Extension Candidate: Brandon Beachy

It's not easy for potential stars to arrive in the Major Leagues with less fanfare than Brandon Beachy in the present day media environment. Beachy, who originally signed as a non-drafted free agent, has followed up a standout debut season with three strong starts this April. It could be time for the Braves to consider an extension.

Beachy has an impressive 3.27 ERA with 10.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 35.9% ground ball rate at the Major League level. His leverage in contract talks will be limited by his relative inexperience, however. He has just 31 starts and 176 innings in one-plus years with the Braves (one year and 14 days of service time through 2011).

Brandon Beachy - Braves (PW)

Madison Bumgarner recently established a record for pitchers with one-plus years of service time, obtaining a six-year, $35MM guarantee from the Giants. In my view, Beachy doesn’t have a case for a similar deal. The 25-year-old right-hander has 176 career innings — approximately 50% of Bumgarner's total. He also trails Bumgarner in wins, starts and ERA, so it’s hard to imagine a compelling case for anything in the $35MM range.

But Bumgarner's deal was exceptional. Most starting pitchers who sign extensions after one-plus MLB seasons obtain four-year contracts in the $10-13MM range that tend to include multiple club options. The extensions ensure that the pitchers are paid handsomely through their second arbitration seasons and provide the teams with options on two additional seasons.

In recent years, James Shields, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Anderson, Wade Davis and Cory Luebke have signed four-year deals in the $10-13MM range. Beachy's current numbers are reasonably similar to the ones Anderson and Davis had at the time of their extensions. Beachy trails Jimenez and Shields in all-important bulk stats like innings, starts and wins, but boasts more impressive rate stats. Luebke, who signed most recently, compares especially well with Beachy. They have similar year to year totals and career stats, so the Braves could argue convincingly that Beachy should be in line for a similar four-year deal in the $12MM range. It would be difficult for Icon Sports Management to argue that much separation exists between Beachy and Luebke.

Unlike many top MLB players, Beachy didn’t obtain a life-changing bonus when he signed his first professional contract (the Braves offered $20K). The security of an extension might appeal to the one-time non-drafted free agent.

Meanwhile, the Braves haven’t signed Boras Corporation clients Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens to extensions. It’s unclear whether this reflects hesitation from a front office with reservations about the pitchers’ health or resistance from an agency that typically eschews extensions that delay players' free agency. Either way, Braves GM Frank Wren could turn to Beachy should he want to lock at least one young starter up long-term.

The cost — likely $12MM or so — is significant. But it’s not the kind of contract that’s going to set a franchise back long-term. I would consider a four-year deal in the $12MM range a team-friendly one as long as the Braves obtained multiple club options in the process. Beachy’s only going to get more expensive — a five-year deal in the $30MM range might be attainable within six months — so this is Atlanta’s best chance to sign Beachy at this rate. If they believe in his ability to sustain his success and stay on the field, they should make him an offer now.

Photo by Daniel Shirey courtesy of US Presswire.

21 Responses to Extension Candidate: Brandon Beachy Leave a Reply

  1. 14 Rocks 3 years ago

    I think it would make a ton of sense for the Braves to give both Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor contract extensions to buy out their arbitration years.  Both guys are likely to be the cornerstones of the pitching staff for the next several years.

    • chico65 3 years ago

      It’s all peachy for Beachy

    • Jeff 3 years ago

       I think it’s likely over the next 5 years Beachy+Minor will be superior to Hanson+JJ.  I’d keep one of the latter, probably Hanson, and hope Teheran/Delgado/Gilmartin/Spruill can fill out the back end.

      • undocorkscrew 3 years ago

        Livan Hernandez is superior to Jair Jurrjens right now. I really hope he hits the DL soon.

  2. I agree 14Rocks….buy out the arbitration years, and you will save money. As far as Boras clients Hanson and Jurrjens, sign Hanson…. let Jair go when the time comes. 

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      The time is now. We’re not in a position to hold onto him, offer him a contract and get draft pick compensation. When Hudson returns, if JJ is still pitching poorly, we should consider giving him up. We won’t get anything for him at the Deadline with teams knowing we need to get rid of him.

      • thesultanofswingandmiss 3 years ago

        Or we could trade Jair to a team for about two to three quality prospects. We can get something out of a weak team.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           “Or we could trade Jair to a team for about two to three quality prospects.”

          Might redefine what you mean by quality prospect(s) for a pitcher who struggles to stay healthy and is already making 5.5m with 4 years of service, plus a Boras client.

          This is 1 tough cookie to move and the worse he pitches this season, the harder and harder to move for much of anything.

        •  you mean the guy who just got optioned to AAA. Right.

    • tomymogo 3 years ago

      Let Hanson go as well IMO.

      • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

        Why would you want to let Hanson go?  He has been one of the best young starters in MLB since his rookie season. 

        • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

          Probably from health concerns and the packages young aces like he fetch.

          It’s not something I’d do though… this guy’s a stud.

        • tomymogo 3 years ago

          Health, Boras client means big $. His fastball velocity is concerning, he used to throw 96 mph when he got to MLB, now he tops out at 91 mph.

          And Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. Jurrjens and Hanson are expendable, hopefully they could trade them for younger high potential pitchers.

  3. jwick18 3 years ago

    last year he reminded me of chuck james a little. showed up out of no where and pitched well. didnt expect much out of him this year. thought guys would adjust and he would be in trouble. not same style or anything as james just kinda just showed up. glad he has proved my thinking wrong

  4. Hipster Tampa extended their young pitchers before it was cool.

  5. tomymogo 3 years ago

    If they keep it up, after the year is over, it would make a ton of sense, but they need to avoid injuries

  6. erm016 3 years ago

    I’d like to see them lock up Beachy, Hanson & Minor (I’ll eat crow on that, I was never high on Minor, but he’s proving me wrong) and let JJ go. I used to be a huge JJ fan, but not anymore. Something is wrong w/ him and he’s holding up too many other people.

  7. Michael Brown 3 years ago

    I agree with the Beachy extension ideas. While some people out there think he is going to digress from last years stats. I actually think he is getting better. 

    The thing about Beachy that has always struck me is that he is Smoltz with a, complete other end of the spectrum, personality type. I actually don’t see any reason he is not going to be a 200IP, 200K pitcher for us for the forseeable future. 

  8. BG921 3 years ago

    I’m all for Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor getting contract extensions before they reach arbitration. I wouldn’t mind seeing them give Freeman and Heyward extensions as well.

    Also, to the people saying “I used to be a Jurrjens fan”…

    I don’t understand why you would stop liking a guy because he ran into a rash of injuries. It was easy to like JJ when he’s posting All-Star seasons, but as soon as he runs into injury concerns you stop liking him? Sure, Jurrjens was never as good as his numbers indicated, but he was pretty much the Ace of the staff as a rookie. I understand that “hating” on Jurrjens is the cool thing to do, but I’m not going to stop supporting a player just because he ran into the injury bug.

    Jair Jurrjens, when healthy, was a solid #3-4 starter.

    If the Braves didn’t see him in their future, they should’ve have traded him when he had (more) value.

  9. CT 3 years ago

    It’s about time for the Braves to look at extensions for their young crop.  Beachy, Minor, and Freeman are a must. If Heyward continues to play well and has a good year, he should be put on the list too.

    • Jeff 3 years ago

       If I was Wren, I’d try to lock up Freeman/Heyward for 10 years right now, and extend Beachy/Minor with the money from Chipper’s retirement and D-Lowe’s contract expiring, as well as trade Uggla if needbe to free up those funds.

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