There are always extensions this time of year, but man, this year has been something else. Alex Bregman, Eloy Jimenez, Aaron Nola, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Luis Severino, Nolan Arenado, and even Mike Trout. If you are a young star – not on the Cubs – you got a huge deal this Spring!
I exaggerate, of course, but how about one more to add to the mix? The freaking AL Cy Young winner, at that:
Blake Snell's deal will cover this season, his three arbitration years and one season of free agency. It's the biggest deal ever given to a player with two years of service, topping Gio Gonzalez's $42M deal as a Super 2 and Corey Kluber's $38.5M deal, which included two options.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 21, 2019
Snell, 26, was long a top prospect the Rays’ system, which constantly churns out good young pitchers, and then exploded last year to the tune of a 1.89 ERA, a 2.95 FIP, and 180.2 innings over 31 starts. If he kept that up, obviously he would have gotten a boatload more in arbitration, let alone that free agent year he gave up. But pitchers are risky things, and arms break down. Locking in $50 million from the Rays, when he wasn’t going to really start to get paid until after this season, is not a bad decision.
As far as the Cubs go this Spring, I kinda have an agnostic take:
This should not *necessarily* be read as an immediate criticism. It's not impossible that, in a couple years – in the new CBA world – deal structure and service time and whatever will have changed so dramatically that these extensions look rough.
We'll see. Cubs Zigging.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 20, 2019