Seven Year Deals
Kevin Brown- The first 7+ year deal in MLB history was signed by starting pitcher Kevin Brown in 1999. In those seven seasons (ages 34-40) Brown had a record of 72-45, a WAR of -0.6 (he never had a positive WAR in his career) and missed approximately 70 starts (10 per year) due to injuries.
Jason Giambi- His contract with the Yankees ran from 2002 to 2008 (ages 31-37). Giambi hit 40+ homers twice and knocked in 100+ RBI three times in that span. He led the league in walks twice and OBP once. He missed a significant amount of time in 2004 and 2007. He batted over .260 only twice in that 7-year span.
Albert Pujols- His first big deal, with St. Louis in 2004, was during his prime. I will give the Cardinals a pass on this. A 7-year deal to a 24-year-old makes sense to me.
Carlos Beltran- Again, a 7-year deal to a 28-year old makes sense. I won’t knock this either.
Barry Zito- Tied with Kevin Brown as the worst long-term contract for a pitcher in history. Zito was 29 when he signed a 7-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. Over the life of the deal, Zito posted a record of 63-80 with a 4.62 ERA and a WAR of 3.0 (not each year, but for the full seven years). After going 102-63 in the seven seasons prior, the Giants had no clue what they were getting.
Vernon Wells- The Toronto Blue Jays signed Wells to a 7-year deal in 2008. He was 29, can’t fault that too much….though the Jays ended up trading him in 2011.
C.C. Sabathia- Sabathia signed a 7-year deal at the age of 28. Can’t blame the Yankees for that. It’s worked out pretty well for them.
Matt Holliday- Holliday signed in his age 29 season. So far the returns have been good for the St. Louis Cardinals. But over the next two – final two – years of the deal, we shall se if the production drops off.