By my count, seventeen $100MM+ contracts have been signed in free agency, making an exception to include the $103MM commitment required by the Red Sox for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Here's the breakdown for recent offseasons:
- 2010-11: 3 (Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee)
- 2009-10: 1 (Matt Holliday)
- 2008-09: 2 (Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia)
- 2007-08: 1 (Alex Rodriguez)
- 2006-07: 4 (Alfonso Soriano, Barry Zito, Carlos Lee, Daisuke Matsuzaka)
- Also notable is the 2000-01 offseason, in which Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and Mike Hampton each exceeded $100MM.
For the 2011-12 offseason, will we see a return to the crazy money of 2006-07? We've got a trio of $100MM locks with Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Sabathia. As with the better $100MM contracts in baseball history, these three are current superstars. However, three additional players could tip the scales and give us as many as six $100MM deals this winter: Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, and Yu Darvish.
Reyes and Wilson may fall short – I could certainly see them in the $90MM range. With Darvish it's more a question of whether he's posted, because five years later I do think he'd match or exceed the Dice-K expenditure.
It's your turn: out of Pujols, Fielder, Sabathia, Reyes, Wilson, and Darvish, how many $100MM+ expenditures do you expect for the 2011-12 offseason?