Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Quick Yet Productive Visit; Card Show Recap #19

The intent behind today's trip to the Woburn Baseball card show wasn't to acquire cards to boost my player collections. However, per usual with my Baseball card purchases, I ended up with a large stack of new additions for many of my PCs.

Rather, there were 2 reasons for my first visit to the Baseball card show for the first time in a month and a half.

The 1st reason was that my Dad and I were both searching for a certain item that I'll recap tomorrow. The 2nd deciding factor was that we wanted to catch up with the vendors at the show whom we hadn't chatted with in a while.

Not only did we find the item that we desired, but the 2 of us searched through an impressive dime bin before departing soon after. The box that we looked through seemed to have a ton of rookie and prospect cards, but that isn't really what my collection is centered around.

Instead, I simply searched for cards of players that I collect and left the rest up to whatever I could find in this box. As always, the bin that I searched through had specific trends, including players and sets that appeared very often.

In this case, Vladimir Guerrero was one of those players who appeared quite often across my search through this dime bin. I was very pleased to track down new cards for this player collection considering that, for whatever reason, I haven't been finding too many Guerrero cards in the dime bins.

Given that the Expos are my favorite all-time ballclub behind the Red Sox and the Cubs, I was happy to find numerous cards showing Guerrero in a Montreal jersey. There are many strong candidates, but the card in the bottom left corner is my favorite of the group, even though I don't know what set it's from.

Theoretically, I should be saving this card for last since it's definitely one of the best cards of the entire purchase, but it seems more fitting to have it alongside the other Vladimir Guerrero cards. From the 1995 Best set, this prospect card is the very first card listed of Vladdy on COMC.

The design is pretty standard no matter how you look at it. Therefore, the best part of this card is that it's a prospect card of one of my favorite all-time players rather than having a compelling design or an intriguing photograph. 

As expected in a modern Baseball card dime box, there was no shortage of different parallels/refractors available, some of which were serial numbered; others were not. 

While I agree that Topps over-produces parallel cards (cough cough insert parallels cough cough), a simple gold bordered card or a base refractor never hurt anybody. Not to mention that I boosted my CC Sabathia player collection, a PC that I don't get the chance to add to all that often.

As I continued to make my way through the dime bins, I observed more and more trends that were taking place. First, I found a sizeable number of Vladimir Guerrero cards. Next, there was a surplus of different Panini Diamond Kings inserts from the past few years. 

Just like my CC Sabathia collection, it's not super often that I add to my Tony Perez and Orlando Cepeda PCs. Additionally, I'm usually skeptical of willingly purchasing unlicensed cards unless they're above my expectations. 

Needless to say, these Diamond Kings inserts, featuring retired players, were able to fit the bill.

Although these Gypsy Queen inserts only lasted 1 year, I still applaud the effort of Topps' artists for taking the time to create these beautiful cards 2 years after the set's release. Labeled as Hand-Drawn Art Reproductions, each player in this set receives not 1, but 2 different cards, featuring different pictures and colors in the background. 

My guess is that these cards were too reminiscent of Allen & Ginter cards to return for another year, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the attention to detail on these gorgeous inserts.

As long as I'm discussing insert cards from 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen, it's critical that I point out one of the most creative card sets that I've ever seen; the Fortune Teller insert cards. Returning to Gypsy Queen for a 3rd straight year in 2019, these unique cards make bold predictions about what players will achieve by the end of their season. 

The 2017 card design isn't anything out of the ordinary, but the cards get the job done. Both the 2018 and 2019 styles embody the Gypsy Queen product way more. Out of all the decisions that I made today regarding dime cards, adding all of these Fortune Teller inserts to my stack was one of the easiest choices that I had to make.

The 2018 Bowman Platinum product featured one of the most interesting set designs of last year. Showcasing a black background combined with a colorful swirl, these cards depart from the traditional rainbow foil cardstock that we've become so accustomed to seeing.

Even though I obtained only a handful of 2018 Bowman Platinum cards last year, I ranked this product at #6 on my sets of 2018 ranking, ahead of cards like Topps Big League. Now, after seeing even more of these cards in person, I'm confident that I made the right choice, judging solely by the base set design.

