Yesterday, Joey Votto became the third 1B this offseason to sign for more than $200 million. Pujols was the first, landing a 10-year $254mil. deal with the Angels; Prince followed suit after being lured to Detroit by a 9-year $213mil. contract.
Votto’s deal: 10 years (12 years if you include his current contract), $225million. This is the 4th richest deal in baseball history, and will keep Joey a Red through the 2023 season.
Joey has been one of the most underrated players in baseball, even after winning to 2010 NL MVP award. He’s been one of the best overall players in the league since his first full-season in 2008, both offensively and defensively (2011 NL Gold Glove, 2x All-Star – ’10,’11). He’s a career .313/.405/.550 hitter, averaging 31 HR, 105 RBI, and 40 2B per season.
So the Reds decided to end the trade speculation now and lock Votto up essentially for the remainder of his career.
For 10 years.
The Reds clearly aren’t the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, or Cubs – meaning that they most likely won’t be able to handout another deal of this magnitude, or anything remotely close to it, during Votto’s tenure. The Reds essentially handcuffed themselves.
So now, a new question begs:
Given the recent lurative deals first basement have been receiving, will the Royals be able to keep Eric Hosmer in Kansas City after 2017?
To many – scouts, executives, and fans alike – Eric Hosmer has all the tools to be a legitimate superstar: raw ability, confidence, humbleness, likeability, media presence, etc. He has shown the ability to hit for average, with HR and gap power to all fields and has the potential to contend for a Gold Glove every year. He’s Mark Teixeira with about half of the K’s – and we all know what kind of deal he got to become a Yankee. Joey Votto may even be a better comparison for Hoz.
Hosmer’s value extends off the field as well. At just 22 years old, he’s already viewed by his teammates as a team leader. So finding another guy who could step in and fill the roles that Hosmer does already could prove to be next to impossible, despite the fact that the Royals still boast one of the top Minor League systems in all of baseball. He’s potentially a once-in-a-generation type of player.
If Hosmer pans out (meaning he’s consistantly hitting around .300/25/100), he’ll no doubt be in line for a big pay day by the time his current contract. He may even have a “C” on his uniform by that time. Will the Royals be able to shell out enough money to keep Hosmer a Royal for life?
The current market trends say “You’re kidding, right?”
Player contracts are at an all-time high, with guys like Jayson Werth and Matt Cain landing $100 million+ deals. Getting a 9-figure deal appears to be the new black in baseball. It seems like every team wants to have at least one guy earning top dollar, be it justified or not.
The largest deals ever handed out by the Royals belong to Mike Sweeney and Gil Meche (both $55 million). Hosmer’s new deal would almost undoubtedly have to exceed that. Afterall, Hosmer is a Scott Boras client.
In my opinion, if a Hosmer deal were to happen anytime in the not-so-distant future, it would have to be because Hosmer wants to be in Kansas City. Because if he hits the free agent market seeking the highest deal possible, he’ll most likely end up on one of the coasts.
Say Hosmer has a terrific sophomore season, do the Royals approach him about a long-term extension? And if so, what would be a reasonable offer?
Let’s hope, for Kansas City’s sake, that Dayton Moore is already drawing up the parameters of a deal for Hosmer in some dark room at Kauffman Stadium that Hoz won’t be able to refuse.