It is usually around this time of year when we see players sign long-term extensions. This year we’ve seen players as varied as Nolan Arenado to Aaron Nola to Max Kepler to Miles Mikolas to Whit Merrifield get extensions, securing them to their teams deep into the next decade. You can buy their jerseys with assurance that they’ll be sticking around for a while.
With that in mind, we take a look at that very thing: Which player on each team is assured -- trade excepted, of course! -- to be around his team for the longest time? We’re looking to see which player has a contract that extends the farthest into the future with his team. A key caveat: It has to be a guaranteed contract, not just the possibility of arbitration deep into the future. You need not only to be tied to a team for years to come, but to know that the contract is fully guaranteed. These are the jerseys you can buy for each team. These are the guys sticking around.
Thanks to Cot’s Baseball Contracts for research assistance with this piece.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., through 2022
Gurriel, signed out of Cuba, has actually been under this contract for two years already. He also has one year of arbitration eligibility after this deal expires.
Orioles: Chris Davis, through 2022
Yes, it’s precisely the player you were thinking it was. There's still four more years of Davis to go, though at this point it’s worth wondering whether or not they’ll end up paying him not to be on the roster.
Rays: Kevin Kiermaier, through 2022
The Rays also have a $13 million option on Kiermaier for 2023 that, if all goes well, you’d imagine them happily picking up.
Red Sox: David Price, J.D. Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi, through 2022
Barring Martinez choosing to opt out and hit the market again after the 2019 or '20 season, lots of money will be coming off the books in 2022, and considering the extensions that may be coming for Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, et al, they may need every penny of it.
Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton, through 2027
The total value of a contract wasn’t the only record of Stanton’s that Bryce Harper broke: When Stanton’s deal is up, Harper will still have five more years to go. (Note: Stanton can opt out of this deal following the 2020 season, but given the way things are going, that seems unlikely. And there is a club option for 2028. If Stanton opts out, the answer becomes Aaron Hicks, who is under contract through 2025 -- with a 2026 club option -- after his recent extension.)
Indians: Carlos Carrasco, through 2022
Of all the Cleveland players whose contracts will expire at some point, it’s Carrasco who may just outlast them all.
Royals: Whit Merrifield, through 2022
Merrifield will only make $2.75 million in 2022, with a $6.5 million option for 2023. Will he and Salvador Perez be the only current Royals on the next contending Royals team?
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, through 2023
The Tigers don’t need Cabrera to be the old Cabrera over the next five years, but they’d like to see more than the three homers he hit in an injury-shortened 2018 campaign.
Twins: Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, through 2023
The extensions they signed this offseason expire at the same time, though Kepler’s going to make nearly $10 million more over the span of his contract.
White Sox: Tim Anderson, through 2022
Anderson may have to pick up his game a bit to get his options picked up in 2023 and 2024.
Angels: Justin Upton, through 2022
The big names, of course, are Mike Trout (deal expiring after 2020) and Albert Pujols (after 2021).
Astros: Jose Altuve, through 2024
He’ll be only 34 when this contract expires.
Athletics: Stephen Piscotty, though 2022
This is actually the extension he signed with the Cardinals before the 2017 season. The A’s would love to have the answer to this trivia question be Matt Chapman a year from now.
Mariners: Yusei Kikuchi, through 2022
The Japanese left-hander also has a player option for 2023, before he has thrown a big league pitch.
Rangers: Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor, through 2022
The infield duo is five years apart in age but will still hit the market at the same time.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte, through 2021
Say what you will about the Braves' spending, but they’ll have a lot of decks clear for all the young players filtering through their system.
Marlins: Wei-Yin Chen, through 2020
Suffice it to say ... Chen is from a previous regime.
Mets: Robinson Cano, though 2023
The Mets aren’t paying all of Cano’s salary for the next five years (the Mariners picked up some), but they are paying most of it.
Nationals: Patrick Corbin, though 2024
Yep, that’s how long a six-year free-agent contract signed in the offseason takes you.
Phillies: Bryce Harper, though 2031
Insert “I’m going to be how old then?” comment here.
Brewers: Lorenzo Cain, through 2022
Assuming the Brewers pick up Christian Yelich’s 2022 $15 million option, Yelich’s and Cain’s contracts will expire the same year.
Cardinals: Miles Mikolas and Paul DeJong, through 2023
The Cardinals have two years of options on DeJong, but none on Mikolas. If they have their way, Paul Goldschmidt will outlast both of them.
Cubs: Jason Heyward and Yu Darvish, through 2023
Neither of these contracts has turned out even close to what the Cubs were hoping for, but hey, there is still plenty of time.
Pirates: Gregory Polanco and Felipe Vazquez, through 2021
The Pirates have two options on each player, but otherwise they are mostly flexible, financially speaking, moving forward.
Reds: Eugenio Suarez, through 2024
At last there is a Red who may outlast Joey Votto, whose contract expires after the 2023 season.
D-backs: Ketel Marte, through 2022
Not the first guy you imagine building a roster around, but you know what you’re getting from him.
Dodgers: Kenta Maeda, through 2023
Probably not the first name you were thinking of, right?
Giants: Evan Longoria, though 2022
There’s a reason the Rays seemed so eager to trade this contract.
Padres: Manny Machado, through 2028
By the structure of his contract, Machado will make less money in 2019 than Eric Hosmer. It, uh, changes pretty quickly after that. (Hosmer would have San Diego's longest contract should Machado choose to exercise his opt-out after five years.)
Rockies: Nolan Arenado, through 2026
The Rockies got the man they’ll be building everything around for the next near-decade. There aren’t many better choices than him.