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Nine, Ten and Eleven Year Deals
Ken Griffey Jr.- If there were ever a cautionary tale when it comes to long-term deals, look no further than The Kid. A 9-year deal offered to a 30-year old is pushing the envelope, and it didn’t work out too well for the Cincinnati Reds. He missed 472 games – almost three full seasons – over the 9-year contract. He was an All-Star three times in that period (compared to 10 straight years as an All-Star while in Seattle).
Prince Fielder– Singed a nine-year deal at the age of 28 and was traded after year two. Not because of anything he did. So far he has been earning his paycheck. Time will tell if the full 9-year deal was worth it.
Alex Rodriguez– A-Rod signed not one, but two different 10-year contracts. If you need me to explain whether either of these two deals was worth it or not, you haven’t been paying attention.
Derek Jeter– The face of a franchise signed to a long-term deal at the age of 27? Not going to argue with that.
Troy Tulowitzki‘s, Albert Pujols‘ new deal in Anaheim and Joey Votto‘s new deal are too new to judge. But Pujols’ new deal has him signed through age 42. If his first two seasons are any indication, I’d say it was a terrible idea.
Todd Helton– Helton signed the only 11-year contract in sports history in 2001. After year one, he was never the power hitter he had once been but he had some decent years. At the end of the day, Helton was still only 37 at the end of that 11-year deal.
As you have seen, the track record for long-term deals has not been good. And, most of the long-term deals signed over the years has been for younger players and for shorter than 10 years.