Ryan Braun's $105MM, five-year contract extension through 2020 seemed like it came out of nowhere, but a ton of other young stars also appear to be in line for new deals, writes Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. Heyman runs down the 20-somethings that could get hefty contract extensions and touches on a few other things in today's column..
- Giants ace Tim Lincecum won't be a free agent until after the 2013 season, but San Francisco would be wise to lock him up before his arbitration numbers get out of hand. A third Cy Young season could potentially bring Lincecum from $14MM into the $25MM range and possibly to $30MM in '13. Heyman expects a deal to get done, even if it costs the club a fortune. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes touched on the Lincecum situation here and here, and will have much more on the topic next week.
- Similarly, there's no reason to think the Yankees would let Robinson Cano leave in the prime of his career. The Bombers have options for 2012 and '13 at $14MM and $15MM, respectively, and will obviously exercise them. Look for the Yanks to get a deal done with the second baseman, but only after the Scott Boras client files for free agency.
- Reds slugger Joey Votto will hit the open market after 2013 and it would be wise for the club to lock him up as the youngster continues to improve. This winter he signed a three-year, $38MM to take care of his arbitration years, but his rate will presumably rise after that deal is up. Heyman believes that the Reds will lock up Votto, just as they did with Jay Bruce. This winter, Cincinnati signed the right fielder to a six-year, $51MM deal.
- Even though the Marlins' poor attendance would seem to indicate that the club doesn't have the funds to sign Josh Johnson to a new deal, they are on their way to a brand-new facility in the near future. Putting that aside, they're still in the black. His $39MM, four-year deal goes through 2013 but his next contract should easily top that.
- If you're a Halos fan looking to purchase a Jered Weaver jersey, you may want to reconsider. Heyman writes that the right-hander is all but a goner in two years. Agent Scott Boras is talking his client up and the Angels don't have a history of keeping their top free agents anyway. It's possible that the next Dodgers owner, assuming there is one, could talk the Simi Valley product into a homecoming.
- It may come as a surprise to some, but Heyman predicts that Andre Ethier will remain with the Dodgers beyond 2012. GM Ned Colletti is believed to want to lock up Ethier along with Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. Even though the Dodgers' situation is probably too messy for anything to get done right away, they have to act fast to keep the 29-year-old.
- You can also expect the Dodgers to work something out with Kemp, who is also a free agent after 2012.
- Of the 33 players that Heyman profiles, he expects most to get new deals done with their respective clubs. Some of the players that we may see elsewhere: John Danks, Shin Soo-Choo, Jonathan Sanchez, Justin Morneau, Grady Sizemore, and Shaun Marcum.
- TV magnate Burt Sugarman is one name believed to be in the mix among potential buyers of the Dodgers. Investment banker Jason Reese and billionaire Ron Burkle are also in the mix. Burkle is teaming with former Dodgers great Steve Garvey.