© USA TODAY Sports


It's a weird time for MLB, as they battle a global pandemic, a dwindling young fan base, a fight for national broadcast time, and a looming CBA expiration that many feel could result in a work stoppage. With all that said, players keep playing, and for the most part - contracts keep coming. We'll turn our focus to a few dozen MLB players who could be in line for a contract extension with their current team, including Spotrac calculated and likely projected figures.

Related Views
Jacob deGrom SP • 32 • NYM Calculated: 3 yrs, $103M ($34.3M AAV)
Likely: 3 yrs, $108.1M ($36.1M AAV)

The best pitcher in baseball is set to earn $33.5M in 2022, then holds a $30.5M player option in 2023. The Mets should proactively eliminate any unknowns with a 3 year extension covering 2023-2025, adding $110M+ through deGrom's age 37 year. Jake finishing his career with the Mets should be a top priorty for the new ownership.

Juan Soto OF • 22 • WAS Calculated: 12 yrs, $408M ($34M AAV)
Likely: 12 yrs, $450M ($37.5M AAV)

The 22 year old is shaping himself into a Trout-like figure both on and off the field, and should be the first position player to surpass him financially. This projection ties him with Gerrit Cole for top average salary ($36M) and far surpasses Trout’s total value ($426.5M). The Nationals let Bryce Harper walk before this kind of money was handed out, but it’s hard to believe they let that happen with Soto.

Clayton Kershaw SP • 33 • LAD Calculated: 4 yrs, $137M ($34.25M AAV)
Likely: 4 yrs, $137M ($34.25M AAV)

He’s still striking out nearly 9 batters per 9 innings, and remains the face of the best franchise in MLB. A near top of the market extension that could send him into retirement & the Hall of Fame shortly after makes sense here.

Corey Seager SS • 26 • LAD Calculated: 10 yrs, $313M ($31.3M)
Likely: 10 yrs, $342M ($34.2M)

The 26 year old doesn’t have the speed or flash of Francisco Lindor or Fernando Tatis Jr., but he’s got postseason success & a ring to offset this. Like Soto, Seager is a Scott Boras client, meaning this will either be the highest average paid SS extension in baseball, or they’ll be testing free agency in a few months.

Aaron Judge OF • 28 • NYY Calculated: 8 yrs, $205M ($25.6M AAV)
Likely: 4 yrs, $120M ($30M AAV)

Aaron Judge has done everything right since joining the Yankees in 2016. Unfortunately, his body has had other ideas. The near 29 year old has missed significant time in each of the last 4 seasons, putting a major red flag on his upcoming extension discussions. Could the Yankees get away with a shorter deal here with options tacked on to the back as a bit of a safety measure?

Trevor Story SS • 28 • COL Calculated: 6 yrs, $194M ($32.3M)
Likely: 8 yrs, $256M ($32M AAV)

Story probably has no intention of locking in with a Colorado organization that is going in the wrong direction. Could supply on the open market temper his pricetag? It’s tough to imagine as Story has the best numbers across the board of ANY of these shortstops since 2018 - including Francisco Lindor.

Trea Turner SS • 27 • WAS Calculated: 8 yrs, $234M ($29.3M AAV)
Likely: 8 yrs, $256M ($32M AAV)

Turner’s gotten better every season, and while his power numbers sit somewhere in the middle of this current group of SSs, the value he can bring to any lineup is somewhat immeasurable. A big 2021 pushes him well into the $30M per year club.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B • 22 • TOR Calculated: 13 yrs, $367M ($28.2M AAV)
Likely: 13 yrs, $390M ($30M AAV)

Vlad has shown enough both on the field and with his fitness commitment to warrant a career extension, ala Tatis, versus a bridge deal, ala Acuna. A strong 2021 should place him level with Juan Soto's financial projections.

Noah Syndergaard SP • 28 • NYM Calculated: 7 yrs, $204M ($29.1M AAV)
Likely: TBD

So much of Noah’s future relies on him returning to the mound this summer and showing he can round back into top of the rotation form. Assuming as such, Stephen Strasburg’s $245M is certainly in the running.

Max Scherzer SP • 36 • WAS Calculated: 1 yr, $29M
Likely: 1 yr, $25M + club option

Scherzer fell back down to earth a bit in 2020 after a historic 5 year run. He’s trending slightly better to start 2021, but the team as a whole may not be strong enough to hold him to his elite statistical benchmarks. With that said, the Nats are nothing if not for starting pitching, so going year to year with Max from here out seems the right play.

