If he keeps playing like this, Yasiel Puig will earn much more than $42 million

Part of the wonder surrounding Yasiel Puig is that what looked like a risky contract – seven years, $42 million for a mostly unscouted amateur – now looks like a bargain.

But if Puig even keeps up a semblance of his current performance, that bargain isn’t going to last for long.

After Puig earns three years of service time (at this rate, following the 2016 season, because the Dodgers called him up in June), he can opt out of his current deal and enter the arbitration process. And if you’ve paid any attention to Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw or even Chad Billingsley or Andre Ethier, you know what that means.

Year Kemp Kershaw Ethier Billingsley Puig
1 $383,000 $404,000 $387,500 $384,500 $2 million
2 $406,000 $440,000 $424,500 $415,000 $2 million
3 $467,000 $500,000 $3.1 million $475,000 $2 million
4 $4 million $7.5 million $5.5 million $3.85 million $4.5 million
5 $6.95 million $11 million $9.25 million $6.275 million $5.5 million*
6 $10 million $18 million? $10.95 million $9 million $6.5 million*
7 $20 million $24 million? $13.5 million $11 million $7.5 million*
Bonuses $2 million $3 million     $12 million
Total $42.206 million $64.844 million? $43.112 million $31.3 million $42 million*

*can opt out and seek arbitration
Note: Puig was guaranteed $2 million in his first year, regardless of whether he played in the majors. Ethier was called up early enough in his rookie campaign to start his arbitration clock sooner.

Although you’ll see Billingsley is currently slated to earn less than Puig over his first seven years, he still has a higher total during the arbitration-eligible seasons than Puig would have without opting out.

Meanwhile, if he can post .850-ish OPSes like Ethier did in his arbitration years, Puig will probably add at least another $15 million to his bank account. Any Kemp-like MVP-caliber seasons from 2016 on will push Puig even higher.

And if Puig continues to be otherworldly like a Kershaw – except one who plays every day – look out.

Of course, whatever the extra dollars are, the Dodgers and their fans will gladly accept the consequences of Puig being a star, as long as he’s a star for them.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you mean he’d have three years after 2015, not 2016? If he gets credited for the full 2013 year, three years would be 2015…

  • Anonymous

    If he gets credited for the full 2013 year, three years would be after 2015.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    I’m almost sure Puig won’t have enough service time for 2013 to count for his first full year. The salary he’s getting is irrelevant.

  • Anonymous

    Hard to understand why he gets to be arbitration eligible during the contract. The fact that he’s from outside the draft system allowed him to basically be a free agent. But then after he signs he has the benefit of opting out for arbitration? That seems awfully one -sided to the benefit of the player and against the team. Is that a rule or just the negotiated deal between Puig and the Dodgers?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Why should he not have the rights every other major-leaguer has, regardless of how they were acquired? It’s not like Kuo or Ryu wouldn’t have the same rights.

      The opt-out clause was a negotiated aspect but certainly reflects this reality. There was definitely more risk for the Dodgers, but that’s what happens with a sought-after player.

      • Anonymous

        I would think he wouldn’t have the same rights because he didn’t have the same restrictions. In other words, no other 22 year old with zero service time could declare himself a free agent and sign for $47 million. I mean Matt Kemp should have free agency rights at six years but the fact that he signed as a free agent earlier means he now won’t. I would think the same principle applies to Puig. Though a fluke he gained free agency. If he chooses to sign a 7 year contract, shouldn’t that supersede service time rights just as it does for say Kemp?

        • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

          Tons of 22-year-olds with zero service time can declare themselves free agents and sign for $xx million. They’re called international players. You’re still ignoring the fact that any international player had the same rights as Puig did when he signed with the Dodgers. International players and domestic players don’t come into the MLB fold the same way. Takashi Saito, Hideo Nomo – any of these guys could have signed the same deal as Puig if it had been offered. In fact, Ryu can opt out of his contract after 2017.

          If you’re complaining that international and domestic players aren’t on the same playing field, well, that’s why there’s been a call for a global draft. But right now, it’s just not like that.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not complaining about the lack of draft, I’m questioning the difference in what happens once you sign a multi-year deal. What makes sense to me is that if an international player signs a multi-year deal, that should supersede his service time rights- just like domestic players. If Saito or Kuo sign 3-year deals and THEN get arbitration, that makes sense. But it seems that international player or not, multi year deals shouldn’t be subject to being opted out of automatically.

          • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

            It’s not automatic. It’s something they were able to negotiate.

          • Anonymous

            Ah, that was my whole misunderstanding. I’m shocked that they needed to grant him that generous concession but I certainly agree that he had the right to negotiate for it. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    And the Luis Cruz Era ends with a whimper.

    • Anonymous

      About time, but still a shame. He won our hearts last year and everyone was certainly hoping it would continue.

      • Anonymous

        He won our hearts. We gave him a pen.

        • Anonymous

          Or an all expense paid trip to beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    • Anonymous

      Cruuuuuuuuz!
      I’ll miss that.

    • Anonymous

      Will Cruz continue to be paid to the end of the year as a MLB player or does his paycheck end upon DFA? Did he have a guaranteed one year contract? Between last year and this year, he made an amount that would take an average civil servant manager quite a few more years to make.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Tonights Lineup:
    M Ellis 2B

    Puig RF

    Gonzalez 1B

    Ramirez SS

    Kemp CF

    Ethier LF

    Hairston 3B

    Federowicz C

    Capuano P

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 1h

    clubs flocking back to Tijuana to see Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez tonight, but the bets are still on Dodgers

  • Anonymous

    If the Dodgers were to have a starting outfield that played together as starters for 5+ consecutive years, who would be in that outfield and what year would the streak start?

    2015 Kemp, Ethier, Puig; 2016 Kemp, Pederson, Puig;

    Same question for the infield?

    I can’t think of an infield that might do this.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Eric Stephen ‏@truebluela 5m

    Carl Crawford, Ted Lilly to begin rehab assignments Sunday in Rancho Cucamonga http://sbn.to/12sf1fU
    Yea for CC…Boo for Tedly

    • Anonymous

      Once again begging the question of who will come off the roster when Crawford is ready next week?

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        thinking trade of JH jr or they might be stupid and send SVS down

        • Anonymous

          not stupid as his only role is on the bench

    • Anonymous

      I don’t expect meanness from you; do you boo Dodgers at games also?

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        I doubt very seriously Ted Lilly reads this blog…it was meant to mean he is toast…Once a great player it’s now time for him to retire….we don’t need him to be forcing his way onto the team and us losing one of the better pitchers or relievers in an already terrible bullpen / end of rotation…I want to win this season and TL won’t have a hand in this unless he doesn’t come back

  • Anonymous

    A good day of writing today, finally, after a great week of baseball, finally. Now I’m greedy for more of both.

  • Anonymous

    Braves just had the bases loaded, with one put, after two hits and an intentional walk given up by the D-backs pitcher. But the Braves didn’t have Puig.

    Next batter – double play. Sound familiar, from just a few weeks ago?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT