When the Cincinnati Reds made the big trade this offseason with the Los Angeles Dodgers, they acquired three players on one-year contracts, along with Kyle Farmer who could be around in the Major Leagues for the next six seasons. Many speculated that it could be possible to extend one or more of the players in the right scenario. On Monday afternoon Yasiel Puig said that he would be open to it. For the right price, that is.

“If I can sign here, you say?” Puig said. “I don’t know. You been asking the GM if he wants to sign me? If he gives me the money I want, (and) I’m going to be here all the years he wants. I love Ohio. This is my color. I love red.”

The whole if he gives me the money I want part is key. We don’t know what that number is. And in the current free agent environment it’s honestly tough to know one way or the other. But let’s see what we can come up with, assuming we know nothing about how Yasiel Puig plays in 2019.

How valuable has Yasiel Puig been?

Right now, Yasiel Puig is 28-years-old. He’s in the prime of his career, in terms of what we know about when baseball players have their peak. That time, generally, for position players falls between ages 27 and 30. That would mean you’d probably be getting 2 more prime seasons before you would start to see a “decline” portion.

But let’s talk about what he has been worth to this point in his career. Fangraphs has a tool that provides a dollar amount for how much a player was worth in a given season. That amount is based on what teams have paid for 1 WAR in free agency – and that value changes with each offseason. In 2018, Yasiel Puig was worth $14.8M. The year before that he was worth $23.2M. Injuries kept him off of the field for a while in both 2015 and 2016, but he combined to be worth $20.5M in those two seasons. In 2014 he was worth $41.8M. And in his rookie season he was worth $29.2M.

The first two years of his career were the best two of his career. He’s been above-average since then, but hasn’t been an All-Star level player like he was those first two years. Still, to this point in his career, he’s been worth $130M in his career.

What would it take to sign Yasiel Puig?

The last two offseasons have changed how anyone has looked at free agency. Weird things have been happening, regardless of what the reason you believe is behind it. Contracts that players are getting simply aren’t what they were even three years ago. Justin Upton signed a 5-year deal with the Angels following the 2017 season. Sort of. He had previously signed a deal with Detroit, and the Angels acquired him mid-season of 2017. They offered him a new, upgraded contract. It ran from 2018 through 2022 and is worth $108M. Upton had a big 2017 season where he was worth $42M. But the year prior to that he was only worth $14.8M. Prior to that, for the 2013-2015 seasons he was worth between $26-28M per season.

He’s been a little better than Yasiel Puig has for his career. And his deal that was re-worked was signed before the weird offseasons of the last two years. But he was also a tad older, too. Upton is currently 3 years older than Puig is. That would seem to be the absolute high end, assuming a deal would be struck today. The downside seems to be something like what Andrew McCutchen got this past offseason. While he was older, he’s 32 right now, he’s also been quite a bit better in his career. He signed for 3-years and $50M with the Phillies earlier this offseason.

Using those two guys as sort of the top and bottom, we could be talking about four years and say $75M? That’s $18.75M a season, and would be more than any outfielder not named J.D. Martinez or Justin Upton has gotten in the last two offseasons. It’s a higher annual average value than any position player over the last two seasons aside from the outfielders mentioned above, or Josh Donaldson – who took a 1-year deal.

Is that enough to sign Yasiel Puig away from free agency? Is it too much for the Reds to pay? Who knows with how this market has been. For Puig, maybe he sees the way things have gone for other free agents and would leap at the deal. For the Reds, maybe they also see how things have played out and think that would be too rich and would try something lesser.

20 Responses

  1. Brad

    Id offer 3 years and $39M. $13M/AAV. Moves Senzel to 2B in 2020 and beyond. Im fine with Winker, Trammell, Puig in OF from 2020-2022.

    If Puig leaves and signs for $50M+ Reds get a draft pick similar to what was used on Jeter Downs or traded to Yankees for Sonny Gray.

    • TommyBoy

      5 years and 80 mm should do the trick…

  2. Kyle K

    I would do 4 years for about 60 million. If he doesn’t want that then move on

    • andybado

      This is what I thought too: 4yrs/$60M. It’s probably too low for Puig, so maybe that would get juiced up to 3yrs/$50M with a player option for a 4th year at $20M.