Zack Greinke SP • 37 • HOU Calculated: 1 yr, $28.5M
Likely: 1 yr, $20M + option

Not enough has been made about just how consistent Greinke has remained as he approaches 38 years old (October). Who knows if he’ll want to continue his career, but it’s tough to imagine the Astros, or another team not offering a contract to see what he has left in the tank.

Freddie Freeman 1B • 31 • ATL Calculated: 5 yrs, $136M ($27.2M AAV)
Likely: 5 yrs, $130M ($26M AAV)

Freeman’s current 8 year, $135M contract expires after this season, meaning the Braves will have to move quickly to ensure he’s not allowed to hit the open market. Paul Goldschmidt’s current deal seems relevant.

Rafael Devers 3B • 24 • BOS Calculated: 8 yrs, $245M ($30M AAV)
Likely: 6 yrs, $150M ($25M AAV)

Devers has had an up and down 4+ seasons in Boston, but with Betts now out of the picture, and JD Martinez eligible to leave after 2021, there's a world where he becomes the singular figure to build around going forward. Statistcally speaking, he's probably a $30M per year player going forward, but his inconsistencies could provide Boston a bit of value.

Javier Baez SS • 28 • CHC Calculated: 6 yrs, $150M ($25M AAV)
Likely: Free Agency

Baez and the Cubs have discussed a multi-year extension prior to him hitting the open market this winter, but it’s getting more and more complicated - especially with his slow start to 2021. There’s a legitimate chance he’s able to shop himself a bit.

Kris Bryant 3B • 29 • CHC Calculated: 6 yrs, $148M ($24.6M AAV)
Likely: Free Agency

The Cubs have had more than enough time to secure Bryant for the foreseeable future, and neither side has seemed too keen on getting anywhere near the finish line. He's almost certain to test the open market, where he'll likely seen Anthony Rendon's $35M per year, but also likely won't find many takers.

Michael Conforto OF • 28 • NYM Calculated: 6 yrs, $152M ($25.3M AAV)
Likely: 6 yrs, $144M ($24M AAV)

The Mets probably want to continue this marriage, but a mega extension for Lindor, & a looming need to redo DeGrom’s contract temper their ability to reach too far with Conforto. It’s very possible he’s allowed to test the open market, before returning at a fair market price.

Carlos Correa SS • 26 • HOU Calculated: 10 yrs, $238M ($23.8M AAV)
Likely: 8 yrs, $160M ($20M AAV)

Correa soundly rejected a 6 year, $120M offer from Houston, but when in terms of most major statistical comparisons, he ranks last among the 5 shortstops in need of a contract. A strong 2021 will force the Astros to raise their price, though that doesn’t have to mean changing the AAV.

Byron Buxton CF • 27 • MIN Calculated: 5 yrs, $63M ($12.6M AAV)
Likely: 6 yrs, $120M ($20M AAV)

The Twins have been waiting 6 years for Byron Buxton to arrive, and it appears he's done just that in the early stages of 2021. Amazingly, there's still another year of arbitration left on Buxton, meaning the Twins can play a wait and see how real this is game if they wish - or try to jump now and get a little value in the 5-tool player. Calculations say an adjusted version of Aaron Hicks' contract is in order - but betting on his future nearly doubles that valuation.

Anthony Rizzo 1B • 31 • CHC Calculated: 5 yrs, $78M ($15.6M AAV)
Likely: 5 yrs, $90M ($18M AAV)

While Rizzo is likely pushing to be in Paul Goldschmidt money conversation, the case for him is much less promising in comparison to Freddie Freeman. The Cubs offered $70M before the year, so an extra $15-$20M could get it done.

Tyler Glasnow SP • 27 • TB Calculated: 4 yrs, $68M ($17M AAV)
Likely: No deal

Glasnow becomes the next project to leave Pittsburgh and prime up for free agency, starting 2021 with sparkling numbers. With two years of arbitration remaining, it's possible a Lance McCullers type offer could be attractive to him right now, but it's just not Tampa Bay's style.