Unlike the 2018 Bowman Platinum set, I didn't think too highly of the 2017 Topps Gold Label set when it was released. In fact, I placed this product 2nd to last at #15 back when I ranked the sets of 2017. Since then, I've come to appreciate this set more than I originally did, mainly due to all the retired players in this product.

The Gold Label set is separated by different classes with 1 being the most common, followed by 2, and 3 being the rarest class within the product. All of the cards above are from the 1st class, something you can notice by the faint writing on the lefthand side of the cards.

There were no class 3 cards available in this dime box, but I found an equal number of class 2 cards as class 1. Although the only difference, to my knowledge, is the choice of images, these cards are slightly rarer than the first group, but that's not something that I care too much about, especially when we're talking about dime cards.

I'm not sure if this is coincidental, but all of the class 2 cards above feature alternate jerseys. On the other hand, the group of class 1 cards is composed solely of home uniforms. It's quite possible that the rarer cards in the set feature more intriguing uniforms and photographs.

As I discussed earlier, this dime box included an insane number of rookie and prospect cards, a dream come true for a lot of collectors. Personally, I'm more into finding cards that I like rather than building up rookie and prospect card collections, but I did select a few standouts to add to my stack. 

Among them was a card of Corey Seager that I don't have in my collection yet, a rookie card from the 2016 Bowman set.

I'd safely bet that I'll never open a 1-pack box of Topps Inception ever in my life unless I win the lottery jackpot. Like most of Topps' high-end products, I rely heavily on the dime bins to provide me a sample of what the product looks like.

Even though the 2018 Inception set was released roughly 1 year ago, it doesn't bother me whatsoever that I'm getting my first look at the product today. The base cards look so impressive that it almost makes me want to buy a box of these high-end cards.

Finally, to end the look at this wide variety of dime cards, I have one final high-end card, this time from 2013 Topps Tribute. This may not be my first World Baseball Classic card from Topps Tribute, but Stanton is the best player that I've landed so far. 

Representing Team USA, this card will be an excellent addition to my Giancarlo Stanton PC which is currently hovering around 65 total cards.

Per usual, I was very pleased with the outcome of this trip to the dime bins. However, the main thing that I came to the card show for earlier today is yet to be shown. That's something that I'll be saving for tomorrow.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

My First Non-Baseball Post

As someone who has always focused solely on Baseball cards, I've never ventured out and explored the products available for other sports. In addition to the MLB, I follow the NFL and NBA quite a bit, though not as much as Baseball. 

I've spent the last couple of weeks concentrating on MLB predictions, so I hadn't thought to write my first ever non-Baseball post until today. While purchasing some dime cards at my LCS a couple of Saturday's ago, I, for the first time in my life, purchased a box of Basketball cards.

The card shop had a mega box of 2017-18 Panini Donruss Optic available for a reasonable price. The high-caliber rookie class of this season along with the promise of 10 packs and 4 cards per pack captivated my attention. 

I have some knowledge of the Panini Donruss Optic and Prizm products, so buying this mega box as my first Basketball card purchase of all-time made logical sense. Not only is it always exciting to open packs of cards, but I was also ecstatic to see what Panini cards would look like with licensing rights.

I've always believed that Panini is capable of doing an excellent job with their products, especially if they can show team logos and names. This helped to make this box break even more exciting even though I didn't necessarily know what to expect from the box.

The base set, although visually appealing, isn't the focal point of the '17-18 Donruss Optic set. As far as the mega boxes go, the set focuses more on the Rated Rookie cards that appear at least twice per pack. By the end of the box break, I only ended up with around 7 veteran base cards. Rated Rookies, for comparison's sake, appeared over 20 times.

Although it's not a drastic departure from the base set design, the Rated Rookie cards make up a significant portion of the set. Like Topps Baseball card products, the value lies with the rookie cards and any colored parallels that you can pull. 

Fortunately, the red and yellow parallels in these mega boxes fall at approximately 2 per pack, so I was able to get a good look at the different cards that this product has to offer. Before I get to the parallel cards, I'll preview the different insert cards available in this set.

