The Mariners have officially announced a contract extension with shortstop J.P. Crawford, which reportedly adds on four additional years and $46.15MM in new money. Crawford, who is now signed through 2026, is represented by Wasserman.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal, worth $51MM in total, starts this year and buys out two free agent seasons. Crawford had already agreed to a $4.85MM contract for 2022. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has the financial breakdown of the new contract. Jon Heyman of the New York Post notes that the deal does not contain option years and provides details on no-trade provisions.
Crawford, 27, was drafted 16th overall by the Phillies out of high school back in 2013. He was traded to the Mariners with Carlos Santana in December 2018 in a deal that sent Jean Segura to Philadelphia.
Crawford has served as the Mariners’ starting shortstop since that trade. Defense is Crawford’s calling card, as he landed a Gold Glove for his work in the shortened 2020 season. In the 2021 Fielding Bible Awards voting, Crawford ranked sixth. He didn’t particularly shine in Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric in ’21, but rated well there in ’20. Crawford did rank seventh among shortstops last year in defensive runs saved.
With the bat, Crawford has steadily ascended to become above average, with a 103 wRC+ in 687 plate appearances last year. That led to a career-best 3.1 FanGraphs WAR, though on a pro-rated basis Crawford was also close to that mark in 2020. Back in November, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto made it clear that Crawford would be the team’s starting shortstop for 2022, regardless of who the team ended up pursuing in free agency.
Now, Dipoto has locked up Crawford through the 2026 season. Dipoto said in a statement Friday, “J.P. brings excellent defense at a critical position, in addition to solid on-base skills and a penchant for delivering in the big moment. He’s an incredibly competitive player who has become an integral part of our team, both on the field and in the clubhouse.”
Crawford represents the sixth Mariners player under contract beyond 2022, joining Robbie Ray, Eugenio Suarez, Marco Gonzales, Evan White, and Andres Munoz. The club has about $80MM in commitments for 2023.
It’s been a while since a somewhat glove-first, lower power position player in the three year service bracket signed a contract extension. Back in January 2016, Dee Strange-Gordon signed a five-year, $50MM deal with the Marlins.
phillies give me depression
ironic this guy become an above average player. pain.
What the heck is that supposed to mean?
He’s saying it’s painful to watch as a Phillies fan to see one of their former top prospect succeeding elsewhere considering how much they’ve missed on some of their recent top prospects.
How is losing an ‘average player’ ironic?
He’s not an average player. He’s definitely a good player. I think the OP is saying that he wasn’t average when on the Phillies. So it’s painful to see him good now.
I will say that I consider J.P. Crawford the only really bad trade the Phillies made in the last decade or so. Their biggest problem has been failure to scout, draft and develop talent. It’s not like they really trade good talent away….except for Crawford. He could have been pretty solid on the Phils. Still, I enjoy watching him in Seattle.
Must be nice to have a single bad trade in the last decade or so – said every living and breathing Mariners fan!
We have made so many bad trades it’s pitiful. Of course, this particular regime of Dipoto/Hollander/McKay is the best FO we’ve had in 2 plus decades. The JP Crawford trade, development and contract extension being one more example of how the M’s are finally now in good hands.
Those were his words, hence the quote (which he apparently edited while I was responding).
But look at what Philly got in return. Segura’s been worth 5.7 fWAR and offered an immediate upgrade at the time.
Point is, Philly didn’t do bad. There’s no irony in this.
@ayrbhoy Haha. Sorry I realize my phrasing misconstrued my intent. I meant it was the only exceptionally bad trade. There have been little ones here and there that haven’t worked out, but nothing really major except this Crawford trade. The trade for Brandon Workman was pretty bad, but the Phillies gave up a pitcher who would never success in Philly. So that’s sort of just slightly bad.
@Stevil You’re not at all wrong about Segura. He’s been solid. But trading for Santana (who was also very solid for the Phils) seemed a bit too premature on the Phillies part.
Well, Hoskins couldn’t handle the OF and he was making league minimum. He made more sense at 1B. Santana was due another 40m or so. Moving him basically covered both Segura’s and Realmuto’s salary in 2019. They replaced Hoskins in LF with McCutchen and of course they splurged on Harper.
I understood what they were trying to do, it just didn’t work out the way they had hoped.
It was a bad trade because they had to get out from under Santana’s contract,another Klentak blunder
@Kruk It Exactly. They fixed it by dealing by Santana, but they shouldn’t have even acquired him.
