Long-Term Contracts Shouldn’t Be the Future for the MLB and Here’s Why


Zane Woods

With the baseball season around the corner and spring training already underway, baseball contracts have come into the spotlight recently. Just this offseason there were five players who signed a contract with their new team for seven or more years. These long-term contracts have come into scrutiny recently for a lot of different reasons. I believe that they are too long, considering that by the time the contract ends the player will either have gone through injuries, reducing their play time, or the players will be discouraged from trying their best for the team because they know they are going to get paid for years to come.

The most obvious issue with these long term contracts is the risk for the team. The Yankees are paying Aaron Judge $360 million over the next nine years. Yes, Judge is one of the best players in baseball we have seen in recent years, but what happens if Judge gets injured. This could be a disaster for the Yankees if it doesn’t work out. It will screw them up financially for years to come.
The Yankees have already dealt with an issue like this when they signed Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven year $153 million contract and he dealt with injuries throughout his entire tenure as a Yankee. So much so that in 2019 they released him from the team.

There is also the issue of age when it comes to a long term contract. This offseason, Trea Turner signed an eleven year $300 million contract with the Phillies. One of the biggest aspects of his game is his speed. As he continues to age, he won’t be as fast. This is a risk the Phillies were willing to take because of his excellent hitting ability. Turner will be with the Phillies for eleven years, he will be 41 when his contract ends. Forty-one years old aren’t as good of ballplayers as they are when they are 24.

Another issue about long-term contracts is the players not trying as hard. The players already have their paycheck locked up over the next seven plus years and they might not be too motivated to perform. Players usually play well when they’re young because they know if they prove themselves they can earn a good paycheck.

In conclusion, long-term contracts might seem like a good idea for a team. You get a one of a kind talent for years to come for the fans to look forward to. But the long-term contracts give teams no flexibility and it could end up hurting the team in the end.