Mike Trout Made History With His Record-Breaking Contract Extension, But What Will This Mean For Vladimir Guerrero Jr.?
The Blue Jays are likely one of the teams who jumped up out of their seats when they read how much money Mike Trout is receiving in his new contract extension. The ten-year $360 million extension he’s receiving, has now set the market for young all-star players in the MLB.
Which is why this news is so important for the Blue Jays. In the coming years, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will need a contract extension, and it won’t likely come cheap either. This is also the exact reason why the Blue Jays didn’t want him on their opening day roster. Trout’s extension just proves how important it will be to manipulate Guerrero Jr.’s service time. The Blue Jays will need to hold the amount of days he spends on their 25-man roster under 172 days, in order to gain an additional year of control.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Guerrero Jr. is going to be the next Trout. But, if he lives up to all the hype surrounding him, then he will definitely demand an extension that’s in the ballpark range of Trout’s $36 million AAV that he just signed for. However, Guerrero Jr. will have to produce elite-type numbers through his first four-to-five seasons to be able to command that type of a contract.
So, that means the Blue Jays will have a window of six-to-seven years before they will have to give Guerrero Jr. a massive extension. But, if he performs the way Trout did when he first entered the league, then the Blue Jays may want to sign Guerrero Jr. to an extension before he becomes arbitration-eligible. In Trout’s first full-season at the major league-level, he produced 27 doubles, 30 home runs, 83 RBI’s, .326 BA, .399 OBP and a .963 OPS in 139 games.
If Guerrero Jr. records those types of numbers when he enters the league, the Blue Jays front office may decide to go the route the Houston Astros went with Alex Bregman. The Astros have just signed their all-star third-baseman to a six-year $100 million extension. This deal buys-out the three remaining years of arbitration that he had on his deal along with also covering two years that he would have been eligible for free agency.
While I don’t see Guerrero Jr. agreeing to an extension that pays him a AAV of $16.6 for six seasons, this could be a strategy that would work for the Blue Jays. Similar to Trout, Bregman produced elite numbers while he was just entering the league. In his second second full-season, Bregman recorded 51 doubles, 31 home runs, 103 RBI’s, .286 BA, .394 OBP and a .926 OPS in 157 games played.
It’s expected that Guerrero Jr. will produce numbers similar to Trout’s and Bregman’s. While there’s no guarantee that he’ll be exactly the same player as when they both first entered the league, it still remains to be very important that the Blue Jays keep Guerrero Jr.’s contract as cheap as possible for as long as they can. There’s also the question of whether ownership would sign-off on a extension similar to the ones that Trout and Bregman just signed.
This ownership in the past has prided itself on not giving out any contracts that go beyond five-years. Russell Martin’s five-years $82 million contract is still the largest-contract that they have ever agreed to. Although, an extension with Guerrero Jr. will likely exceed that policy of five years. So, if the 20-year-old is willing to agree on buying-out four years of his arbitration edibility, then it will now likely cost more than five years and pay him beyond an AAV of $16.6 per season.
Guerrero Jr. is also in a very different financial position than these other players as well. He comes from a place where he doesn’t have to sacrifice the possibility of earning the most money he can once he reaches free agency. Being the son of a former-MLB all-star has its perks. One of them is being financially capable of holding off extension talks until you can receive the contract you believe you’re worth. Which it seems like that’s exactly what Guerrero Jr. could be planning to do.
So without question Trout’s extension has now changed the market for all-star players. Now the Blue Jays have their work cut-out for them, when the time comes for beginning extension talks with their own up-incoming all-star player.
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My name is Thomas Hall. I’m a former graduate of Sheridan College. I’ve been writing for just over 2 years. My most recent writing stint came at The Sporster. I’m also a massive sports fan, obviously baseball and the Blue Jays are No. 1 for me. But, football, basketball and hockey aren’t far behind.