The 2011 Draft Is Reshaping Major League Baseball Financially
today at 12:57 pm
The 2011 amateur draft is arguably one of the greatest in the history of Major League Baseball. There are good chances there are a handful of players from that draft class that will be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame someday, and many of the stars from that year’s class are beginning to break the bank as they enter free agency.
Soon, the 2011 draft class will be the richest in the history of any professional sport.
Consider the deals already already done (with their overall selection number):
- 1. Gerrit Cole, SP, Yankees – 9 years, $324 million
- 6. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Angels – 7 years, $245 million
- 264. Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs – 4 years, $55.5 million
Hendricks’ deal runs through the 2023 season; he could be set for another big deal in three years when his current contract expires.
On Wednesday, rumors popped up that the Los Angeles Dodgers were discussing a deal that could be up to 13 years in length and north of $380 million with Mookie Betts, who was the 172nd overall pick in the fifth round in 2011.
The following players from just the first round in 2011 are getting ready for their payday (arranged in order of career WAR according to Baseball Reference):
8. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
9. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs
11. George Springer, OF, Astros
45. Trevor Story, SS, Rockies
3. Trevor Bauer, SP, Reds
52. Blake Snell, SP, Rays
22. Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals
This list has piled up plenty of individual hardware already. Baez was the MVP of the NLCS in 2016 and the Cubs beat his friend, Lindor, and the Indians in the World Series. Springer was the World Series MVP in 2017. Snell has a Cy Young award at home. Wong has a Gold Glove Award at home. Story has been an all-star twice and has won two Silver Slugger Awards as well.
Lindor’s contract status will be a focus of conversation this season as Cleveland considers his long-term future with the organization that draft him nine years ago. Similarly, the Cubs will be looking at new deals for Baez, Kris Bryant and others in the near future. Springer and the Astros are in a similar situation to Baez and the Cubs; there are a few bats in that lineup that will need to get paid soon (Correa, Bregman).
Here are a few more who might be looking at significant contracts in the near future:
61. Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates
135. Mike Clevinger, SP, Indians
152. Tyler Glasnow, SP, Rays
201. Marcus Semien, SS, A’s
Semien, drafted by the White Sox, may be playing his final season in Oakland because he could demand above $200 million on his next deal. He was an MVP candidate last year and is on a really good A’s team.
One might predict that as many as eight of these players could break $200 million on their next contract, not including Hendricks or Betts.
All told, the 2011 MLB Draft class could eventually sign contract worth close to $3 billion.