In each of the last three months, a young National League first baseman signed a contract of five years or longer which covers all of his arbitration years and at least one potential free agent season on the back end.
First up was the most experienced of the three. Allen Craig of the St. Louis Cardinals has roughly one more year of Major League service time than the others. During spring training, the 28-year-old agreed to a five-year, $31 million deal that covers 2013-2017. There is also a club option for 2018.
Next was Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt. The five-year contract for the 25-year-old is for $32 million. Though it covers 2014-2018 in calendar years, in terms of service time, they are the same five career years as Craig – first year prior to arbitration, three arb years and the first free agent-eligible season. There is also a comparable option for a sixth year. Goldschmidt played most of 2012 in the majors, posting an .850 OPS, 20 home runs and 82 RBI in 145 games.