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Checking In On The Offseason’s Multiyear Deals

So far this offseason, 33 players have signed multiyear deals. Albert Pujols’ megacontract is worth 100 times as much as Laynce Nix’s relatively modest $2.4MM deal, so not all multiyear deals are created equal. But they demonstrate a willingness on the part of teams to commit long term and, usually, to spend more. Here's a look at which teams have spent most aggressively on multiyear deals for free agents so far this winter (extensions not included).

As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, 19 of the 30 MLB teams have already signed at least one player to a multiyear deal. The Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Marlins lead the way with four apiece and the Phillies have signed three such deals. On the other hand, the Braves, White Sox, Reds, Indians, Astros, Yankees, Padres, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays and Nationals have yet to sign a free agent to a multiyear deal. However, some of those teams have been linked to Prince Fielder and other free agents, so the offseason totals are by no means final.

Last offseason 22 clubs signed at least one player to a multiyear deal, as our Transaction Tracker shows. Five teams have avoided multiyear free agent deals in both of past two offseasons: the Braves, Indians, Astros, Rays and Blue Jays.

In some cases teams prefer long-term deals. Why lock a superstar player like Jose Reyes up for one-year when you can have him for six? And in some cases players prefer short-term deals. Why sign long-term after a disappointing season when an Adrian Beltre-like 'pillow contract' will allow you to re-establish your value? Generally speaking, however, players prefer multiyear security.


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