I completely agree on the scout, draft and develop talent point with the Phillies. I am highly critical of the organization because of their failure to do those things. They then make it worse by throwing a lot of bad money around and not actually building a viable “team”. A “team” includes defense. Flashy names mean nothing. Did you guys actually take the time to see the roster the San Francisco Giants won with last year????? May not have been built with prospects, but actually played baseball and actually had great chemistry. Played some defense!
@Very Barry I will say what can you do if you can’t develop talent? Just keep rebuilding for 20+ years? That’s unacceptable in a big market. The Phillies spend not only to improve the team, but to sell tickets and make money. I don’t really have a problem with any of these big contracts, and if you look at the biggest ones, I actually think they got a bargain on Harper and Wheeler. The current market for that talent is even higher than what they got paid.
It’s not a complete team because of those core developmental failures. I agree. But I don’t think they were ever hindered by spending.
The Phillies weren’t a bad defensive team in 2019, though. They were arguably one of the better defensive teams. https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2019&month=0&season1=2019&ind=0&team=26&rost=0&age=0
It was their pitching that did them in that year.
VonPH- ‘you guys’ are lucky in that regard. Have a gander at these trades:
Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb…same deal! The infamous Adam Jones debacle. We’ve traded away Big Papi, Omar Vizquel, Carlos Guillen, Freddy Garcia, Rafael Soriano, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin Soo Choo, Tino Martinez, and Mike Hampton! It’s true! Haha
After writing those names- I cant tell you how happy I am with this current M’s FO.
Of course- I’d certainly feel very fortunate if I were a Philly fan. Castellanos, Schwarber and Knebel were great signings to an already good roster.
@ayrbhoy Well I’m hoping at least one of the two longest post-season droughts ends this year. I’ll be rooting for you guys as well!
Stevil reading that list makes my stomach churn. We can also count in the poor management of Huiltzen. They drafted the guy with no idea where to play him and brought him up early. They moved him to various spots that just didn’t work.
Then there was the odd draft of Morrow and pass on Lincecum. Not only was it an awful head scratcher they miss managed him too.
The last two FO couldn’t have been worse even if they tried. Was tough to watch them. Dipoto has done a tremendous job. Hope this doesn’t get JD here he isn’t a Dipoto fan. Lol
He’ll be the best 9-hole hitters in the MLB as long as Adam Frazier is leading off. Well done Dipoto! What a steal.
no, he won’t. Dodgers or Jays will likely be much better
This when a team gambles on the future or does not.
For J.P. Crawford, they are making the bet, and I would have done so myself. J.P. is just one of those fascinating baseball players.
But what will happen over the life of the contract, regarding the player’s health and physical condition?
No one knows.
But go big or stay at home!. as the poker player soften say.
Go Mariners! Go J.P!
Great points Fred. No one knows, but it does seem like a reasonable gamble. I didn’t give the M’s much respect last year, even as they were in the playoff hunt until the season’s final days, but they seem legit this year.
This is good for both Crawford and the M’s..
You are right. It might be a slightly better deal for the team, since Crawford’s good defense equals a high floor and lessened risk. But I fully understand that the player takes the security of being guaranteed $ 50m now instead of the chance of making a bit more.
Owners have a lot of monies available, now that they buried the MLBPA during the lockout; expect we’ll see our share of these, even if they come with some “drama” (Judge, Xander, et al.).
Seems like a good move. J/P/’s a “bawlplaya” on a team with some emerging stars and competitiveness. Mariners could be fun for a while.
I’m glad the s smartphone mlb the show GMs approve
Thanks for coming on here to comment. All your trolls approve
Expectations for the SS position have increased beyond what Crawford provides. There are enough shortstops that provide good defense and solid offense so a league average guy like JP is not really that great. He is ok, not a bad player, but an OPS around .700 and slightly above average defense means Seattle is merely settling IMO. Of course a better SS would cost more than what this contract offers.
Any decent offense from GG caliber SS, CF and catcher is worth the $$… Especially with ‘the Shift’ going away.
First of all, gold glove awards are mostly subjective. As the article states, he has been above average at times by some measures and not by others. That’s why I said that overall, he’s a slightly above average SS and I’m sticking to that. Anyway, his offense isn’t great so Seattle is only saving money by keeping him around. They are certainly not maximizing their opportunity given what else had been and will continue to be available at the position.
All of that’s fair. It’s weird to me that some Philly fans feel like they got burned. They got a MLB All Star who filled an immediate need at the time.
