Just six days after making his big league debut in April, 2008, Evan Longoria signed a contract that (assuming options are exercised, and they will be) will pay him $45 million over nine years. Since then, many have called it the worst (or best, depending on your point of view) contract in baseball.
Many point to the recent 10-year, $157.8 million extension signed by Longoria’s college teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, as the type of deal Longoria could have had if he had waited. While Tulowitzki is guaranteed over $100 million more than Longoria (see chart below), the difference between the two deals may not be as great as it appears.
Longoria will be a free agent following the 2016 season. And even though Tulowitzki will have made more than $40 million in his career at that point, Tulo is now tied up until 2021,and Longoria will have a good chance to catch up.
In the final five years of his deal, Tulowitzki will make $89.0 million (avg $17.8M per year). Based on the seven-year, $142 million signed by Carl Crawford, it is not unreasonable to think Longoria could be looking at a $25 million per year deal when his contract is up. And if Longoria does average $25 million per season from 2017-21, his career earnings will total $170 million, just $4.4 million less than Tulowitzki at that point.
Longoria may be underpaid now (most players are in their first six years), but his current contract is only bad if he doesn’t cash in with his next deal.
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