The last week in MLB was about an outfielder in the National League signing a long-term extension, an outfielder in the American League will miss Opening Day, and a club in the AL signs a third baseman to a long-term deal.
Milwaukee Brewers Sign Outfielder Christian Yelich to Nine-Year Contract
The Milwaukee Brewers will have outfielder Christian Yelich with the club for many years as he agreed to a nine-year, $215-million contract with a mutual option for 2029 several days ago, per a team announcement.
2018 NL MVP and two-time reigning NL batting champion @ChristianYelich has officially agreed to a 9-year contract through the 2028 season with a mutual option for 2029.#ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/F4txNVasDE
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 6, 2020
He’s signed a lot of autographs in his career, but we’d venture to say this one is probably the most valuable.#ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/1SKRyujlWV
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 6, 2020
Yelich was already under team control for the next three seasons as he signed a long-term deal with the Miami Marlins before being traded to the Brewers before the 2018 season.
The new deal for Yelich will include the next two seasons under his previous contract and add seven more years.
Yelich requested the contract to not include an opt-out clause, and the Brewers added a full no-trade clause, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The nine-year agreement between #Brewers and Christian Yelich represents a full commitment by both sides. He asked for no opt-outs and the team put in a full no-trade.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 6, 2020
The contract will defer $28 million at $4 million per year beginning in 2022 and be paid back starting in 2029, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.
Christian Yelich will have $28 million deferred in contract-$4 million per year beginning in 2022, and paid back beginning in 2029
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 6, 2020
Yelich was an outstanding player with the Marlins, but since being traded to the Brewers has evolved into a superstar.
He won the NL MVP in 2018, by leading the NL with a .326 batting average, .598 slugging percentage, 1.000 OPS and 164 OPS+ with 187 hits, 34 doubles, seven triples, 22 stolen bases, 36 home runs, and 110 RBIs.
He was outstanding last season by leading the NL with a .329 average, .671 slugging percentage, 1.100 OPS, and 179 OPS+with 161 hits, 29 doubles, three triples, 30 stolen bases, 44 home runs, and 97 RBIs.
Yelich finished second in the NL MVP voting last year as he broke his kneecap during the final month of the regular season.
Yelich is in unique company as he just the third player since 1900 to lead the NL in average and slugging percentage in consecutive seasons, joining Rogers Hornsby from 1920-25 and Honus Wagner from 1907-09, per MLB Stats.
Those are some names. 👀
Via @ckamka pic.twitter.com/tY3r91zQUM
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) March 6, 2020
Yelich gave the Brewers a massive discount with the contract as he could’ve asked for more but decided to take less.
He mentioned at the conference about the new contract a couple of days ago he plays the game to win and be part of a place that he feels comfortable.
He chose to be happy over earning a massive amount of money.
If Yelich were a free agent, he would have commanded a more significant contract, given his success over the past two years with the Brewers.
Yelich, before agreeing to the new contract was three years away from free agency, but there’s no guarantee he would remain healthy and productive over that period.
So, making a commitment to the Brewers over the next nine years for over $200 million is a smart move.
The interesting aspect of the contract is Yelich wanted to be sure his new deal wouldn’t prevent the Brewers from improving the team, and that’s the reason for the deferred money.
It’s rare for an MLB player to make these types of requests, but Yelich really wants to spend the rest of his career with the Brewers.
The last few years of the contract will probably be bad for the Brewers, but that’s the case with all long-term deals, as players’ skills typically diminish once they get older.
Yelich will have five great years, and the other four will be average.
The best part of the deal is a small-market club like the Brewers are committed to building around the face of their franchise.
If Yelich was on another small-market team, he probably would have been moved to acquire younger talent.
The Brewers should be applauded for making a huge commitment to a terrific player.
New York Yankees Outfielder Aaron Judge Will Miss Opening Day with Fractured Rib
The New York Yankees will be without outfielder Aaron Judge when the MLB regular season begins as he has a stress fracture in his rib.
The Yankees are going to rest Judge for two weeks, and he might need surgery. The fracture is in his first right rib.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he believes the injury goes back to an outfield dive by Judge last September, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
The stress fracture is in Judge’s first right rib. Boone said he believes it dates to an outfield dive in September.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 6, 2020
Judge did say a couple of days ago, he felt “ a crack and pop” in his chest after the dive, but the outfielder didn’t miss any games during the MLB regular season or playoffs and believed the injury had healed by November when he resumed workouts, according to Hoch.
Judge said that he felt “a crack and pop” in his chest on the diving catch attempt last September. With the postseason coming, he had a shot and kept playing. He thought it had healed by November when he resumed workouts.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 6, 2020
The weird aspect is the Yankees didn’t have Judge undergo any testing until spring training.
Judge played in just 102 games last season as he dealt with numerous injuries.
The Yankees will begin the regular season without starting pitchers James Paxton (back), Domingo German (suspension), and Luis Severino will miss the 2020 campaign due to Tommy John surgery.
They probably won’t have outfielder Giancarlo Stanton when the regular season begins available as he’s dealing with a calf injury.
The team won 103 games last year and made it to the ALCS despite dealing with injury after injury to several key players on the roster.
Chicago White Sox Sign Third Baseman Yoan Moncada to Five-Year Extension
The Chicago White Sox have signed third baseman Yoan Moncada to a five-year, $70-million contract extension including a team option, per a team announcement.
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a five-year, $70-million contract with third baseman Yoán Moncada, plus one club option that could extend the deal through the 2025 season. pic.twitter.com/hwDEwB2P48
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 6, 2020
He will make $65 million within the next five years, and it includes a team option in the sixth year worth $25 million and a $5-million buyout, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The sixth-year club option on Yoan Moncada’s deal with the White Sox is for $25 million and includes a $5 million buyout. So the five years are for $65M, and if the option is exercised, the deal will total $90 million over six years. Contract buys out two years of free agency.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 5, 2020
The extension takes care of all the arbitration-eligible seasons for Moncada and two years of free agency.
Moncada was solid last year for the White Sox as he posted a .315 batting average and .915 OPS in 132 games with 161 hits, 83 runs scored, 34 doubles, five triples, 10 stolen bases, 25 home runs, and 79 RBIs.
The White Sox have made a concerted effort to lock up the young talent on their team.
They inked outfielders Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez to multi-year extensions.
Robert signed his deal two months ago in January, and Jimenez was signed last March.
Moncada is a talented player, and the White Sox will need him to improve upon the success he had in 2019 to provide a chance for them to be a contender during the upcoming season.
- Chris is a 29-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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