Mariner fans appreciate JP for his character (myself included) as much as his glove, and there’s nothing wrong with this extension, but this is kind of getting overblown a bit.
Good deal for both player and team. Nice to see, but I’ll be more excited about Julio getting extended.
Maybe we should let Julio get his first AB in the bigs before we talk about an extension. He hasn’t proven a thing yet facing top level MLB pitching on an everyday basis.
The talent Julio possesses makes any risk well worth it. He’s not in the same conversation as Evan White, or even Jarred Kelenic, and we are going to see him play before an extension happens.
You won’t catch me advocating for a move like that very often, but Julio is definitely an exception.
Can’t measure his intangibles though. He was a heartbeat guy for the M’s last year and became a fan favorite. Being an above average player with leadership and an ability to keep the clubhouse loose at the most premier position in baseball is difficult to measure. Personally, I think he ranks in the top half of SS and for just over $10M a year at 27 years old or whatever, I’m good with that instead of paying a SS on the wrong side of 30 twice as much per season.
You’re right, you can’t measure it so it may or may not exist. It’s just an opinion.
You say that as though the increased expectations (offensive production) for the SS will be the norm for that position. Just because we are currently in a golden age for SS’s doesn’t mean the position has changed forever.
SCarton is spot on- GG defense at the SS position is extremely valuable. Add in the fact that JP’s offense has steadily improved each yr with the Ms- this is a team friendly contract. There’s also room for growth in JP’s bat now that he finally realized he’s not a slugger. I’d say the only thing average about this deal is the intellect behind your comment
It may not be the “norm”, but look at all the options there were just this past off-season. And after this year, Trea Turner and likely Correa and Xander will be available and all are better. That’s what I’m saying
Yes- there’s Story, Seager, Correa, Turner, Xander, Lindor and Baez. Bichette, Franco (+ B Witt Jr) are all amazing SS’s. Like I said- a golden age of SS’s, but its completely unfair to compare JP to those guys when MLB has NEVER had such a deep group of SS talent like we have now. Ever. We may never see another class of SS’s like it for a very long time.
This is not an exact science but, according to Fangraphs +1 fWAR is worth $8.5M annually in FA for 2022. Which means JP’s +3.1 fWAR is worth roughly $25.5M in annual FA dollars. He’s an absolute steal at $10-11M per year. Almost Irreplaceable when you think about him being a team leader and Captain.
FYI -JP has played one full year for Seattle- 93g in 2019, 53g in 2020. He is still learning to be a ML hitter. He is on record saying his early offensive struggles were a result of him trying to hit HR’s and dbls. Now that he has changed his approach at the plate we have still to see the best of JP Crawford.
Why can’t Seattle have one of the top ten players at each position? Seems like that is what this boils down to. Even NY with all the money they spend can’t boast that.
A really good team has maybe 3-4 of the very best they might have a couple of between really good and avg the rest avg to a bit above avg.
I don’t know if you are one of the SABR disciples but heart and leadership can’t be measured besides SABR is better for D but still not great.
JP may not be one of the top 10 or could be but he loves the place he is at and took less than he probably could get in FA to stay where he likes and is comfortable. I for one am glad he is here.
Show me a team that has 9 players that are ASs and I will show you a team with a really high payroll and one that very well might not get along. Too many egos that need to taken care of.
He’s a gold glove level defender
Everyone here likes DiPoto, so note the lack of: “The player could have gotten more money, he should have never signed” that we got when Cleveland and Pittsburgh extended their players.
OK, it’s sports; as Howard Cosell said: “The Toy Department Floor of America”. But the total lack of objectivity, critical thinking, and an agreed upon standard for all is terribly out of whack in North America on just about everything. i.e. It’s not what’s said or done; it’s who said or did it.
How many players with a career sub-.700 OPS do you see getting mega-extensions?
Ozzie Smith! .666
But he is perhaps the greatest defensive SS in MLB history. Nice try.
As much as I love JP, the situations are entirely different between him and Jose Ramirez. J-Ram probably could have gotten 3x as much total money as Crawford just got.
I don’t know if an extension was really necessary as he still had three years of control, but this is more than affordable. Hopefully he hasn’t already reached his offensive peak. He’ll hit in the bottom of the order, so he won’t be under the same pressure he was the last couple of seasons.
