Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Brewers fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
There have been a whopping 29 contract extensions signed by Major League Baseball players since the start of the 2019 calendar year. Some have been big money deals for superstar players, like Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Sale, and Mike Trout. Some were signed by players with less than a year of MLB service time, like Brandon Lowe, Ronald Acuna, David Bote, and Eloy Jimenez. But one thing that all these pacts have in common is that a clear majority of fans believe that the teams are the ones getting the better deals, according to this week’s FanPulse polling.
Teams have shied away from spending in free agency, which has no doubt had a major effect on the rash of contract extensions signed in recent weeks and months. Many players, especially those who are still 0-6 year players that have yet to reach free agency for the first time, have chosen to give up years of free agency at what appear to be below-market prices in order to lock in some sense of financial security going forward. The Ozzie Albies extension has been called by some as the worst contract for a player of all-time. Blake Snell took a bargain deal coming off a Cy Young award winning season. Aaron Nola took a similar contract to Snell after his excellent campaign in 2018. Almost all of these younger players signed deals to take them past age 30, which means that if the recent trends regarding free agency continue, they may have a difficult time securing another significant deal even when they do finally get the chance to test the open market for their services.
Should Slingin’ David Stearns try to get in on the spate of extensions and ink some of his players to long-term deals? Is it time to start talking about a mega-contract with Christian Yelich to keep him in Milwaukee for the rest of his career? Should the team consider buying out the remaining arb years for guys like Travis Shaw, Zach Davies, or Junior Guerra? Start targeting young guys like Josh Hader, Brandon Woodruff, or maybe even Keston Hiura for extensions? And what about departing free agents like Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas, or Jhoulys Chacin? What would any of those hypothetical deals looks like?
In other FanPulse polling, those who follow our Milwaukee Brewers remain 100% confident in both the job that Craig Counsell is doing as manager and the direction that the franchise is headed in. The Cream City Nine are off to a 12-7 start and remain in first place even after yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals. But that position atop the standings feels a bit tenuous based on the uncertainty surrounding the pitching staff, including the recent injury to Freddy Peralta and Counsell’s unwillingness to commit to Corbin Burnes making his next scheduled start.