July is typically known for the flurry of trades that will happen in the final days of the month and, to a lesser extent, the barrage of international signings that will take place after the July 2 international signing period begins. However, some teams do make sure to focus on retaining their existing talent this time of year. With an assist from MLBTR's Extension Tracker, here's a look at the July extensions from the past few years…
- Cole Hamels — The Phillies silenced months of speculation regarding the size of a potential free agent deal for Hamels and weeks of trade speculation by locking him up to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $144MM. It was the second-largest deal ever for a pitcher at the time. Hamels has seen a surprising decline in 2013, but his velocity remains the same, and FIP, xFIP and SIERA indicate that he's been better than his 4.58 ERA.
- Edwin Encarnacion — The Blue Jays locked up Encarnacion to a three-year, $29MM contract in the midst of his breakout season, and a year later it looks like a bargain. Over the past 365 days, Encarnacion has hit .269/.371/.537 with 43 home runs in 156 games.
- Carlos Quentin — The Padres faced a decision with Quentin, whom they acquired in the 2011-12 offseason. Quentin was hitting .273/.389/.525 with nine homers in 40 games after returning from the disabled list, leading to trade speculation. The Friars elected to lock up the San Diego native, however, inking him for three years and $27MM.
- Huston Street — The Padres could have used Quentin and Street as prime trade chips, but they locked Street up for another two years and $14MM. Street had allowed just three runs in 29 2/3 innings to that point, but the Pads might prefer a mulligan on his deal. He's been injured again in 2013 and has just a 4.61 ERA with a career-worst 4.9 K/9 rate.
- Jaime Garcia — The Cardinals locked up some more of their young pitching by giving Garcia a four-year, $27.5MM contract. He's been effective while on the field since that time, but the left-hander has battled significant injury problems and will miss the remainder of 2013 following shoulder surgery.
- J.J. Hardy — After pilfering Hardy from the Twins, the Orioles received a career-year from the 28-year-old. He was hitting .278/.335/.490 with 13 homers in 65 games when news of his three-year, $22.5MM extension broke and finished with 30 bombs. Hardy had a rough year at the plate in 2012, but his defense remained strong. He averaged 3.5 fWAR from 2011-12 with the O's.
- Kurt Suzuki — Suzuki signed a four-year, $16.25MM contract with the Athletics and eventually found himself traded to the Nationals in 2012. He was never able to rediscover the three-fWAR form he showed from 2008-09 with the A's, though he was solid in 2010 and 2011, and the modest price tag made it a worthwhile risk.
- David Ross — Ross signed a small two-year, $3.25MM extension with the Braves to continue backing up Brian McCann, and he was terrific from 2011-12. Ross hit .259/.327/.439 with 15 homers in 367 plate appearances in those two seasons before signing with Boston this past winter.
July extensions certainly aren't plentiful, but there have been at least a couple in each of the past three years, so history suggests that a few trade candidates or impending free agents may find themselves signing long-term rather than seeking out a new uniform.