Spring training is also extension season, and Steve Adams and I previewed things on a recent edition of the MLBTR Podcast. Several players have inked arb-only deals, and there have been a pair of interesting contracts for injury-risk relievers, but thus far only Dee Gordon (Marlins) and Brandon Crawford (Giants) have landed truly significant contracts this winter. There are already rumblings about some big names who could dabble with long-term negotiations, many of whom pose significant questions to their organizations.
Here are a few links to the latest extension chatter:
- It does not appear that the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg have any intentions of making a real effort at a new contract, as Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Agent Scott Boras had high praise for the Washington organization and its handling of the prized righty, but his comments suggest that a pre-season deal would come as a major surprise. “We amicably agreed to a one-year deal (for 2016),” Boras said. “He’s going to pitch, and we’ll see where it goes from there. It’s something we’ll be discussing at the end of the year.” None of that comes as much of a surprise, of course, as Strasburg has a chance at a huge contract if he can put up a healthy and productive campaign.
- There may be slightly more daylight for an extension in the case of another NL East, Boras-repped ace — Matt Harvey of the Mets — according to a report from ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin. Unlike Strasburg, Harvey can be controlled for two more seasons after 2016, so there’s quite a bit more ground to cover before he hits the open market. Harvey said he hasn’t heard any talk of negotiations, but indicated he would be willing at least to consider a long-term arrangement. Boras, meanwhile, provided a trademark analogy to explain his stance: “Expectations of an extension are like dinner invitations. They are always politely considered until you know the restaurant.”
- The Blue Jays have yet to open talks with slugger Edwin Encarnacion, his agent Paul Kinzler tells Morosi. That’s not surprising with camp still on the horizon, but the new Toronto front office has made clear it intends to make an effort to reach agreement with Encarnacion (and fellow star Jose Bautista). Kinzer indicated that he believes there’s plenty of time to work something out, with Encarnacion very open to the idea of foregoing free agency for the chance to cement his legacy with the balllub.
- Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz says that he doesn’t think the time is right to discuss a new deal, as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. “I still think I have some stuff to prove before we even get into [extension discussions],” Buchholz told Mastrodonato. Boston probably feels similarly, particularly given that the roller-coaster righty is already controllable for 2017 (his age-32 season) by way of a $13.5MM club option.