Centered around the theme of "Kings," this set features a couple of different subsets which explore that theme.

The most common of these inserts are the Court Kings cards, resembling the original Diamond Kings cards from the original 80s Donruss sets. If these cards are anything like the DK cards, 1 player per team should be represented in this insert set. 

Out of the 4 insert cards that I pulled, Ben Simmons is definitely the best name even though this card isn't (technically) from his rookie season. Kawhi Leonard's not as hot as he used to be back in San Antonio, but he's been playing pretty well, trying to lead the Toronto Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

While Court Kings seems to focus on the best players in the game, Rookie Kings honors the best rookie players from the '17-18 season. In a rookie class that featured guys like Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell, John Collins wouldn't have been my first choice.

However, the 21-year old from Wake Forest is almost averaging a double-double with 19 points and 9.5 total rebounds in just his 2nd NBA season. He, along with Trae Young and their future 1st round draft pick, represents the future for the Atlanta Hawks organization.

The final of the 3 insert sets, Hall Kings, commemorates NBA legends that have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, located roughly an hour and a half away from me in Springfield, MA. Although my knowledge of the NBA is somewhat limited when compared to the MLB, Julius Erving is a name that I certainly recognize.

Over the course of his 11-year NBA career for the 76ers, Erving accomplished a ton of different feats, including an NBA MVP in 1981 and a championship in '83. And while the 3 "Kings" sets look a bit too similar for my taste, I appreciate the fact that each set has its own set theme.

The holo parallels, appearing at roughly 1:5 packs, are more desired in the Panini Prizm product where I believe they're called "silver parallels." In Donruss Optic, however, they're not as sought after nor are they all too common, for I only ended up with 2 total; 1 veteran in Jimmy Butler and a Rated Rookie, Frank Jackson.

As I previously alluded to, the mega box-exclusive red and yellow parallels are the main attraction of the 2017-18 Panini Donruss Optic mega boxes. Averaging out at around 20 per box, these cards fall at roughly 2 per pack and feature all the big name rookies from 2 year's ago.

One of the bigger names from the '17-18 season, Lauri Markkanen was one of the many players that I desired out of this mega box. Along with his red and yellow Rated Rookie, I ended up with 19 others.

Obviously, not every rookie is a huge name or a top draft pick, so the majority of the red and yellow parallels that I pulled were lesser name players. This didn't upset me all too much, however, as I was able to land a couple of Boston Celtics, my favorite team.

Following a stellar season last year, expectations were high for the Celtics after LeBron's departure from the East. The pre-season predictions had Boston reaching the NBA finals with ease, but the road has been unexpectedly difficult. 

Now, with the Celtics currently occupying the 4 seed in their conference, it's going to come down to how well this team is able to perform as a whole once the playoffs come along.

Even with their being 20 red and yellow rookie parallels in this box, I wasn't able to land a prized Donovan Mitchell or Jayson Tatum Rated Rookie card. Still, that didn't stop me from landing cards of other talented rookies from this monster of an NBA draft, including the 2nd overall pick, Lonzo Ball.

The best rookie of the entire box, like Lonzo, also plays for the Lakers. However, unlike Lonzo Ball, he wasn't one of the top NBA draft picks coming out of college.

Aside from it being the best rookie card that I pulled from the mega box, this Kyle Kuzma Rated Rookie card will go down as my favorite card from the entire box. The parallel which is already extremely colorful is further enhanced by the bright Lakers jersey. 

Although non-numbered Optic parallels don't hold a super high value, I'll always associate this card with my first, but possibly not last, Basketball card purchase of my life.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

2019 Red Sox Opening Day Lineup

In just a few hours, the Boston Red Sox's highly-anticipated 2019 regular season will officially begin with their game against the Seattle Mariners scheduled to start at 7:10 PM est.

At this point, every other team in Baseball has started their 2019 season besides the Red Sox. Even though they're opening on the west coast, I would've preferred a 4:00 PM start time like last year's Opening Day game against the Rays. 

For the 2nd year in a row, Boston's ace, Chris Sale, will start Opening Day just days after signing a 5-year extension with the Red Sox. Similarly, just like the 2018 opener, 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia will not be in the starting lineup, for he is starting the season on the injured list.

