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Keeping track of 2018-19 extensions

@SlangsOnSports
April 18, 2019

There have been extensions aplenty lately. In all, there have been 30 deals since the 2018 season ended that extended the team’s control over that player. With these extensions, we’ve seen the upcoming free-agent classes transform. The 2020-21 offseason will no longer be the offseason of Mike Trout’s will-he-or-won’t-he with

There have been extensions aplenty lately. In all, there have been 30 deals since the 2018 season ended that extended the team’s control over that player. With these extensions, we’ve seen the upcoming free-agent classes transform. The 2020-21 offseason will no longer be the offseason of Mike Trout’s will-he-or-won’t-he with Philadelphia. Nolan Arenado won’t be leaving Colorado any time soon.

Note: This list ignores extensions that did not alter a team’s control over a player (Jose Martinez, Raisel Iglesias) and contracts reworked to avoid an opt-out (Clayton Kershaw).

Here are all of the extensions, by which free-agent class they would have been part of if not for the new deals. The player’s age in parentheses is how old he was on Opening Day this season, and the money noted is either a new deal beginning in 2020 or including 2019, depending on how it was reported:

FREE-AGENT CLASS OF 2019-20
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (age 27)
8 years, $260 million

Arenado was set to headline the 2019-20 free-agent class, but instead the four-time All-Star signed a long-term extension with the Rockies. Arenado has won the Gold Glove at third base each season he’s been in the Majors, the second-longest such streak to start a career (Ichiro, 10 straight in the outfield). (Signed: Feb. 26, 2019)

Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox (age 29)
5 years, $145 million (begins 2020)

Sale was set to be one of the bigger names on the 2019-20 pitcher free-agent market, along with fellow extension recipient Verlander. Instead, he’ll stay with the Red Sox team he closed out the World Series for last year. Sale is the only pitcher to receive Cy Young votes each season since 2012 -- which was his first season as a starter. (Signed: March 23, 2019)

Aaron Hicks, CF, Yankees (age 29)
7 years, $70 million

Hicks could’ve been a free agent after this season, but instead opted to stay in New York through at least 2025 (the deal has a club option for 2026, too). Hicks received MVP votes for the first time in his career in 2018, when he posted a career-high 4.7 WAR. In 225 games over the last two seasons for the Yankees, he’s hit 42 home runs. (Signed: Feb. 25, 2019)

Sonny Gray, SP, Reds (age 29)
3 years, $30.5 million (begins 2020)

Gray was traded to the Reds and extended by the club as part of a three-team deal in the offseason. He’d been eligible to be a free agent following the 2019 campaign. Instead, he signed a three-year deal that begins in 2020 and includes a 2023 club option as well. Gray will reunite in Cincinnati with Derek Johnson, who had been his pitching coach in college at Vanderbilt. Gray had a 4.51 ERA in 195 2/3 innings for the Yankees over the last two seasons. (Signed: Jan. 21, 2019)

Ryan Pressly, RP, Astros (age 30)
2 years, $17.5 million (begins 2020)

Pressly was a valuable acquisition for the Astros in July last season from the Twins. He had a 0.77 ERA in 26 regular-season appearances for Houston last year. He would’ve been one of the bigger relief names on the market next offseason, along with Dellin Betances and potentially Kenley Jansen (opt-out) and Sean Doolittle (team option), but instead he’ll be part of the back end of the Astros bullpen through 2021. (Signed: March 20, 2019)

Miles Mikolas, SP, Cardinals (age 30)
4 years, $68 million (begins 2020)

The righty’s two-year deal signed before 2018, upon returning from pitching in Japan, was set to expire after this season. Now the Cardinals have him locked up through the 2023 season, when he’ll turn 35 in August. Mikolas was a Comeback Player of the Year candidate in 2018, with a 2.83 ERA in 32 starts after not having thrown a Major League pitch since 2014. He finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting. (Signed: Feb. 26, 2019)

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals (age 31)
5 years, $130 million (begins 2020)

With Arenado off the board, Goldschmidt was set to headline next year’s free-agent class until he signed a long-term extension, too. His five-year, $130 million contract is the largest by total value in Cardinals franchise history. Goldschmidt has been an All-Star each season since 2013. (Signed: March 23, 2019)

Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (age 26)
6 years, $120 million with 2026 vesting option (begins 2020)

After signing Sale to a long-term deal, the Red Sox also locked up another one of their cornerstone players by inking Bogaerts to a contract that could keep him in Boston through at least 2025. Bogaerts debuted in 2013 and has spent his entire career with the Red Sox, winning two Silver Slugger Awards and World Series titles in 2013 and 2018. He's owed $12 million in 2019. (Signed: April 1, 2019)

Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians (age 32)
4 years, $47 million

Carrasco had a 2020 club option, so his earliest free-agent eligibility would have been after 2019 were the team to not pick that up. Instead, the Indians did, and added on through the 2022 season, with a club option for 2023. Since 2014, Carrasco has a 3.27 ERA in 856 innings for the Indians. He finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting in 2017. (Signed: Dec. 6, 2018)

