Extensions Down This Offseason

From the end of the 2012 season until present, 25 players with less than six years of Major League service time signed multiyear extensions.  However, from the end of the 2011 season through April 30th, 2012, 37 such deals were signed.  So, we've seen a notable decrease in extensions this offseason.  During both offseasons, the average value of these arbitration year extensions has been around $28-29MM.

This offseason, arbitration eligible players signed deals later in their careers.  The average service time of an extended player this offseason was right around four years, as opposed to three years and 126 days the previous winter.  One notable difference is in the number of players extended with less than two years of big league service.  So far this offseason we've had only one such player, Paul Goldschmidt, and he received $32MM.  The previous offseason, six players signed with less than two years service: Jonathan Lucroy, Madison Bumgarner, Carlos Santana, Cory Luebke, Salvador Perez, and Matt Moore.  Only Bumgarner topped $21MM.  Some of those deals are among the most team-friendly in baseball, so perhaps agents have begun to dissuade these players from signing so quickly for $15MM or less.

One possible reason for the apparent decline in extensions: maybe we're not done this month.  Santana, Bumgarner, and Erick Aybar signed after April 9th, back in 2012.  Guys will certainly sign later during the season as well, but I thought it made sense to consider April 30th to be the end of the offseason, for the purposes of this post.

MLBTR's Extension Tracker was used for this post; please check it out.

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