So far today, the Brewers have bested the Cardinals 5-4, the Yankees crushed the Orioles at home 7-2, and the Mets won a decisive pitcher's duel against the Nationals 2-0 thanks to Jacob DeGrom's 6 shutout innings with 10 K's. 

On Opening Day in 2018, I previewed Boston's starting lineup which, for the most part, is incredibly similar to what we'll see later today against Seattle. Besides Hanley Ramirez, all players from 2018 will be starting tonight; the only other thing that has changed is the order of the lineup.

In just over 2 hours, the reigning World Champions will take the field for their first game of 2019. In order to get a better understanding of their lineup, let's preview who will be starting for the Red Sox later today.

Batting 1st; LF Andrew Benintendi
Making his 3rd straight Opening Day start in left field, Andrew Benintendi was stellar in 2018, the best season of his young career. The 2017 AL Rookie of the Month for August, Benny hit .290 with 16 homers, 87 RBI, and most surprisingly, 21 stolen bases in 2018. Now, the 24-year old will be hitting leadoff until Dustin Pedroia returns at the earliest. 

Batting 2nd; RF Mookie Betts
Starting with his very first at-bat of the 2019 season, all eyes are going to be on the 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and for good reason. His 10.9 WAR during his MVP season remains incredibly impressive, likely part of the reason why he's surrendered the leadoff spot to Benintendi. Now, he can concentrate on boosting his RBI total after driving in 80 runs last season.

Batting 3rd; 3B Rafael Devers
After struggling with injuries and consistency across his first full MLB season, Rafael Devers is expected to have a breakout year in 2019. Every report that I've read states that Devers entered Spring Training looking and feeling much better. It'll be interesting to see if he fixes his biggest issues from last year, his batting average and defense. 

Batting 4th; DH J.D. Martinez
It's still surreal how J.D. Martinez can maintain a .330 batting average while also hitting 43 home runs, 130 RBI, and coming within striking distance of not just the AL, but the MLB Triple Crown. Now, at 31 years old and playing his 2nd season in Boston, I'm intrigued to see what his performance will be like in 2019 following a monstrous first season for the Red Sox.

Batting 5th; SS Xander Bogaerts
Following up behind fellow RBI machine J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts is a reliable option if J.D. fails to drive in runners in scoring position. With 103 runs batted in of his own in 2018, Bogaerts had his best season yet, and he wasn't significantly affected by injuries. In his contract season, let's hope for at least one more fantastic year from Xander Bogaerts.

Batting 6th; 1B Mitch Moreland
2018 World Series MVP, Steve Pearce, along with Pedroia, is also beginning the 2019 season on the injured list, but the 1st baseman's injury isn't expected to be serious. Until he returns to the lineup, Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis will split duties at 1st base. Because a lefty is starting for Seattle, Moreland will get the nod for Opening Day.

Batting 7th; 2B Eduardo Nunez
Nunez struggled with injuries throughout the 2018 season that limited his ability to contribute on offense. Now that he's completely healthy and starting on Opening Day for the 2nd straight season, I'll be watching him closely to see if he's improved. He'll have some respectable playing time before Pedroia returns as he's splitting the 2nd base duties with Brock Holt.

Batting 8th; CF Jackie Bradley Jr
After finally winning the first Gold Glove award of his career, Jackie Bradley Jr's defensive expertise can no longer be denied. The major concern, like 2018, is how he will fare offensively after struggling at the plate in 2018. Like Devers, it's been reported that he's worked on his swing. I suppose we can only wait and see if Bradley makes any major improvements on offense. 

Batting 9th; C Christian Vazquez
It took many years, but the Red Sox have finally settled on 2 catchers for their roster. Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez will begin the 2019 season on Boston's roster after Sandy Leon accepted a demotion to triple-A Pawtucket. The best all-around option for offense and defense, Vazquez will be starting on Opening Day.

Clearly, the 2019 Boston Red Sox's lineup for Opening Day isn't a drastic departure from the 2018 lineup. Rather, the major test for this year's team is if they can continue their success after a historic run last year.

