Over the last couple of seasons, organizations have taken a bit of a risk on young players with upside. Signing these players, many times with less than two years of service, is the hip thing to do in baseball right now. As everything has become quantifiable, teams have begun to recongnize the value of younger players regardless of the organization's financial resources.
Sometimes this has resulted in a mega deal. Starlin Castro is the most recent, inking a seven-year contract worth $60 million with the Cubs. A couple of years ago Ricky Romero signea his five-year, $30.1 million dollar deal with the Blue Jays.
Most of the time though, these contracts aren't going to be an albatross if something goes wrong. Royals catcher Salvador Perez signed for five years and $7 million. Matt More also signed for five years, but for $14 million. Going back to 2010 our own Denard Span signed for five years and $16.5 million.
The Twins don't have any young players on their active roster who are looked at as potential superstars, so we don't have to think about whether or not some 22-year old with a year and a half of service time is worth a $30 million dollar investment. But what about those attractive, Span-esque contracts? Any players worth considering?
Still under two years of service time, Revere's been in a slump these last few weeks. His batting average has dropped 39 points, his on-base percentage has dropped 30 points, and his slugging...well, that doesn't really matter.
Still, if there's any young position player worth extending it's probably Revere. He's exceptionally fast, can steal bases, and gets fantastic range out of his legs in the outfield. As long as he's quick, he'll have value. But would you give him a similar deal to Perez? Arbitration eligible in 2014, would you give him four years at $8 million?
To be clear, there is absolutely no reason to extend a guy like Burton. Or Casey Fien for that matter. But it might be tempting simply because he's a good reliever, and being just one season removed from DISASTERPEN '11 I couldn't blame anybody for wanting to grasp onto any part of a good reliever that they can.
The reality is, though, that until Burton puts together at least one more good season he's not worth committing multiple years to.
Do you think that Plouffe can be a perennial 30-homer threat for the next few years? If so, he becomes arbitration eligible in 2014. Power makes players expensive quickly. In spite of his coming out party between May and early July, if you do believe that Trevor can be THAT guy then this winter might be your last opportunity to buy low. Because if he comes out next season, in his final pre-arbitration year, and hits .250/.320/.470, he's going to be a valuable bat for the money he'll be paid. Instead of paying $15.5 million for Plouffe over the next four years ($500 K, $2 M, $5 M, $8 M), maybe you could buy him for four years and $10 million. What would you do?
Parmelee's extension would have to be 98% faith and 2% what you saw in Rochester this season. The 24-year old dominated in his first go-round Triple-A this season, and he had a hot week or so earlier this month that was difficult to ignore. The fact that he's gone cold again should have nothing to do with the thought of a contract extension, because it's a philosophical question and not a numbers one: do you believe in Parmelee or not? How much or how little do you believe he can become an impact bat?
I'm not sure anyone else really merits consideration at this point. Maybe in a couple of years we can talk about Oswaldo Arcia or Miguel Sano or Eddie Rosales, and about the mega extensions they'll be worth in their early 20s, but for now would you consider anyone else?