The last week in MLB was about starting pitchers in both leagues signing contract extensions, an American League club agrees to multi-year deals with two talented players and a third baseman signs a contract.
Philadelphia Phillies Sign Starting Pitcher Aaron Nola to Four-Year Contract Extension
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 13, 2019
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed starting pitcher Aaron Nola to a four-year, $45 million contract extension, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 13, 2019
The deal includes a team option for a fifth year, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The Philadelphia Phillies and starter Aaron Nola are in agreement on a four-year, $45 million deal that includes a club option for a fifth season, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 13, 2019
The option is worth $16 million, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Nola’s deal has 5th year option for 16mm
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 13, 2019
Nola deserved this extension, considering how well he’s performed in the Phillies’ rotation over the past couple of seasons.
In 2018, he posted a 2.37 ERA in 212 1/3 innings pitched (33 starts) with 224 strikeouts, 58 walks yielded, 17 home runs allowed, a 175 ERA+, a 3.01 FIP, his WHIP was stellar at 0.97, he was a National League All-Star and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting.
The previous season in 2017, he compiled a 3.54 ERA in 168 innings pitched (27 starts) with 184 K’s, 49 walks surrendered, 18 home runs allowed, a 122 ERA+, a 3.27 FIP and a 1.20 WHIP.
The talented right-handed pitcher blossomed into the staff ace and was one of the best starting pitchers in the NL last year.
The deal for Nola is solid for him and the Phillies.
Nola receives a significant raise in salary for the upcoming 2019 season, and it will continue to increase over the life of the contract.
The Phillies have bought out his remaining arbitration years and at least one year of free agency. The contract is extremely team-friendly, and the case can be made, they have an ace at a bargain.
If the Phillies had continued to go through arbitration with Nola, the yearly salary could’ve been higher, given how Nola has pitched over the last two years.
When the Phillies drafted Nola with the seventh overall pick during the 2014 MLB draft, it was believed they were selecting their future ace, and several years later, they have a steady anchor for their starting rotation.
New York Yankees Ink Starter Luis Severino to Four-Year Contract Extension
The New York Yankees have signed starting pitcher Luis Severino to a four-year, $40 million contract extension and it includes an option for a fifth year, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Starter Luis Severino and the New York Yankees are in agreement on a four-year, $40 million contract extension that includes a fifth-year club option, a league source tells ESPN. The deal will buy out four years of arbitration and potentially one free agent season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 15, 2019
The fifth-year option is worth $15 million, including a $2.75 million buyout, notes Passan.
Breakdown of Luis Severino’s deal, per source:
2019: $4M+$2M bonus
2023 (club option): $15M with $2.75M buyout
Interesting part of that: higher salaries in ’20 and ’21, lower than usual in ’22. Why? Protection against a work stoppage.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 15, 2019
This is a good deal for both parties as Severino receives financial security, while the Yankees buy out his four years of arbitration and possibly one year of free agency if the option is exercised.
Severino was solid for the Yankees last year as he accumulated a 3.39 ERA in 191 1/3 innings pitched with 220 strikeouts, 46 walks, 19 home runs allowed, a 2.95 FIP and a 1.14 WHIP.
The prior year in 2017, he had a 2.98 ERA in 193 1/3 innings pitched with 230 strikeouts, 51 walks surrendered, 21 home runs yielded, a 3.08 FIP and a 1.04 WHIP.
The right-hander has been the leader of the rotation for each of the past two seasons and earned the contract extension.
The next step in Severino’s development of an ace is to perform better in the postseason.
He has a 6.26 ERA in six playoff starts, and he’s a much better pitcher than what those six outings in the playoffs are indicating.
This is something all pitchers go through as pitching in the postseason is different compared to the regular season.
The positive aspect for Severino is he’s just 24-years old and will become a better postseason starting pitcher.
Minnesota Twins Sign Shortstop Jorge Polanco And Outfielder Max Kepler to Multi-Year Extensions
The Minnesota Twins have locked up two key players for several years as they’ve signed shortstop Jorge Polanco and outfielder Max Kepler to multi-year extensions.
Polanco has signed a five-year, $25.75 million contract extension and it includes club options for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, per Jim Bowden of The Athletic.
Jorge Polanco deal with #Twins is for $25.75m guaranteed on a 5 yr + 2option year dal
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) February 14, 2019
Kepler has signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Kepler gets 35M, 5 years plus option with Twins
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 14, 2019
The deal includes a club option for a sixth year worth $10 million, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Outfielder Max Kepler and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a five-year, $35 million deal with a sixth-year option, a league source tells ESPN. The option is for $10 million and includes a $1 million buyout.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 14, 2019
Polanco was suspended 80 games to start the 2018 season as he tested positive for a banned substance (Stanozolol) but hit decently in his return from suspension for the Twins as he posted a .288 batting average and .773 OPS in 77 games with 18 doubles, six home runs, and 42 RBIs.
Kepler posted a .224 average and .727 OPS in 156 games with 30 doubles, four triples, 20 home runs, and 58 RBIs.
The two players didn’t have breakout seasons last year, but the Twins are banking on they’ll continue to develop over the next several years.
Since the Twins are a small-market team, these are the type of deals they must make to keep their talented players on the team.
Milwaukee Brewers Sign Third Baseman Mike Moustakas to One-Year Deal
The Milwaukee Brewers have signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year deal worth $10 million with the addition of a mutual option for 2020, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Source confirms Moustakas deal with Brewers is $10M with a mutual option for 2020. @JonHeyman was first.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 17, 2019
Moustakas had a decent 2018 campaign as he posted a .251 batting average and .774 OPS in 152 games with 33 doubles, 66 runs scored, 28 home runs and 95 RBIs.
The third baseman split time between the Kansas City Royals and the Brewers last year.
Moustakas was a solid hitter for the Brewers, as indicated by him having a .256 average and .767 OPS with eight home runs and 33 RBIs in 54 games with them.
This is a good deal for Moustakas and the Brewers as he joins a team which made the postseason last year and has a good chance to make a return trip in 2019.
The Brewers add a proven veteran to their lineup, who showed last year he can be a productive member in the lineup.