Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 27, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Free agency doesn’t appear to be anywhere near over in baseball for this coming season but one of the marquee names that would have hit the free agent market after the 2019 season will no longer be available.

It looks like Nolan Arenado will be with the Colorado Rockies for a while. Before he could get to arbitration the Rockies and Arenado agreed on a 1 year $26 million dollar deal, but yesterday that deal was null and void as Arenado and the Rockies came to terms with an 8 year $260 million dollar deal. Until Bryce Harper finally signs, Arenado’s deal is the highest annual salary for a position player. The only player with a higher yearly salary is Zach Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks who gets $34.4 million dollars this season. Right now Arenado’s deal is the 4th largest in total money of any contract. Only Giancarlo Stanton; 13 years $325 million dollars, Manny Machado; 10 years $300 million dollars and Alex Rodriguez; 10 years $275 million dollars have had higher guaranteed money.

Arenado will turn 28 years old in April but he’s won a Gold Glove in all six of his major leagues seasons. Arenado has also won the Silver Slugger each of the past four seasons. Add in four straight All-Star appearances as well as four consecutive Top 10 finishes in the National League MVP voting as well as leading the National League in home runs three of the last four seasons. Arenado has also driven in 110 runs or more in the last four seasons.

Of course, the first thing that any detractor is going to say is that Arenado plays half of his games in Coors Field. It’s no real surprise that Arenado’s numbers are better at home that on the road but that’s true for a lot of players. Don’t forget to add in the fact that the other three teams in Arenado’s division, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres play in what would be considered pitcher friendly ballparks.

Personally I like the fact that Arenado should be in a Rockies uniform for most of if not all of his career. Not only is it something that we don’t see much in baseball these days with superstar players but also think about the value Arenado has not only to the Rockies, but to their fan base.

Arenado wasn’t the only player to sign a long term deal instead of testing the free agent market after the 2019 season.

Aaron Hicks signed a 7 year $70 million dollar contract extension to stay with the New York Yankees. The deal also includes a club option for an 8th season. This contract takes Hicks through the age of 35.

Hicks was a 1st round pick; 14th overall by the Minnesota Twins in 2008. It was looking as though Hicks was going to just be another 1st round draft pick to wash out until he got to the Yankees.

With a little more regular playing time in New York than he had been getting in Minnesota, Hicks started putting up some numbers.

In three seasons with the Yankees, Hicks has hit 50 home runs and driven in 162 RBI’s. Most of those home runs came last season as Hicks notched a career high 27 home runs.   Hicks has never hit for a high average and he’s not afraid to take his walks. In 137 games last season Hicks walked 90 times which was tied for the 11th most in baseball last season.

By signing Hicks, the Yankees locked up there outfield long term. Hicks is signed through 2025, Giancarlo Stanton is signed through 2027 and Aaron Judge is under team control through 2022. Brett Gardner was resigned for the 2019 season and don’t forget that Jacob Ellsbury is still under contract until 2020.

The Yankees are also considered to have two top outfield prospects. Clint Frazier was sidelined by a concussion last season but has been a on the verge of finding his way into the major league line up for the last two seasons. New York also has Estevan Florial who his ranked in the Top 45 in all three of the top prospect rankings. Now Florial hasn’t played above Class-A ball, so it will be a few years before he’s ready for the major leagues.

Arenado and Hicks did something that most players haven’t done. Both of these players took long term deals with their current teams instead of playing out the final year of their contracts and testing the free agent market. Now it’s very possible that both players could’ve gotten more money had they went out on the free agent market.

You have to wonder if it’s the way the free agent market has played out these last two off seasons that made these two players sign extensions or if they just liked where they were and wanted to stay there. I guess we’ll never know. What do you think?

After spending four years pitching in Japan, Miles Mikolas came back and went 18-4 in 32 starts with an ERA of 2.83 for the St. Louis Cardinals last season. It appears as though it looks like the Cardinal would like Mikolas to stay a little longer.

Mikolas was already signed for the 2019 season and it’s being reported that the Cardinals and Mikolas are finalizing a four year extension that will keep him with St. Louis until 2023.

While I haven’t seen the final contract, it’s being reported that Mikolas will receive a $5 million dollar signing bonus with the annual salary is being reported at $15.75 million dollars. There are also $2 million dollars in an escalator clause with full no-trade protection.

When the Cardinals signed him in the off season, there where some questions that came with that signing. Mikolas had never proven himself at the major league level but St. Louis was right about him last season. Now we will have to see if the Cardinals are right about him long term.

What do you think about the Cardinals signing Mikolas long term? Do you think he’ll be able to put up similar numbers to last season? Or is it possible that he was just a one season wonder?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live you can listen to the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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