This extension probably doesn’t save the Mariners a ton of money overall but I do think it keeps Crawford’s future salary on the lower end. In year 4 and 5, he’ll only be making 10 or 11 million. That allows the Mariners to use a greater portion of their future payroll budget on free agents (or more extensions for their younger guys). They also love his clubhouse presence and while I’m not a big believer in the value of that, it’s worth “something” to have him locked in as a leader.
I like it. I don’t think it saves the Mariners a ton of money, but it locks JP in thru age 31. Thee is a lot of value in avoiding some of these contracts that are paying guys thru age 36-37-38.
I think he’s a safe player to lock in at this price. If his offense falls off a cliff it’s not really an albatross because he will at least provide good defense at a premier position with an AAV that isn’t outlandish. The M’s have shown a willingness to run payroll north of $175M in the past and last I heard we’re expecting to come in around $110M this season. Still lots of room to add future obligations.
Such an overpay for his track record
Roughly 10m AAV for solid defense and an average bat? I can think of worse deals.
His 1.1 fWAR in 2020 averaged out to 3.3 over a 162 games and he was worth 3.1 last season.
How big of a track record do you need to justify 51 million over 5 years (only two of which would have been free agent years)?
I wouldn’t be surprised if had been a free agent that he would have gotten 5/125. Maybe or maybe not this last off-season with so many top shortstops available and the lockout but I think 5/100 would be his starting point. factoring in his arb years where he would have made 30 million or so this could easily have been a 5/70 type deal. So personally feel as underpay if anything
Average, maybe even a below-average hitter moving forward, but his glove will give him plus value.
I like the fact that there’s no real pressure as the number 8 or 9 hitter and this contract basically covers his prime years, so there’s reason to feel good about him offering at least average production at the plate with stellar defense.
Had the Phillies not traded away J.P. Crawford they would not be the worst defensive team in Major League Baseball.
It would be a lot better. That being said, it also meant Rhys stayed in Left and our offense took a huge hit without Segura (our second best offensive player last year).
The Phillies haven’t had great defense, but they’re far from the worst. The Angels had that title last season.
That was Dipoto’s fault
Stat nerds crack me up….try watching the guy actually play! ANY and EVERY team would be ecstatic to have a ballplayer of his caliber! Not an overpay here either for a guy entering his prime years and doesn’t fight teammates in the locker room! 😉 GO M’s!!!
Even the advanced metrics are pretty kind to JPC. 102 OPS+, 103 wRC+, 3.8 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR, +8 DRS, +.2 UZR/150. If you ask me, it’s the surface level stuff that makes him look bad. A .715 OPS might not look all that good, but it’s not awful once it’s contextualized by someting like OPS+.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
Mlb1225 yeah, good take.
Noelvi Marte to 2B or becomes the Mariners biggest trade chip moving forward?
Marte has grown quite a bit. He’s a big kid. I’d say his chances at sticking at SS are only about 10%. With his arm, most see him as a future 3B but we don’t know for sure at this point.
I doubt they trade Marte. I would imagine he’s at least two years out and he could shift position if need be. Some scouts think he could cover centerfield eventually although I am not enamored either that idea.
Marte’s likely their future third baseman. This has been discussed at length. I don’t think Seattle intends to trade their lone, elite infield prospect.
He’ll most likely be at 3B. You’re hyped now about Julio? Just wait until Noelvi arrives. Not quite as high as JRod, but definitely still special!
Most believe Marte’s size will force him to 3b, or even RF. Extending Crawford isn’t a problem from that perspective.
Seems like a really good deal for the Ms they probably saved 15 or 20 million on those extra years after factoring in his arb years and should still be a regular by the end of it. There’s still a little upside in his bat if you squint too. Assuming they are splitting the pay evenly he’ll likely be an easy trade even in a few years when he’s declining.
Now that they have SS set for the immediate future, they can trade Noelvi Marte to the Mets for Cano and Diaz.
that’s not funny
It wasn’t funny when the Mets did it, either.
Actually it was kind of funny. Hated losing Diaz but we had the top rated BP last year. I am not a huge fan of paying a closer outlandish money they are too fickle.
And payroll wise they are doing great. Man, Mariners front office is really doing a fantastic job building that organization.
Funny in 2017 I thought Roman Quinn had more upside than Crawford.
Nothing like doubling down on a mistake.
You sound bitter. Crawford nearly made the AS team last season and has already won a gold glove. Take a seat somewhere.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
Much rather have JP over segura. They won’t even play segura at short!
JP is worth every penny