Recent September Extensions

September is historically a down month on the trade front, as players acquired after Aug. 31 are not eligible to join an acquiring club’s postseason roster. However, if recent history is any indicator, we can expect a few extensions to be hammered out over the next four weeks. Here’s a look back at some notable September extensions over the past three seasons…


  • Padres sign Will Venable to a two-year, $8.5MM extension. — Venable had a breakout season in terms of his power production last year, so the Padres likely felt fortunate to lock in his remaining arbitration salaries, as further 20-homer/20-steal seasons would cause the price to soar. Unfortunately for the team, Venable’s decision to opt for security looks wise, in hindsight, as he’s batted just .220/.282/.319 in the first year of the deal — surprisingly low production from a player who had posted a wRC+ mark of 99 or better in each year of his career.
  • Marlins sign Greg Dobbs to a one-year, $1.75MM extension. — This extension drew plenty of public scrutiny, as Dobbs’ on-field performance in 2013 (.228/.303/.300) didn’t warrant the deal. It was eventually reported that owner Jeffrey Loria negotiated the deal without consulting former president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. The Dobbs extension would be one of many stories that were referenced when describing the rift between Loria and Beinfest at the time of Beinfest’s dismissal.
  • Giants sign Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90MM extension. — The most notable of any extension in this post, Pence was positioned to be one of the top free agents in the 2013-14 class, but he took what looked to be market value at the time to remain in San Francisco. As it turns out, the market for outfield bats was more aggressive than many had thought, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo landing seven-year deals worth $153MM and $131MM, respectively. Based on that context and Pence’s brilliant 2014 campaign — he’s hitting .296/.348/.482 with 19 homers and a hefty 5.4 fWAR/4.0 rWAR — the contract looks good after about one year.


  • Padres sign Chris Denorfia to a two-year, $4.25MM extension. — Denorfia’s strong season led former GM Josh Byrnes to lock in his final arb years with this modest extension, and Denorfia made the deal look like a good one in 2013 by hitting a solid .279/.337/.395 with a career-high 10 homers and excellent numbers against lefties. His production fell off in the contract’s second year, but the Padres’ triumvirate of interim GMs were still able to flip him to Seattle for outfielder Abraham Almonte and minor league righty Stephen Kohlscheen.
  • Rangers sign Colby Lewis to a one-year, $2MM extension. — Lewis went down for the season in mid-July back in 2012, but he’d been enjoying a strong season and was expected to return for the 2013 campaign, making a $2MM salary a potential bargain for Texas. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Lewis had multiple setbacks and wasn’t able to take the hill the following season, but it’s not hard to see why they were interested in the low-risk deal; Lewis had turned in a 3.93 ERA over his previous 506 1/3 innings with the Rangers.


  • Cardinals sign Chris Carpenter to a two-year, $21MM extension. — Carpenter led the league in innings pitched in 2011 and had been generally excellent over the previous three seasons, prompting quite a bit of praise for this deal. He, in fact, restructured his contract and took what most expected to be less money in the long run, giving up a $15MM club option in favor of this two-year deal. Of course, Carpenter would sadly throw just 17 more innings in his career before injuries forced him to retire. While it looked good at the time, this deal didn’t pan out.
  • Mets sign Tim Byrdak to a one-year, $1MM extension. — While the extension wasn’t particularly memorable and didn’t have a large impact on the 2012 Mets, Byrdak fired 30 2/3 innings of 4.40 ERA ball and was a strong weapon against lefties, making him worth his modest salary.
  • Cardinals sign Lance Berkman to a one-year, $12MM extension. — After a huge rebound campaign in 2011, Big Puma was rewarded with this contract, but he totaled just 97 plate appearances the following season due to knee injuries. He wasn’t able to recover with the Rangers in 2013 and retired following that season, putting an end to an excellent career.
  • Marlins sign Omar Infante to a two-year, $8MM extension. — This contract paid dividends in the sense that Infante was largely excellent for the Marlins over the next half-season before being dealt to the Tigers along with Anibal Sanchez. That trade netted former top prospect Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly and lefty Brian Flynn — a respectable haul at the time but one that now looks lackluster. Miami dealt Turner to the Cubs for a pair of low-level relievers this season, and Brantly has been passed over in favor of Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
  • White Sox sign Sergio Santos to a three-year, $8.25MM extension. — Signed at the end of a breakout season as the White Sox closer, Santos found himself traded to the Blue Jays for pitching prospect Nestor Molina that offseason. Molina hasn’t done much and was recently outrighted by the ChiSox, but they probably feel fortunate not to have had to pay Santos the money he was guaranteed, as shoulder injuries led to a 5.23 ERA and just 51 innings pitched over the life of his three guaranteed years with Toronto.

Full Story | 13 Comments | Categories: MLBTR Originals

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13 Comments on "Recent September Extensions"

1 year 1 month ago

“It was eventually reported that owner Jeffrey Loria negotiated the deal
without consulting former president of baseball operations Jeffrey

And people wonder why the marlins make the decisions they do.

Scott Berlin
1 year 1 month ago

As bad as that Ellsbury contract looks I’d rather have that then Choo’s.

1 year 1 month ago

Have you finally given up saying that the Sox made a huge mistake letting Ellsbury go?

Scott Berlin
1 year 29 days ago

No I haven’t and I won’t until Betts proves me wrong. JBJ and Sizemore have proved me right.

1 year 29 days ago

No they didn’t because Ellsbury isn’t the same player anymore and that contract would have prevented the Sox from signing Castillo. The Sox are planning for the future instead of living in the past with an aging speedster on a terrible deal.

Scott Berlin
1 year 29 days ago

We’ll he has 15 homers so far this year, it might a far cry from his best season but it’s still his 2nd best power output in his career.

1 year 29 days ago

Oh boy, one silver lining! He isn’t worth the money and that doesn’t look like it’ll change. In FA, you overpay for the first half assuming there’ll regression during the second half. There was plenty of regression in year one and that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone.

The Sox made a great choice letting him go and there’s no denying that regardless of what happened this year. We wouldn’t be a playoff team with him instead of JBJ. Castillo doesn’t need to be the next Ellsbury for that to still be the case.

Scott Berlin
1 year 29 days ago

Let’s see what kind of player Castillo is first since he’s the future.

Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
1 year 1 month ago

Are players claimed from DFA’s in September ineligible for postseason rosters too?

Stuart Brown
1 year 1 month ago

While it’s not much, Carpenter pitched 13.2 additional innings in the 2012 postseason, good for a total of 30.2 innings on that contract before injuries caused him to sit out 2013 and eventually retire.

1 year 29 days ago

I don’t see it happening in September, but I hope the Yankees extend David Robertson.

1 year 26 days ago

I could see it happening, but I don’t think the Yankees should. Not with Betances waiting in the wings to close.