Robinson Cano’s Contract: The Other Story

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Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury are in the first few years of their deals (Ellsbury just signed). Only time will tell whether they were good deals.