In July, we saw a pair of extensions for second basemen, with Dustin Pedroia (seven years, $100M) and Jose Altuve (four years, $12.5MM plus two club options) receiving significant financial commitments from their clubs. August has proven to be a bigger month for extensions in recent years. While many of the recent August extensions have been small, one-year renewals for veteran role players and innings eaters, there's been at least one massive extension signed in August in each of the past three seasons. Let's take a look, with an assist from MLBTR's Extension Tracker…
- Starlin Castro — The Cubs guaranteed Castro $60MM over seven years on the strength of back-to-back All-Star nominations for their pre-arbitration shortstop. After hitting .297/.336/.425 over his first three seasons, Castro is hitting just .245/.281/.354 this season.
- Jake Westbrook — The Cardinals kept their No. 5 starter away from free agency for at least one more season, signing Westbrook for an additional year at $8.75MM with a $9.5MM mutual option for 2014. The option looks unlikely to be a factor, as Westbrook has walked more batters (41) than he's struck out (39) in 98 1/3 innings this season. Mutual options are rarely exercised by both sides anyhow.
- Jeff Mathis — Mathis signed a small two-year, $3MM extension with the Blue Jays, but he'll spend the entirety of those two years with a different team, as Toronto included him in this offseason's blockbuster deal with the Marlins.
- Mark Kotsay — Kotsay received a one-year, $1.3MM extension from the Friars based largely on his veteran leadership. He's hit just .207/.264/.252 this season and been used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter.
- Jered Weaver — The Angels locked up their ace through the 2016 campaign by signing him to a five-year, $85MM contract that looks to be a below-market rate given the mammoth contract extensions signed by Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander recently. Weaver's fastball velocity has continued a downward trend, but he's still posted an ERA under 3.00 since signing the new deal.
- Jose Tabata — The Pirates, considering Tabata to be a core player at the time of the deal, signed him to a six-year, $15MM extension with three club options that could push the deal's value north of $37MM over nine years. Tabata hit poorly enough to be demoted to Triple-A last season and for much of this year, though he's now slashing a respectable .265/.339/.401 in the bigs. He's still just 24 years of age.
- Jeff Francoeur — The Royals would probably take a mulligan on their two-year, $13.5MM extension for Francoeur if they could. After a surprising 20-20 campaign with an .805 OPS, Frenchy has hit just .228/.275/.358, some of which has come with the Giants after being released by Kansas City.
- Ricky Romero — Speaking of mulligans, Romero's five-year, $30.1MM deal with the Blue Jays is assuredly one that GM Alex Anthopoulos would like to have back. Romero was masterful in 2011, posting a sub-3.00 ERA and getting some Cy Young votes, but he's posted a 5.92 ERA since and been outrighted off the 40-man roster. He currently has a 5.67 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo.
- Corey Hart — Hart signed a three-year, $26.5MM contract with the Brewers that looked like a bargain until injuries prevented him from taking the field this season. He batted .277/.344/.509 with 26 homers from 2011-12.
- Brett Myers — Rather than trade Myers, the Astros locked him for an additional two years and $21MM. Myers regressed but was solid in Houston's rotation in 2011 before stepping into the closer's role and ultimately being traded to the White Sox in 2012.
- Wes Helms — The Marlins tacked on an additional one year and $1MM to Helms' contract in a move that proved to be forgettable. Helms hit .191/.276/.236 for the Fish in 2011 and was released the following August.
- Livan Hernandez — Like Helms, Hernandez received an additional one year at $1MM. He ate up 175 1/3 innings for Washington in 2011 with a 4.47 ERA, proving to be an absolute steal for GM Mike Rizzo.
If you're curious about what to expect on the trade front this August, MLBTR's Zach Links did a rundown of last season's noteworthy August trades over the weekend.