      That would make me a little nervous as a Reds fan, but Puig is a good player. Still I’m not sure either offer is enough for Puig to sign and forego free agency.

      The other critical factor here (someone else pointed this out too) is that Puig is a prime candidate for a qualifying offer. If the Reds make him a 1yr/~18M offer after the season, and he signs for more than $50M total, they get a first round pick. From the Reds perspective, it’s a great fall back option and a reason to not get serious about extension talks.

  3. MK

    Maybe two-year extension might get it done as he said “all the years he wants.” Unless he goes absolutely off the charts in the first half (which I hope he does) he might add 2 years for $36 million.

  4. DavidTurner49

    I’m glad to hear that Puig loves red, especially if that keeps him in a Reds uniform, but I think his favorite color is green.

    Not that I blame him for that.

  5. HoF13

    I would go with 4/60 tops. That is probably less than he would want to make, but likely more than he would get in free agency based on recent history. I would think his agent would tell him to at least consider it.

  6. CFD3000

    I’d love to see the Reds lock down Puig for 4 years total, maybe with a club option for a 5th year. I can’t even guess what it would take, because it’s not just a matter of what have similar players been paid, but also what do Puig and his agent think is the high end of his free agency aspirations. You not only have to pay him what he’s worth in a fair market, you have to pay him enough to forgo the free agency gauntlet. And guessing what that would take is just guessing. But. It’s not my money and the Reds have plenty of payroll room. So I hope they make it happen. An outfield of Puig, Winker and Trammell for the next four or five years would go so well with Senzel, Suarez, and Votto. Nice. Now about that extension for Alex Wood…

  7. habesjn

    I think whether we sign him or not will depend on how he does this season. I don’t want them to extend him before we see him play.

    That said, at the worst, assuming he has a good season, I would offer him a qualifying offer. It is right in line with the suggested AAV Doug suggests in this article (about 18 million) and, if he declines it, we get a draft pick.

    That draft pick would go a long ways towards replacing the players we gave up in this trade, Downs and Gray.

    I would take the same approach with Alex Wood.

    From there, discussions about long term deals can take place but, at the very least, the trade becomes “traded Gray and Downs for either 2 years of Wood and Puig, or 2 draft picks close to where Gray and Downs were originally drafted in the first place”

    Not a bad deal either way.

  8. Mason Red

    Hope he plays well and puts up great numbers so the Reds can trade him at the deadline for prospects if the Reds are out of playoff contention. Hey it worked great during the last “rebuild”…..

  9. gusnwally

    Looking at Puig’s numbers, I see a healthy Scott Schebler with a better arm. People are saying Puig could hit 30 HR’s in GABP. I believe Scott has already done that. And would have again last year if healthy. He had 18. Don’t get me wrong, I like having Puig here. I think he is a solid ballplayer.Sorta like Scott Schebler. So let’s not pay this guy like a superstar or go crazy trying to keep him. If as I believe NS will be just fine in CF there is no reason to overpay..

  10. gusnwally

    Sounds like you and I are on the same wave length Duke. He is good, no doubt. And those are solid figures. Of course players may not agree.

  11. Amarillo

    Just what I want. A tundra with a busted window because Puig hit the actual truck instead of the sign.

  12. Indy Red Man

    Can we first see if Puig keeps up his career .324 average against the NL Central?

  13. Doug Gray

    Some people aren’t going to sign for the right money in some places because the right money will be elsewhere and they’d rather play there, or at least rather not play there.

  14. Michael E

    I am with this, IF the Reds mgmnt plans to play him near-full-time. If he is only starting 4 games a week, then no, just pass.

    So all for an extension at reasonable amount, but not if manager loves to platoon and Puig “only” averages 450 PAs a season. Not worth it. He must project to start at least 140 games, and preferably 150 games (600 PAs) so that means no sitting vs all LHP (he hits righties better than lefties in an odd twist).

  15. Michael E

    …and I’d like to know the Reds plan on starting him at least 9 of every 10 games before committing full-time type money. If he is platooned, then drop offer down accordingly. It won’t be his decision to platoon, but you can’t pay 155+ game starting money to someone only starting 125 games or so.

  16. JayTheRed

    I would be willing to do 4 year deal for 60 million with a player option for 20 million for a 5th year.

    I think Puig would honestly consider this a fair deal. Again he is not a top outfielder in MLB.