If recent reports are to be believed, it is only a matter of time before the Angels lock up Erick Aybar to a lucrative contract extension. Nothing is official yet, but reports are circling around a contract somewhere in the neighborhood of five years and $50 million for Aybar. That seems to be what Aybar is asking for, anyway. But is that what he should get?
We could debate for hours whether or not the Angels are making a smart decision to sign Aybar long-term, but that is a different topic for another time. Let's just assume that this is going to happen. What we need to figure out is what the Halos should pay him since they are going to pay him. Let's start with that five years, $50 million figure. Compared to recent extension recipient Howie Kendrick, that seems a bit steep. Howie got $33.5 million over four years, but that is somewhat misleading since the first year of the contract covers his last arbitration year. Really, he got a three-year, $27.6 million deal for his free agent years. That's an average of $9.2 million, which is obviously less than the $10 million per year Aybar is targeting. On first blush, that sounds like an overpay since Kendrick is, arguably, the superior player. However, Kendrick did take a hometown discount and plays a position where there is a deeper talent pool, so prices are suppressed a bit.