Arizona finalizes $51.5 million deal with Upton

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This afternoon the Diamondbacks officially announced their six-year, $51.5 million deal with Justin Upton. Here are the year-by-year salaries:
Signing Bonus – $1.25 million
2010 – $500,000
2011 – $4.25 million
2012 – $6.75 million
2013 – $9.75 million
2014 – $14.25 million
2015 – $14.5 million
Essentially the Diamondbacks have pre-paid around $21 million for Upton’s three seasons of arbitration and then bought out his first two seasons of free agency for about $30 million.
Obviously handing a 22-year-old over $50 million is plenty risky, but Upton is a truly elite, Hall of Fame-caliber talent and if he continues to develop as expected the ability to pay him $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015 when he would have otherwise been a free agent will be a huge bargain.
In fact, barring a radical change in player salaries, a $14 million paycheck probably won’t even place Upton among the 30 or 40 highest-paid players come 2014/2015.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.