Earlier today, the Diamondbacks announced out of nowhere that right-hander Merrill Kelly had agreed to a two-year extension with a club option third year! This is big news for the Diamondbacks! In case you missed it, early last week I wrote a piece making the case for a Merrill extension. The big point in that article was that Merrill has been a career underrated pitcher who always had something left to prove and then always proved it. Merrill Kelly has quietly been the most consistent starter on a team desperate for consistency. Locking him up for two to three years is an absolute no-brainer.
To briefly compare his extension with both the comparison contract of Alex Cobb and my estimate mentioned in my previous article, this contract is eerily similar to the one offered to Alex Cobb and falls substantially below my estimate. The Alex Cobb contract was two years, $20 million with a third-year club option, while my estimate was a straight-up three-year contract with an average value of around $11-13 million. I'm reasonably confident in saying the Alex Cobb contract was what the Diamondbacks were looking at when crafting this extension.
And boy oh boy, do I love this move. This is a move that locks up a great pitcher for when the competitive window of the Diamondbacks opens up. As you'll see in an upcoming article, a substantial chunk of the big prospects we have coming up soon are due to arrive sometime between this year and 2024, lining up with this extension perfectly. Tons of big-name pitching prospects like Ryne Nelson, Blake Walston, Drey Jameson, Brandon Pfaadt, and way, way more guys I just don't have room to mention are coming up within the next few years, and having another mentoring presence in the clubhouse is another intangible value-add to this deal.
Get excited for the next few years, Diamondbacks fans. This is just how the story starts. If you've got someone else on the current team who you think deserves an extension, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @xwOBAplus!