As I got on site for the 2010 Winter Meetings, news broke that Jayson Werth received a seven year deal for $126m. The general reaction from those I conversed with in the media was one of shock. Meanwhile, Carl Crawford and his agent Brian Peters are quite happy. Werth’s average annual value (AAV) is $18m per season and he and Crawford are considered the creme of the positional free agent crop much like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday were last year.
On January 5th of this year, Jason Bay signed a 4 yr deal for $66 million for an AAV of $16.5m. Five days later, Matt Holliday signed his 7 yr/$120m deal that had an AAV of $17.1m. Like Crawford and Werth this off-season, Bay and Holliday were the two best bats on the free agent market. Given the fact Werth’s AAV is $18m, Crawford’s new deal just reached a whole new level of money that has previously not been discussed.
The initial figure that was first put out for Crawford was 7yr/$115m first discussed by BusinessInsider.com’s Cork Gaines (AAV $16.4m), and a more recent number bantered about on Twitter has been 8/$136m ($17m AAV). Assuming Crawford’s new deal is at least equal in AAV to Werth’s and the younger Crawford gets an 8th year, that would put the starting point for Crawford’s new deal at $144m. Holliday got four percent more than Bay last season, and if Crawford got the same bump, it would be $720,000 more of a contract. Given the fact contracts are typically whole number deals, Crawford will be getting more than the four percent bump that Holliday received last season.
My guess – he gets eight years at $152 for an AAV of $19m per season.