Happy Opening Day everyone. Play ball!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Frankenset Page #46

After many cold months without Baseball and minimal free agent signings, the wait is (almost) over. Although the first 2 games of the year were played last week in Japan, the 2019 MLB Opening Day is tomorrow with all 30 teams set to play for the second year in a row.

In many ways, it seems like last year's MLB Opening Day wasn't too long ago. In fact, I have vivid memories of the Red Sox's opener against the Tampa Bay Rays last season, a game that Boston lost 6-4. 

While it was frustrating to see the bullpen blow a phenomenal performance by Chris Sale during the first game of the year, I think we all forgot about the Opening Day loss by the end of the year. Now, I'm looking ahead to see what the reigning World Champions do tomorrow at 7:10 PM est in Seattle. 

Recently-extended ace Chris Sale will make his 2nd straight Opening Day start against Marco Gonzales for the Mariners, a 27-year old who put up very respectable stats in 2018. After trading away most of their star players, 2019 is going to be an interesting season for Seattle.

As I previously mentioned, this is the 2nd year in a row where all 30 MLB teams will be playing on Opening Day. The action-packed day starts with a battle of the aces at 1:05 pm est; the New York Mets will battle the Washington Nationals live from the nation's capital. 

Virtually every other game begins between 1:05 and 4:10 with the exception of the Boston Red Sox who, because they're playing on the west coast, have to start at 7:10. 

Kimbrel and Keuchel still haven't signed contracts with Opening Day starting in less than a day so only time will tell what's going to happen to those two. The most important thing is that after months of anticipating a new season, Opening Day is almost here. I hope everyone reading this has a chance to cheer on their favorite team at some point tomorrow.

Although I'd rather watch a 4:00 game myself, I'm incredibly eager to cheer on the Red Sox tomorrow, especially after how exciting their 2018 Opening Day game was. Now, let's overview the 46th page of my frankenset, showcasing cards #406-414.

#406 1958 Topps Vic Power
While post-1970s cards make up roughly 95% or more of my frankenset, very rarely do I feature true vintage cards from the 1950s and 60s. The 1958 Topps set, although flawed, is a pretty solid set overall. As is true with most vintage cards, there's a plethora of color, and I can't take my eyes off of the Kansas City Athletics logo in the bottom righthand corner. 

#407 1975 Topps Herb Washington
Since the original release of the 1975 Topps set, this card of pinch runner Herb Washington has become increasingly iconic and recognizable. Even as far as vintage Baseball cards go, Washington's 1975 Topps card is unbelievably colorful; it features a ton of bold colors, like gold/yellow, green, pink and purple, and that doesn't even include the background.

#408 1998 Bowman Dewayne Wise
Seeing a prospect card from a past Bowman set reminded me of some significant news that broke out earlier today. Rather than having their respective star prospects for another year, the Mets, Padres, and White Sox all added their young, talented players to their Opening Day rosters. 

This likely means that we'll see Fernando Tatis Jr, Peter Alonso, and Eloy Jimenez make their MLB debuts within a short period of time.

#409 1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Keith Miller
Following their 1993 base product, Upper Deck released the 1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice set the following year, another product that features stellar photography. This card of Keith Miller is just a small sample of the various action images that this set has to offer. As far as the junk wax era is concerned, this product ranks towards the top.

#410 1984 Topps Claudell Washington
While I'm not looking forward to the 1984 set being over-produced by Topps throughout many of their 2019 products, I was very impressed with how well Topps recreated this set back in 2019 Series 1. Home of the Don Mattingly rookie card, 1984 Topps is one of the best sets that the 80s has to offer, and with colorful cards like Claudell Washington's above, it's easy to see why.

#411 1969 Topps Larry Dierker
The 3rd card from the 1950s-70s to be featured on this page, Astros pitcher Larry Dierker had some respectable seasons over the course of his 14-year career. He managed a 3.31 ERA before going onto become a manager for the Astros in the late 1990s. Not only did he win NL Manager of the Year while with Houston, but Dierker also pitched a no-hitter in 1976.

#412 1998 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion Edition Jermaine Allensworth
Aside from the gold text that spells out Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jermaine Allensworth's name, nothing else about this card reads "Gold Medallion Edition." Perhaps changing the parallel name to silver or creating a background that featured more gold would help the cause, especially since one of the Pirates' team colors is gold as well.

#413 2016 Topps Heritage Michael Pineda
A former pitcher for the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, Pineda hasn't pitched since 2017 due to a right UCL injury back in February of last year. Now 30 years old and pitching for the Minnesota Twins, Pineda will provide a much-needed veteran presence for a team that underperformed last year and is under new management in 2019.

#414 2011 Topps Jose Molina
Action shots like the one above of Jose Molina are just some of the many photographs that made 2011 Topps an extremely special Flagship set. The set featured different styles and images that we haven't really seen in a modern base set before or since. Aside from the colorful 2015 Flagship product, 2011 Topps ranks as the best Topps base set of the decade.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Extension Season

The last couple of weeks have entailed nothing short of pure madness, and I'm not talking about the College Basketball tournament. An unprecedented number of contract extensions have been signed throughout the MLB, totaling well over $1 billion dollars in guaranteed money.

Although the major spike in contract extensions began roughly a week ago, the first significant deal took place back in November when Clayton Kershaw signed an extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Since then, around a dozen notable players have signed contract extensions, including Kyle Hendricks and Jacob DeGrom who agreed to deals earlier today. This post isn't designed to address the pros and cons of extensions in general, but I still believe that signing a contract extension is typically a better option than signing with a brand new team.

Undoubtedly, the most surprising and notable contract extension of the offseason was Mike Trout's historic 12-year deal with the Angels, worth $426 million dollars. 

I'm not saying that he's destined to perform better than Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but Trout's contract will set him up for success more so than the other two and their massive deals.

Today, I'll be doing a quick recap of the most striking contract extensions from this year's MLB offseason. Not only will I (briefly) mention the years and the dollars, but I'll also predict whether these deals will help or hinder both the team and the players who agreed to the following extensions.

Player; Eloy Jimenez
Contract; 6 years $43 million
Despite never having played a game in the major leagues, the White Sox extended top prospect Eloy Jimenez on a 6-year, $43 million dollar deal. This will keep the #3 prospect in Baseball in Chicago through the 2026 season when he'll be earning upwards of $18 million dollars in that year alone.

If I were the White Sox, I'd spend my money extending Jose Abreu instead, for he's going to be a free agent after this season. Since Jimenez hasn't played in the majors yet, there's no guarantee that he'll make it. If he doesn't pan out the way Chicago wants him to, the White Sox are going to be in big trouble.

Player; Kyle Hendricks
Contract; 4 years, $55.5 million
Since his debut back in 2014, Hendricks has established himself as a reliable starter as well as a Cy Young award candidate back in 2016. Now, at the age of 29, Hendricks gets to remain a Chicago Cub while getting the contract he deserves.

Hendricks will be earning roughly $14 million dollars per year which is reasonable considering that he's a consistent performer. His 3.07 ERA and just 2 walks per 9 innings prove that the Cubs made the right choice by extending a key member of their rotation on a low-risk contract with the possibility of a high reward. 

Player; Justin Verlander
Contract; 2 years $66 million
Verlander's 2-year $66 million dollar extension plays it safe when it comes to years, but it promises the 36-year old a record amount of money. At the same time, there's not much doubt in my mind that Verlander has earned every last penny.

The 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP award winner has reinvented himself since joining the Houston Astros in 2017. His 2.32 ERA since becoming a member of the Astros says it all; Verlander is pitching better than he has in years while being 7 years older than the average member of his team.

He may begin to regress a little bit over the next 2 seasons, but his possible decline shouldn't be anything too major that'll cause his extension to seem like a mistake. 

Player; Clayton Kershaw
Contract; 3 years $93 million
Clayton Kershaw is undeniably the greatest pitcher of this generation and has been for a number of years. That's part of the reason why it's practical for the 31-year old to continue playing in Los Angeles for another few seasons.

