Brandon Crawford didn’t want play anywhere other than San Francisco, which is why he was so insistent on full no-trade protection in his recent contract extension, CSNBayArea.com’s Alex Pavlovic writes. Giants GM Bobby Evans and Joel Wolfe, Crawford’s agent, first discussed an extension last spring but talks didn’t really go anywhere, so discussions were re-opened in October while Evans was waiting for free agency to open. As Pavlovic notes, locking Crawford up early means the Giants can now use the Gold Glove-winning shortstop as a selling point to attract free agent starters. Crawford has his extension settled, and here’s some more news about other stars who may be in line for big multi-year deals…
- With Crawford’s contract settled, Brandon Belt could be the next Giant to receive an extension, Pavlovic writes in a separate piece. Evans said he’s had some talks with Belt’s representatives but it’s possible they could settle his 2016 contract first before exploring a longer-term deal. Belt’s concussion history isn’t an obstacle, as Evans said the Giants have “gotten very good medical info that doesn’t give us concerns about Brandon’s health.” Belt hit .280/.356/.478 with 18 homers in 556 plate appearances last season, and while the Giants were still prone to sitting him against left-handed pitching, Belt posted a very respectable .802 OPS in 145 PA against southpaws. He’s projected by MLBTR to earn $6.2MM in 2016, his second year of arbitration eligibility. San Francisco doesn’t have any intention of trading Belt, Pavlovic adds, so rumors of the team’s interest in Chris Davis may be overblown.
- Dallas Keuchel and the Astros are expected to discuss a long-term deal this offseason and both Keuchel and GM Jeff Luhnow speak to the Houston Chronicle’s Evan Drellich about the possible shape of these talks. Keuchel is something of a “hard comp,” as Drellich notes, because of how few players have matched his exact career path. MLBTR’s Steve Adams described some of the main points that will go into the Keuchel negotiations when news first broke of the extension talks in August.
- Six rival executives gave their guesses about what a Bryce Harper extension might look like to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, with guesses ranging from six years and $180MM to a record-breaking 15-year, $450MM deal with a player opt-out clause. While the Nationals would be extending Harper at his peak of production, the team would also have some leverage since Harper’s current contract limits his earnings through that would’ve been some very expensive arbitration years. The executives aren’t sure exactly what form a Harper extension could take, though it could be a moot point since they doubt an extension will be signed — most Scott Boras clients hit free agency rather than sign lengthy extensions with their original teams. Kilgore’s piece is well worth a full read, as it’s a very interesting look at the numerous factors that will go into Harper’s next contract (whether it’s an extension or a free agent deal) and the six execs present a wide range of fascinating contract scenarios.