Admit it, there were a few nervous people when Paul Goldschmidt inked his new 5 year, $32 million dollar contract extension with the Arizona Diamondbacks in March 2013. His slash line against right-handed pitching entering last season was .262/.333/.436. There was even talk about Goldy sitting out against a right-handed dominating starting pitcher such as Zack Greinke. Here it is, almost a year later with one player making over $30 million dollars a season (Clayton Kershaw) and a 22-year old guy (Mike Trout) having a 6 year, $150 million dollar contract linked with his name. Extensions galore before the regular season begins and I have one question:
How great does Goldy’s contract look now?
For example, take a look at the extension recently signed by Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. Goldy’s earnings for 2014, 2015 and 2016 do not equal the $12 million dollar salary that will be made by Freeman in 2016. After that, the Atlanta first baseman will not make less than $20 million dollars a season for the rest of the contract while the highest number Goldy reaches is the $14.5 million team option for 2019. Freeman’s salary is projected to be $22 million for the 2021 season. Right now, Goldy is the better player and even if you think Freeman eclipses him (he is two years younger) do you think he will be worth TWICE as much as Goldy? I don’t either. Another way to look at it: Nelson Cruz, he of the 50 game suspension, just signed a one year, $8 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Orioles. If he has a typical Cruz season, you can bet that number will jump to a greater annual amount than Goldschmidt’s. Really, is it even close who the better player is?
If you look at player salary in terms of production, Paul Goldschmidt is without a doubt the best bargain in all of baseball. Not just for this year, but at least for the next three years as his salary does not top $10 million dollars in any one season. Say it again: how GREAT does that contract look now?