By Josh Kramer
Generally, the rule of thumb in the MLB is that stars shine even brighter in the final year of their contract. Contract years are like a final round job interview. Only this is not about getting a job, this is about getting a dream job versus really another dream job. Just one route has a larger payoff than the other. But let’s be honest. Playing in the MLB for the League minimum would still be a dream come true for the vast majority of us.
Today, I am going to talk about three perennial All Stars that are in the final year of their current contracts.
Jose Reyes, New York Mets: The shortstop for the New York Mets is currently in the 9th year of his already very successful MLB career. And year nine has been awfully kind for the star out of the Dominican Republic. Reyes is truly doing all in his power to ensure that he will be guaranteed a huge payday come the end of the season, when his contract expires. Without question, Reyes is having the best year of his career. Currently, he is batting .341 with 20 doubles and 12 triples. The man is playing for the big bucks without question. He is also handling the media with grace and doing what he should. Strictly focusing on playing baseball.
Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers: The son of former MLB star Cecil Fielder is currently embarking on the 7th year of his career. And boy is he making a name for himself. Currently Prince, is batting .300, to go with 20 home runs, and 62 RBIs. His home run and RBI totals are currently leading the National League. You think teams are going to put up the big bucks for the hefty lefty? You better believe it.
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals: The man who is generally considered the best player in the game just had things go from bad to ugly. The “Machine” will now be sidelined for at least the next month. Currently, Pujols is having arguably the worst year of his career. His average is 50 points lower than his career mark. Plus he is on pace to hit around 34 or 35 home runs, which would be one of the lowest marks of his career. And remember, it was a huge deal this offseason when he did not sign an extension with St. Louis. Maybe it was a blessing that the Cardinals were not able to sign the “Machine” before opening day. He quite possibly may be cheaper than what they had bargained for.
A contract year can be a blessing in disguise for many of the stars in the MLB. It also can be a year where a stars stock goes down. But to be entirely honest, none of the stars are going to lose their jobs. They are still going to make great money and get to play baseball each and every day for a living.
So a contract year for MLB stars in the grand scheme of things is not really a big deal. It really is a non factor in my eyes.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.