obvious in regards to years. Mike was implying that Wright could get 54m per year? Even bad reporting isn’t that bad.

Don’t worry Mike, no explanation necessary for this one, keep up the good work.

5 years 3 months ago

He didn’t mention the years, I think it was implied that he could have gotten that much guaranteed money, regardless of how long he was signed for.

sacu
5 years 3 months ago

I was wondering the exact same thing. Maybe he was speaking in regards to length of contract; or maybe it was a typo.

Will_Clarks_Gauchos
5 years 3 months ago

I read that the same way Adam did.

5 years 3 months ago

Adam, Adam, Adam. Seriously? I mean, really? Your assumption was that the article was implying David Wright could pull 54m per year? Really? Someone had to explain that this was not the implication? Really?

Come on, you’re better than that… Sacueva? Will_Clarks? Really?

Take this remark in whatever way you see fit, but if you’re interpreting the article, no matter how written, as someone in MLB, even David Wright, could receive 54m per year at this point in history… I mean, really? Need I say more?

charlesdelano
5 years 3 months ago

Don’t forget Joe Mauer. Had he not signed the $184 million eight-year extension with the Twins this past March, he would’ve been a free agent after the 2010 season, and the Red Sox and Yankees would’ve surely gone after him. He could’ve easily had $25-30 million annually at Yawkey Way or the Bronx. His loyalty to the Twins, though, allowed him to sign the extension and take the “hometown discount” to stay in Minneapolis. Expect the Twins to be contenders not just for the AL Central but the World Series for years to come, especially since every game at Target Field for this year has already sold out.

attgig
5 years 3 months ago

maybe Grady’s contract isn’t horrible, but the way he’s going, I don’t know if he’d be THAT sought after…

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

Oh for sure if he hits FA he will be at the top of the class. Consider this, he is a gold glove caliber center fielder, can hit anywhere in the line up but more than likely should be 1-3. He can hit 30 home runs, can steal 30 bases and is not a tool. Granted he has to be healthy to do this but he really isnt that injury prone. The guy is awesome and if the indians decide they are going to trade him they will get calls from just about every single team

fitz
5 years 3 months ago

I think he’s making reference to the fact that Grady is batting .220 with no homers THIS season.

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

Oh for sure if he hits FA he will be at the top of the class. Consider this, he is a gold glove caliber center fielder, can hit anywhere in the line up but more than likely should be 1-3. He can hit 30 home runs, can steal 30 bases and is not a tool. Granted he has to be healthy to do this but he really isnt that injury prone. The guy is awesome and if the indians decide they are going to trade him they will get calls from just about every single team

Triteon
5 years 3 months ago

What am I missing in regards to Nick Swisher? Low BA, average HR for an OF, no SB, high K rate, decent RBIs… Granted he has a good OPS and RC numbers, and he’s fantastic on Twitter, (plus a lifetime 1.0 K/Inn average :) but would he really get more than $10MM on the open market?

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

i think the fact that he can play the corner out fields pretty and ify in CF and a pretty solid 1st base plus he is a switch and he hits for a good amount of home runs makes him maybe maybe a5-10mill a season type of guy but you have to have alot of protection in the line up for that ie the yankees

Triteon
5 years 3 months ago

Yeah, $5-10MM sounds better. I was reading Mike’s observation as if Swish could get more than $10MM. Your points are good — I’m not arguing his abilities, merely asking a serious question. Thx.

sacu
5 years 3 months ago

I was wondering the same thing; although I had no idea about his twittering skills. As an A’s fan, I never really saw what was that awesome about him, talent wise. I doubt he would get more than $10MM per on the open market.

Triteon
5 years 3 months ago

What am I missing in regards to Nick Swisher? Low BA, average HR for an OF, no SB, high K rate, decent RBIs… Granted he has a good OPS and RC numbers, and he’s fantastic on Twitter, (plus a lifetime 1.0 K/Inn average :) but would he really get more than $10MM on the open market?

Trious
5 years 3 months ago

Why Grienke is not badgering the Royals daily to be traded is beyond me. He will only get worse holding that entire franchise up on his back. He will not stay on top being where he is….he is at his peak…he needs to get out

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

for sure, and the pressure on him after he signed that deal getting compared to wells wont help a guy either.

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

for sure, and the pressure on him after he signed that deal getting compared to wells wont help a guy either.

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

I wonder if they both simply need a split. Vernon becomes the guy again with more protection with hill and lind healthy…and rios comes to a team where he is playing the position he should have been playing from the start and in a smaller park with guys and fans that like him…

jwsox
5 years 3 months ago

I wonder if they both simply need a split. Vernon becomes the guy again with more protection with hill and lind healthy…and rios comes to a team where he is playing the position he should have been playing from the start and in a smaller park with guys and fans that like him…