Joe Musgrove SP • 28 • SD Calculated: 5 yrs, $90M ($18M AAV)
Likely: 5 yrs, $80M ($16M AAV)

Musgrove has really found his stride the past 18 months, and appears a legitimate top of the rotation option. The problem? Darvish and Snell are under contract two more seasons, currently ahead of him on the depth chart. Musgrove has another year of arbitration left, so there's no rush to lock in a deal, but staying in San Diego might mean taking a bit of a paycut.

Bo Bichette SS • 23 • TOR Calculated: 6 yrs, $74M ($12.3M AAV)
Likely: 6 yrs, $85M ($14.1M AAV)

Bichette is one of a handful of young players in Toronto who could be seeing paydays soon. Yoan Moncada's $14M per year is likely the foundation for this extension, putting Bichette inline for around $85M over the next 6 years.

Marcus Stroman SP • 29 • NYM Calculated: 4 yrs, $62M ($15.5M AAV)
Likely: 4 yrs, $56M ($14M AAV)

Stroman has a chance to secure a #2 spot with the Mets in 2021 with a strong season and the impending potential loss of Noah Syndergaard. There’s a multi-year guarantee in his future.

Shane Bieber SP • 25 • CLE Calculated: 5 yrs, $56M ($11.25M AAV)
Likely: No deal

We've seen a number of young pitchers lock in "bridge" deals that buyout arbitration plus a few free agent years. Bieber will be the best of them, and a $12M AAV would well exceed that of Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, Luis Severino, or Carlos Martinez. The reality? He's worth deGrom money, even this very second, and the Indians are probably a year too late to get him to bite on this kind of value.

Lucas Giolito SP • 26 • CWS Calculated: 4 yrs, $40M ($10M AAV)
Likely: 4 yrs, $40M ($10 AAV)

Giolito is an annual "potential breakout" candidate that just hasn't lived up to his billing of yet. With two years of arbitration left, Chicago has no pressure to lock him in long term, but on a contract similar to what the Yankees signed Luis Severino to, the interest could be there.

Kyle Tucker OF • 24 • HOU Calculated: 6 yrs, $82M ($13.8M AAV)
Likely: 6 yrs, $84M ($14M AAV)

Tucker's having a breakout start to 2021, and with George Springer off the payroll, and Carlos Correa possibly off next year, his production will hold plenty of value for the Astros. He doesn't yet have the numbers to justify Alex Bregman's $20M per year extension at age 24, but he's closing in.

John Means SP • 28 • BAL Calculated: 5 yrs, $75M ($15M AAV)
Likely: 6 yrs, $72M ($12M AAV)

Means has established himself as the clear best option in the O's rotation, and is staring down 3 years of arbitration that will take him past age 30. Baltimore is currently paying nobody, so slight overpay for a player like Means to lock him in long-term makes sense.

Jack Flaherty SP • 25 • STL Calculated: 4 yrs, $38M ($9.5M AAV)
Likely: 4 yrs, $40M ($10M AAV)

Flaherty has been a solid, steady option at the top of the Cardinals rotation. With two years of arbitration remaining, there's no need to break the bank here. Buying out two years of free agency at a $10M AAV seem the move.

Julio Urias SP • 24 • LAD Calculated: 5 yrs, $36.5M ($7.3M AAV)
Likely: 3 yrs, $24M ($8M AAV)

Urias is buried deep within an incredible Dodgers' rotation, but has shown all the goods to prove he belongs. He's arbitration eligible through 2023, and it doesn't make sense for him to lock in too many years of free agency at under $10M per year, but accepting some guaranteed coin now with a chance to hit the market at age 28 makes some sense.

Corbin Burnes SP • 26 • MIL Calculated: 5 yrs, $35M ($7M AAV)
Likely: 5 yrs, $40M ($8M AAV)

Burnes is a bit of a late bloomer, and isn't currently the "ace" on paper in Milwaukee, but has shown all the makings of a long-term top of the rotation option. With all 3 years of arbitration ahead of him, a 5 year extension buys out two years of free agency, but also leave him north of 31 when it's all said and done. Milwaukee may need to get closer to Aaron Nola's $11M per year to lock it in.

Austin Meadows DH/OF • 25 • TB Calculated: 5 yrs, $33M ($6.6M AAV)
Likely: 5 yrs, $40M ($8M AAV)

2020 wasn't kind to the almost 26 year old, but he's rounded somewhat back into form to start 2021. Meadows has all 3 arbitration years ahead of him, but Tampa loves getting out in front of those where possible.