The 10 best contracts in baseball
December, 28, 2011
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Elaine ThompsonWhen compared to his production, Robinson Cano's contract is a bargain.
It is really difficult to compare the best contracts in baseball based on the present salary infrastructure. To compare and rank them, you have to take into account arbitration eligibility, free-agent years and non-arbitration years. In addition, one must compare each year within arbitration eligibility separately, because a player with three years of eligibility can be worth millions more than a player with one or two years of eligibility.
Keep in mind that these rankings must assume that the player stays relatively healthy through the length of the contract.
When you factor in a player’s production against his cost -- by total cost of the contract or by year (average annual value) -- it’s easy to see why these are the 10 best contracts in baseball right now.
1. New York Yankees: Robinson Cano, 2B, four years: 2008-11, $30 million, AAV: $7.5 million
Hands down, Cano is one of the top five players in the American League right now. For all the great work that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has done for the Yankees -- signing free agents CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira and trading for Curtis Granderson or drafting players like Phil Hughes -- he doesn't get enough credit for his foresight in shrewd multiyear deals like Cano’s.