Justin Verlander, SP, Astros (age 36)
2 years, $66 million (begins 2020)

Despite being 36 years old entering the 2019 season, Verlander hasn’t shown signs of slowing down lately. In 2018 with the Astros, he struck out a career-high 290 batters. He finished second in American League Cy Young voting to Blake Snell, the third time he’s finished second. (Signed: March 24, 2019)

Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (age 33)
2 years, $39 million plus vesting option for 2022 (begins 2020)

Carpenter received MVP votes last season, something he's done three times in his career. He had 4.9 WAR last season, his 2nd-highest mark of his career behind his 2013 campaign (6.5). (Signed: April 10, 2019)

Khris Davis, OF, A's (age 31)
2 years, $33.5 million (begins 2020)

Baseball's most prolific home run hitter since the start of the 2016 season, Davis agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in Oakland through 2021. The deal is worth $33.5 million over 2020-21, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. (Signed: April 18, 2019)

FREE-AGENT CLASS OF 2020-21
Mike Trout, CF, Angels (age 27)
12 years, $426.5 million

It seemed like Philadelphia might be able to lure the local kid Trout to come play beginning in the 2021 season, but then the Angels gave Trout the largest contract in North American sports history -- surpassing Bryce Harper’s contract from earlier this offseason. A perennial MVP candidate, Trout has won two MVPs and accumulated 2,105 MVP vote points since his 2011 debut. No other player has more than 1,118 MVP vote points in that span (Miguel Cabrera). (Signed: March 20, 2019)

Randal Grichuk, OF, Blue Jays (age 27)
5 years, $52 million

Grichuk's role was solidified further by the Blue Jays' trading Kevin Pillar on Tuesday. Grichuk was the 24th overall pick by the Angels in the 2009 MLB Draft. 2019 is his second season with the Blue Jays, after being traded there in January 2018 by the Cardinals. Grichuk hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2018. (Signed: April 2, 2019)

Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs (age 29)
4 years, $55.5 million plus vesting option (begins 2020)
Hendricks was due to hit free agency after the 2020 season, but now he will be in Chicago through at least 2023, with a vesting option for 2024. Hendricks finished third in NL Cy Young voting in 2016 with a 2.13 ERA. Last year, he had the second-best ERA among starters to spend the full year on the team, at 3.44 behind Jon Lester's 3.32. Hendricks doesn't throw hard -- he threw 99.9 percent of his pitches below 90 mph last year. (Signed: March 26, 2019)

Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets (age 30)
5 years, $137.5 million with $32.5 million club option for 2024

Coming off an NL Cy Young Award-winning season in 2018, deGrom set a deadline of Opening Day 2019 to work out a new contract with the Mets. If no agreement was reached, the team would have had to wait until next offseason to try again, at which point deGrom would have been a year away from free agency. Two days before the season opener, the right-hander agreed to a new contract, a source confirmed to MLB.com. The deal, which the club has not confirmed, is said to include a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after the 2022 campaign. It will replace his two remaining arbitration years, including the one-year, $17 million deal he signed for 2019, and add an additional three years, plus a club option for 2024. (Signed: March 26, 2019)

FREE-AGENT CLASS OF 2021-22
Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies (age 25)
4 years, $45 million

Nola would have been a free agent after the 2021 season, but chose to forgo that in favor of a deal that keeps him in Philadelphia through at least 2022, but possibly 2023 as there is a club option. Nola had a breakout campaign in 2018, finishing third in NL Cy Young voting, receiving MVP votes and making an All-Star team for the first time in his career. He’ll make his second straight Opening Day start for the Phillies this year. (Signed: Feb.13, 2019)

FREE-AGENT CLASS OF 2022-23
Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros (age 24)
5 years, $100 million (begins 2020)

Bregman was still a few years away from free agency, but the Astros were able to add what would’ve been his first two years of free agency to their control with the deal. After establishing himself during the 2017 season and World Series campaign with four postseason home runs, Bregman finished fifth in 2018 AL MVP voting. In the 2018 AL Division Series against the Indians, he had a whopping .556 batting average and 2.048 OPS in an Astros three-game sweep. (Signed: March 22, 2019)

German Marquez, SP, Rockies (age 24)
5 years, $43 million plus 2024 club option

Marquez had a strong 2018 season, with a career-best 3.77 ERA and 230 strikeouts. He had the second-most strikeouts on curveballs last season of any pitcher in the Majors, and continued his prowess with the pitch in his first start of 2019. Marquez said before the season his goal is to win a Cy Young. We'll see what 2019 and beyond hold for the Rockies hurler, who now has more stability moving forward. (Signed: April 6, 2019)

Luis Severino, SP, Yankees (age 25)
4 years, $40 million plus 2023 club option

Severino would have been eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, but with his extension, the Yankees retain control of the 2023 season, too, with a club option. Severino has been an All-Star and received Cy Young votes in each of the past two seasons, finishing third in 2017 and ninth in 2018. He will open the 2019 season on the injured list. (Signed: Feb. 15, 2019)

