Late last week the Houston Astros gave the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, Jose Altuve, a five-year, $151 Million dollar contract extension. This got me thinking about who the New York Yankees should give a contract extension to and what that contract could look like.
Who’s Getting Extended?
So let’s set some guidelines before we get too deep, most of our key players aren’t even eligible for arbitration yet so players like Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird and Luis Severino will not be on this list. Yes it is wrong that the runner-up for the 2017 AL MVP Aaron Judge is only making a $622,300 dollar this season. However, this is the way that the CBA was set up it limits money on young players and this piece isn’t about to start to break down that particular problem.
So the players to follow are three players that the New York Yankees should consider extending in order to keep them with the team at a reasonable price. So first up we will begin with the Yankees shortstop.
Didi Gregorius is going into his age 28 season and he is coming off back to back tremendous seasons for the Yankees. In 2017, Didi set the franchise record single-season home runs by a shortstop (25) surpassing the mark set by Derek Jeter (24).
Didi is currently in his second to last year of arbitration and is making $8.25 million this season. Sir Didi has proven how valuable he can be for this team, not just on the field but also in an energizing leadership capacity.
Gregorius is a true fan favorite which was something that was never a sure thing given he was tasked with taking over for Jeter when he retired. Didi who is still young and has proven to be able to handle the bright lights of New York City.
OFFER: three-years, $30 Million
When the New York Yankees traded to get Tommy Kahnle along with David Robertson and Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox prior to the 2017 trade deadline, Tommy was the player most raved about by reporters because he added extra versatility to the Yankees already impressive bullpen.
Fast forwarding to the 2018 New York Yankees bullpen and Tommy Kahnle will be just as crucial. Kahnle will be playing the majority of the 2018 season at 28 years of age, and he won’t become a free agent until off-season of 2020-2021. So, the Yankees can take advantage and work out a deal to buy out his arbitration years now and give Kahnle some financial stability.
OFFER: three-years, $12 Millon
Dellin Betances is the most interesting case in terms of whether or not to give an extension. Betances will become a free agent during the offseason of 2019-2020 and arbitration has been quite a roller coaster for Dellin and the Yankees (well mostly just Randy Levine).
In an effort to get the best out of Dellin and avoid any issues, both parties came to an agreement this season of $5.1 million. There is no question that Betances has the “stuff” to be a dominant closer, but in the few opportunities he’s had in that role the success has not translated. This is what makes determining a possible extension tricky.
OFFER: 2yrs $16 Million
These three men are going to be a key part of what the Yankees accomplish in 2018 and moving forward. The idea in extending these players allows the Yankees to keep more of the current established order intact.
These players will be giving their more productive years to the organization and have some financial security in doing so. While allowing the Yankees the financial flexibility to go out and pursue other players to upgrade where ever needed.
The financial commitment on the Yankees for these three players towards the $197 Million dollar luxury tax would be a combined $22 Million. If Brian Cashman can work some magic and get rid of Jacoby Ellsbury‘s contract the Yankees can extend these players for only one million dollars more than what the Yankees will be paying Ellsbury in 2018.