Anthony Rizzo’s Extension is a Good Guide For Starling Marte

Anthony Rizzo's extension is a good guide for Starling Marte. Photo Credit: David Hague

Anthony Rizzo’s extension is a good guide for Starling Marte. Photo Credit: David Hague

On Saturday I wrote about how the Pittsburgh Pirates should extend Starling Marte, giving a price guide for a potential deal. Last night the Chicago Cubs extended first baseman Anthony Rizzo on a seven year, $41 M deal with two option years.

Coming into the season Rizzo had 0.168 years of service time. He had six years of control remaining, including 2013, and would have been a Super Two player after the 2014 season. That’s comparable to Marte, with the difference being Marte won’t be a Super Two player. The Rizzo extension covers all of his cost controlled years, plus one free agent year. It also gains control of two more free agent years with two $14.5 M club options. According to Ken Rosenthal, the total value of the deal could be nine years and $68 M if both options are exercised, and the package could go to $73 M if escalators are reached.

By comparison, I suggested the Pirates should extend Marte to a five year, $34 M deal. I wasn’t including the 2014 season in that extension, so you could say a six year, $34.5 M deal. The Cubs re-worked Rizzo’s 2013 salary, and if the Pirates took the same approach you’d be looking at the same seven year deal, with Marte being guaranteed north of $35 M (he’d probably get a signing bonus and a higher salary in his 2013-2014 seasons).

Rizzo got two $14.5 M options, which is what I was suggesting for Marte. That was based off Paul Goldschmidt, who also received a $14.5 M option for one of his free agent years. The total value of my Marte proposal would be nine years and $60 M, which is a few million shy of Rizzo’s total value. Marte should be slightly below Rizzo, since Rizzo has the Super Two benefit. I’d say he should get a few million more, probably in the form of a signing bonus and higher salaries in 2013 and 2014.

Rizzo’s deal is definitely a good guide, and is similar to the deal Goldschmidt signed (which I used as the guide for Marte). If the Pirates made a similar deal this year, I think it would look like 7 years, $38 M, and the two $14.5 M option years, which would buy out control of three of Marte’s free agent years. If the Pirates waited until after the 2013 season the price probably wouldn’t change much, although they’d be looking at a six year deal, since they wouldn’t be changing the 2013 salary.

The Cubs have a slight advantage in that Rizzo has 608 at-bats, while Marte has 313 at-bats. Both players look to be breaking out this year, so they’re in similar situations from a value standpoint. I felt the Pirates should extend Marte a few days ago, and nothing has changed on that front. The Rizzo deal just makes the Goldschmidt price guide look much stronger for a Marte deal.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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