The Underpaid MLB 2017 Award Candidates

The Underpaid MLB 2017 Award Candidates

National League MVP

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
2017 Salary: $11,750,000 (63th)
187 hits, 100 runs, 43 doubles, 37 homers, 130 RBIs, and a .309/.373/.586 slashline. He's the favorite in the clubhouse. Contractually, he holds a $17.75M salary in 2018 and then another arbitration-eligible year in 2019. Colorado may consider a long-term extension for the annual MVP candidate, who holds a calculated market value of $26.5M. 

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
2017 Salary: $8,750,000 (84th)
166 hits, 117 runs, 34 doubles, 36 homers, 120 RBIs, and a .297/.404/.563 slashline. Arguably the most underpaid player in MLB the past 4 seasons, Goldschmidt will earn $11M in 2018, and holds a $14.5M club option for 2019. His calculated market value currently stands at $28.1M - but he could easily be in the discussion to match or exceed Miguel Cabrera's current $31M price.

Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
2017 Salary: $14,500,000 (41st)
168 hits, 123 runs, 32 doubles, 59 homers, 132 RBIs, and a .281/.376/.631 slashline. Stanton has $295M remaining on his contract thru 2028, but can opt-out after the 2020 season. His 2018 salary jumps to $25M, on par with his production over the past 2 seasons. 

 

American League MVP

Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
2017 Salary: $4,500,000 (136th)
204 hits, 112 runs, 39 doubles, 24 homers, 91 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, and a .346/.410/.547 slashline. Altuve is the epitomy of the complete player and has reeled in an incredibly team-friendly $12.5M over the past 4 seasons. He's set to earn $6M in 2018, and Houston holds a $6.5M club option in 2019, but his near $29M calculated market value suggests he's in for quite the pay raise sooner than later. 

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
2017 Salary: $544,500 (337th)
154 hits, 128 runs, 24 doubles, 52 homers, 114 RBIs, and a .284/.422/.627 slashline. It's quite an impressive haul for his first full year, and it's a shame that he'll likely fall short here to Altuve's magical season. Judge won't even be arbitraton-eligible until the 2020 season and won't find free agency until 2023. His financial value (along with a few others) should have the Yankees in contention for at least the next few seasons.

Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
2017 Salary: $579,300 (267th)
178 hits, 99 runs, 44 doubles, 33 homers, 89 RBIs, 15 stolen bases, and a .273/.337/.505 slash. Lindor and Jose Ramirez led the Indians down a magical stretch into the postseason, and should continue that trend for the better part of 5 more seasons. Lindor holds pre-arbitration status in 2018 before 3 years of arbitration-eligibility kick in (free agency in 2022). He'll likely make slightly more than the league minimum next season. 

 

National League MVP

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
2017 Salary: $11,750,000 (63th)
187 hits, 100 runs, 43 doubles, 37 homers, 130 RBIs, and a .309/.373/.586 slashline. He's the favorite in the clubhouse. Contractually, he holds a $17.75M salary in 2018 and then another arbitration-eligible year in 2019. Colorado may consider a long-term extension for the annual MVP candidate, who holds a calculated market value of $26.5M. 

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
2017 Salary: $8,750,000 (84th)
166 hits, 117 runs, 34 doubles, 36 homers, 120 RBIs, and a .297/.404/.563 slashline. Arguably the most underpaid player in MLB the past 4 seasons, Goldschmidt will earn $11M in 2018, and holds a $14.5M club option for 2019. His calculated market value currently stands at $28.1M - but he could easily be in the discussion to match or exceed Miguel Cabrera's current $31M price.

Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
2017 Salary: $14,500,000 (41st)
168 hits, 123 runs, 32 doubles, 59 homers, 132 RBIs, and a .281/.376/.631 slashline. Stanton has $295M remaining on his contract thru 2028, but can opt-out after the 2020 season. His 2018 salary jumps to $25M, on par with his production over the past 2 seasons. 

 

American League MVP

Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
2017 Salary: $4,500,000 (136th)
204 hits, 112 runs, 39 doubles, 24 homers, 91 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, and a .346/.410/.547 slashline. Altuve is the epitomy of the complete player and has reeled in an incredibly team-friendly $12.5M over the past 4 seasons. He's set to earn $6M in 2018, and Houston holds a $6.5M club option in 2019, but his near $29M calculated market value suggests he's in for quite the pay raise sooner than later. 

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
2017 Salary: $544,500 (337th)
154 hits, 128 runs, 24 doubles, 52 homers, 114 RBIs, and a .284/.422/.627 slashline. It's quite an impressive haul for his first full year, and it's a shame that he'll likely fall short here to Altuve's magical season. Judge won't even be arbitraton-eligible until the 2020 season and won't find free agency until 2023. His financial value (along with a few others) should have the Yankees in contention for at least the next few seasons.

Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
2017 Salary: $579,300 (267th)
178 hits, 99 runs, 44 doubles, 33 homers, 89 RBIs, 15 stolen bases, and a .273/.337/.505 slash. Lindor and Jose Ramirez led the Indians down a magical stretch into the postseason, and should continue that trend for the better part of 5 more seasons. Lindor holds pre-arbitration status in 2018 before 3 years of arbitration-eligibility kick in (free agency in 2022). He'll likely make slightly more than the league minimum next season. 

 

National League Cy Young

Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals
2017: $15,000,000 (22nd)
200.2 IP, 268 Ks, a 2.51 ERA, .902 WHIP, with a 16-6 win/loss record. Scherzer is in line for his 3rd Cy Young in 5 years, an unprecedented feat. His current contract has 4 years, $60M remaining on it, but Scherzer will then earn $15M a year from 2022 - 2028 in deferred payments. He's been worth every penny.

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
2017 Salary: $33,000,000 (1st)
175 IP, 202 Ks, a 2.31 ERA, .949 WHIP with an 18-4 record. Kershaw battled through a back injury down the stretch that limited his numbers a bit, but his resume still speaks for itself. The highest paid player in MLB held up to the title again in 2017. He's set to reel in $33M in 2018, then holds an opt-out clause that would void his remaining 2 years, $65M. The 29-year-old holds a $34M calculated market value.

Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals
2017 Salary: $15,000,000 (23rd)
175 IP, 204 Ks, a 2.72 ERA, 1.015 WHIP, with a 15-4 win/loss record. When healthy, Strasburg is as deadly as anyone in the game. He's locked in for another $15M in 2018, $35M in 2019, then can opt-out after both the 2019 and the 2020 season.

 

American League Cy Young

Corey Kluber, SP, Indians
2017 Salary: $7,500,000 (62nd)
203 IP, 265 Ks, a 2.25 ERA, .869 WHIP, with an 18-4 win/loss record. Kluber was both dominant, and consistent yet again in 2017 putting him on track for his 2nd Cy Young award in 5 seasons. Contractually the Indians hold salaries of $10.5M, $13M, and club options of $15M/$15.5M through 2021 - all bargains in comparison to his production, and his $33.7M calculated market value.

Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox
2017 Salary: $12,000,000 (37th)
214 IP, 308 Ks, a 2.90 ERA, .970 WHIP, with a 17-8 win/loss record. Sale battled Kluber hard down the stretch, and still might snag this award in the end. The Red Sox already exercised his $12.5M salary for 2018, and will likely do the same with his $15M option in 2019. These numbers pale in comparison to his $31M calculated market value.

Luis Severino, SP, Yankees
2017159 Salary: $550,975 (274th)
193 IP, 230 Ks, a 2.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, with a 14-6 win/loss record. Severino appears to be the young ace the Yankees have been in search of and remains under team control in 2018 before arbitration-eligibility kicks in (free agent in 2022). Barring an unlikely extension Severino will make a bit more than the league minimum ($545,000) in 2018.

 

National League Rookie of the Year

Cody Bellinger, 1B, Dodgers
2017 Salary: $535,000 (405th)
128 hits, 87 runs, 26 doubles, 39 homers, 97 RBIs, and a .267/.352/.581 slash line. Bellinger broke out in a big way for the runner-up Dodgers, and appears to be the young bat they'll look to for the next decade. He'll be under team control through 2019, arbitration-eligible through 2023, and set to hit free agency in 2024.

Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates
2017 Salary: $549,000 (311th)
140 hits, 75 runs, 26 doubles, 26 homers, 90 RBIs, and a .255/.334/.466 slashline. Bell flew somewhat under the radar amidst flashier performances, but still had an outstanding 2017 campaign in Pittsburgh. He's under team control through 2019, arbitration-eligible through 2022, and on track for free agency in 2023.

Paul DeJong, 3B, Cardinals
2017: $535,000 (405th)
119 hits, 55 runs, 26 doubles, 25 homers, 65 RBIs, .285/.325/.532 slashline in just 417 at bats. DeJong carried the Cardinals offense down the stretch, keeping them within range. A full season in 2018 will be must see. He's under team control through 2020, arbitration-eligible through 2023 and on track for free agency in 2024.

 

American League Rookie of the Year

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
2017 Salary: $544,500 (337th)
154 hits, 128 runs, 24 doubles, 52 homers, 114 RBIs, and a .284/.422/.627 slashline. While he'll likely concede the MVP to Altuve, Judge should be a lock for AL ROY.

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox
2017 Salary: $549,000 (312th)
155 hits, 84 runs, 26 doubles, 20 homers, 90 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, .271/.352/.424 slashline. Boston may have been hoping for a little more power this year, but the numbers across the board are impressive for the 23-year-old. He's under team control theough 2019, arbitration-eligible through 2022, and on track for free agency in 2023.

Trey Mancini, OF, Orioles
2017 Salary: $536,000 (400th)
159 hits, 65 runs, 26 doubles, 24 homers, 78 RBIs, .293/.338/.488 slashline. Somewhat underrated on a lackluster, Mancini remained a consistent threat in the lineup throughout 2017. He'll be a building block going forward in Baltimore, under team control through 2019, arbitration through 2022, on track for 2023 free agency.

 




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