Jose Leclerc, RP, Rangers (age 25)
4 years, $14.75 million plus 2023-24 club options

Leclerc’s extension covers four years he would have been with the team anyway, including his three arbitration-eligible seasons, which would have begun with 2020. But it also gives the Rangers increased control with club options covering what would be his first two years of free agency. Leclerc had a breakout season for Texas in 2018, with a 1.56 ERA in 59 appearances. He allowed just one home run all year and had a 38 percent strikeout rate. (Signed: March 6, 2019)

Jorge Polanco, SS, Twins (age 25)
5 years, $25.75 million

Polanco had yet to reach arbitration and wasn’t going to be eligible to be a free agent until after the 2022 season. Instead, he reached a deal with the Twins to buy out that first year of free agency in the 2023 season, and possibly more, as he has a 2024 vesting option and 2025 club option. Polanco missed the beginning of 2018 due to a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, but when he did return, he hit .288 in 77 games for the season. (Signed: Feb. 15, 2019)

Max Kepler, LF, Twins (age 26)
5 years, $35 million

Like Polanco, Kepler was not yet arbitration eligible and was set to be a free agent after 2022. The Twins signed him long term to push that free agency back at least one year, with a 2024 club option looming, too. Kepler’s offensive numbers didn’t improve much from 2017 to 2018, but he accumulated almost a full win more in WAR -- from 1.9 in 2017 to 2.8 in 2018 -- due to his defense. (Signed: Feb. 15, 2019)

Blake Snell, SP, Rays (age 26)
5 years, $50 million

Initially, Snell received a raise to a salary of $573,700 for 2019, not yet being eligible for salary arbitration. He’d made $558,200 in 2018 when he won the AL Cy Young Award. However, later in March he and the Rays agreed to an extension that bought out one year of his impending free agency -- and pushed him from the 2022-23 free-agent class to the 2023-24 one. (Signed: March 21, 2019)

Whit Merrifield, OF/INF, Royals (age 30)
4 years, $16.25 million plus 2023 club option

Merrifield was set to be a free agent after 2022, but the Royals now have control through the 2023 season with a club option. A late bloomer, Merrifield didn’t debut until May 2016 at the age of 27. He hit a career-high .304 in 2018 with a .804 OPS and 45 stolen bases, also career bests. (Signed: Jan. 28, 2019)

FUTURE FREE-AGENT CLASSES
Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (age 22)
6 years, $43 million plus 2025-26 club options

Jimenez’s contract was the richest ever signed by a player without any Major League service time. With that noted, we can’t definitively estimate when he would have been a free agent, because we don’t know when the White Sox would have called him up if they didn’t ink him to this deal. Had they waited to call him up until late April, he would have been a free agent after 2025. If he’d been up before that, it would have been 2024. Either way, with the two club options, the White Sox definitively extended the number of years they will have the No. 3 overall prospect under control. (Signed: March 22, 2019)

Brandon Lowe, 2B, Rays (age 24)
6 years, $24 million plus 2025-26 club options

Lowe would have been a free agent after the 2024 season, in the 2024-2025 offseason. But now his first two years of free agency are under the Rays’ control in the form of club options. Lowe became the fourth Rays player to sign an extension with less than a year of service time, joining Evan Longoria, Matt Moore and Chris Archer. Lowe is the seventh-ranked second base prospect according to MLB Pipeline. (Signed: March 20, 2019)

Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Braves (age 21)
8 years, $100 million plus 2027-28 club options

After bursting onto the scene in 2018 and helping the Braves claim a division title with an NL Rookie of the Year Award-winning campaign, Acuna landed the second-largest deal in franchise history behind Freddie Freeman's 8-year, $135 million contract. The deal could keep Acuna in Atlanta through the 2028 season if both options -- which are reportedly for $17 million apiece (with each carrying a $10 million buyout) -- are picked up, at which point he will be 30 years old. It is the largest contract in MLB history for a player with as little Major League service time as Acuna. (Signed: April 2, 2019)

David Bote, INF, Cubs (age 25)
5 years, $15 million plus 2025-26 club options (begins 2020)

Bote’s new deal covers his remaining pre-arbitration and arbitration years, and if the Cubs pick up the two options, would cover his first two seasons of free agency as well. The club hasn’t confirmed the terms of the contract, but a source told MLB.com that it is worth approximately $15 million. Bote debuted in 2018 and entered this season with just 100 days of MLB service time. (Signed: April 3, 2019)

Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves (age 22)
7 years, $35 million plus 2026-27 club options

Albies was set to be a free agent following the 2023 season, so the deal covers at the very least his first two free agent years -- with the chance to control him for nine years with the options. Albies was an All-Star for the first time in 2018 and is part of the team's young core along with Ronald Acuna Jr., who was extended earlier this month. (Signed: April 11, 2019)

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.