Diamondbacks lock up Justin Upton

Today the D-Backs signed Justin Upton to a six year deal worth $51.25mil. With the deal the D-Backs bought out four arbitration years and two years of free agency. And in doing so, they will save themselves some money.

Buying out arbitration and free agency years of young players is a continuing phase in MLB and for good reason. It means teams can keep talented players under team control for longer and at a good price. Arizona is doing no different with the deal.

The D-Backs will be getting six years of one of the best, young players in baseball for cheap. He’ll average just under $9mil per year over the six years, which is obviously good value. When Upton would have reached arbitration, he surely would have commanded more than $9mil, especially come his last couple seasons of arbitration. Even if Upton makes as much in 2011 and 2012 through the deal as he would have in arbitration, the true savings will be the free agency years, when Upton could have been given a superstar type deal. Upton projects to be a 5+ WAR player as soon as 2010.  So the D-Backs will be saving cash and making sure one of baseballs brightest stars remains in the desert.

Now was also the right time to make the deal. People having been raving about him ever since he became a pro, and in 2009 he put up his first good season. Upton is a prime candidate to break out into a perennial All-Star within the next two seasons. If the D-Backs had waited another season or two to sign him long term, they would have waited too long and he would have commanded a higher annual salary. By inking him to the deal now, they were able to spend less money.

As for Upton, the deal makes sense. He’ll be making over $50mil during his mid twenty’s. How many of you wish that was your salary? Sure it’s a discount for his true value, but he has security now. Moreover, the contract will expire when he is 28. Upton will enter free agency in the prime of his career with the opportunity to make $100mil+.

Six years from now Upton could and most likely will be one of the best players in all of baseball. All-Star appearances, Silver Sluggers, some Golden Gloves, and possibly an MVP award will be in his future. He is the type of player teams dream about having. Well the the D-Backs have him for the next six years at a good price. Upton has financial security and the chance to cash in big again come 2016. Win-win.

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One Comment on “Diamondbacks lock up Justin Upton”

  1. Owner Says:

    I got a man crush on this kid.

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