He's been susceptible to injuries over the course of his career, so Kershaw signing a deal for only 3 years is understandable. My only hope is that he stays healthy over the next few seasons and merits another contract extensions once this one expires. As a whole, however, this deal is wise for both sides involved.

Player; Blake Snell
Contract; 5 years $50 million
For the Rays, extending the reigning AL Cy Young award winner was a top priority going into the offseason. The fact that they'll be paying him just $10 million per year proves how badly Snell wanted to return to Tampa Bay, for he could've definitely gotten more once he hits free agency.

Yet, at the same time, the $50 million for 5 years is reasonable given that he's only had 1 phenomenal season. If Snell can continue his dominant ways for years to come, a larger extension may be in store for the 26-year old. 

Player; Alex Bregman
Contract; 6 years $100 million
Just like Blake Snell, Astros 3rd baseman Alex Bregman is coming off a breakout season in which he finished 5th in the AL MVP race, though he arguably should've been higher. Still, the 24-year old made a wise decision by cashing in and signing a $100 million dollar extension with the Astros.

Unlike some of the previous extensions, I can't say that I'm worried about Bregman's deal. He's incredibly young, yet he's proven to be a consistent hitter (.284 AVG in 2017, .286 in 2018). Not only that, but he's playing for one of the best teams in Baseball and has a ton of talented players around him that want to see him succeed. 

Player; Paul Goldschmidt
Contract; 5 years $130 million
I must admit; I'm more skeptical of this contract extension than any of the others. It's a sensible deal for the Cardinals who gave up a lot to acquire Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks in the first place. However, it's incredibly risky to commit to St. Louis for 5 years when Goldschmidt's never played a game for the Cardinals before.

He may have consistency going for him, but only time will tell if the 31-year old made the right decision in signing this extension with the Cardinals. Granted, he's cashing in on roughly $26 million dollars per year, but he can't know for certain if he'll like St. Louis until he officially starts playing for the Cardinals.

Player; Nolan Arenado
Contract; 8 years $260 million
One of the top 10 best players in all of Baseball, Rockies 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado has a lot going for him. He's only 27, his defense is superb, and he can hit for power and contact. Clearly, the Rockies saw his potential when they signed him to a massive extension from which he'll earn around $32 million dollars a year.

While 8 years is undoubtedly a long time, Arenado has proven his consistency over the last few seasons. Taking this extension into account, he's bound to take home an MVP award as he spends almost an entire additional decade in Colorado.

Player; Jacob DeGrom
Contract; 5 years $137 million
I certainly wasn't shocked earlier today when news broke that DeGrom had signed a 5-year $137 million dollar extension with the Mets. After putting up unfathomable stats in 2018, DeGrom should be the #1 priority for New York, and it's great to see them treating him as such.

Although the 30-year old has had minor struggles when it comes to injuries, DeGrom's career 2.67 ERA speaks for itself. Even if he only performs half as well as he did in 2018 over the 5 years, this extension will have been a success.

Player; Chris Sale
Contract; 5 years $145 million
Red Sox owner John Henry (finally) admitted that ownership dropped the ball when Jon Lester entered free agency in the prime of his career a few years ago. Thankfully, the Red Sox made certain that the same thing would not happen to superstar pitcher Chris Sale. 

Obviously, I'm ecstatic about the deal, and I've been anticipating the right time to talk about it. Chris Sale will turn 30 in just a few days and is primed for a Cy Young award at some point soon. He's put up stellar numbers since joining the Red Sox in 2017, and I don't see why this extension would change anything.

Player; Mike Trout
Contract; 12 years $430 million
Let me make this very clear; Mike Trout is worth every penny of his 12-year $430 million dollar extension, the largest contract in North American sports history. In addition to being extraordinarily humble, he's on pace to be one of the greatest hitters this game has ever seen. It would've been foolish for the Angels to let him go.

So what, he probably won't win a ring in Los Angeles. Do you think a 2-time AL MVP award winner and a 4-time runner-up cares? He's only 27 years old, yet he's already established himself as a future Hall of Famer. The consistent stat lines along with power, speed, defense, and sheer hitting have helped to establish Trout as Baseball's best player for many years now.

Thankfully, he was able to receive his well-deserved extension.