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A 15-year contract?

Posted at 9:22 PM on September 12, 2006 by Ben Tesch (3 Comments)

In case you don't pay attention hockey, New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro just signed a 15-year contract. DiPietro's deal is believed to be second only in length in North American sports to the 25-year pact Magic Johnson signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981.

I looked into this a little bit, because there happens to be a blog just about baseball contracts. Here are the longest contracts on each team (not including extensions worked in later):

  • Angels: Kendry Morales, 6 years (huh?)
  • Astros: Lance Berkman, 6 years
  • A's: Jason Kendall & Eric Chavez, 6 years
  • Blue Jays: AJ Burnett & BJ Ryan, 5 years
  • Braves: Mike Hampton, 8 years
  • Brewers: Rickie Weeks, 5 years
  • Cardinals: Scott Rolen, 8 years
  • Cubs: Derrek Lee, 5 years
  • Devil Rays: Carl Crawford, 4 years
  • Diamondbacks: Stephen Drew, 5 years
  • Dodgers: JD Drew, 4 years (pays to be a Drew, huh?)
  • Giants: Barry Bonds, 5 years
  • Indians: Grady Sizemore, 6 years
  • Mariners: Adrian Beltre, 5 years
  • Marlins: There is noone on this team with a contract longer than 1 year, which just sounds completely ridiculous. Yet somehow the GM and manager have 3-year contracts?
  • Mets: Carlos Beltran, 7 years
  • Nationals: Jose Vidro, Christian Guzman, Brian Lawrence and Brian Schneider, 4 years
  • Orioles: Miguel Tejada, 6 years
  • Padres: Chan Ho Park, 5 years
  • Phillies: Pat Burrell, 6 years
  • Pirates: Jason Bay, 4 years
  • Rangers: Kevin Millwood and Hank Blalock, 5 years
  • Reds: Ken Griffey Jr, 9 years
  • Red Sox: Manny Ramirez, 8 years
  • Rockies: Todd Helton, 9 years
  • Royals: Mike Sweeney and David DeJesus, 5 years
  • Tigers: Magglio Ordonez and Justin Verlander, 5 years
  • Twins: Torii Hunter, Phil Nevin and Johan Santana: 4 years
  • White Sox: Jim Thome, 6 years
  • Yankees: Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, 10 years

This leads me to this question: Do you think we will ever see a contract like DiPietro's in baseball? 10 years is the max right now. Will the right combination of loyalty and monetary risk ever coincide that a 15-year (or even 25-year) deal would ever happen? Would you sign anyone playing right now to that kind of contract? Pujols? Howard? Liriano? A-Rod?

Comments (3)

What's wrong with Kendry Morales?

You'd have to be an idiot to sign a pitcher to a 15 year contract, that's a definite.

Posted by ryan | September 13, 2006 12:56 AM

I would guess that the rate of salary inflation in baseball is higher than any other sport. So there's no incentive on eithre side for that long a contract. Owners aren't going to want to commit to something that long and playes aren't going to want to lose the opportunity to be a free agent in a spiralling salary model; they can get the cash up front.

Posted by Bob Collins | September 13, 2006 12:58 AM

What's wrong with Kendry? Seems like an awfully big contract for a guy who hit .240 with 5 HR and 21 RBI and got sent back down to AAA. He just doesn't quite fit the profile of the bigger name stars on the list.

Sure, pitchers would be a very big gamble, but wouldn't you have been quite the amazing GM if you signed Greg Maddux for 15 years on the cheap in 1988? 18 straight years of double digit wins, 15 gold gloves, 4 Cy Youngs, etc.

Posted by Ben Tesch | September 13, 2006 11:42 AM

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