Sunday was a big day for the New York Yankees as they successfully inked a player to a contract extension for the first time in years. Though it was only one contract, expect a decrease in the number of Yankees who hit the free agent market. Here are three under-the-radar Yankees who could be extended within the next few seasons:
Though it’s a long shot and he hasn’t played a single game in the big leagues, the utility infielder has the potential to play his way into the Yankees long term plans. Anna, who hit .331/.410/.482 in 2013 with Triple-A Tuscon, will likely break camp with the big league club and may play a key role pending the performances of Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson.
If Anna performs at an extremely high level, he could potentially play his way into an extension negotiation.
It’s true that he’s unproven but the trends show that teams are locking up their young talent before they hit free agency.
Pineda is more of a possibility than Anna as he has a successful Major League season under his belt, though that season came in 2011 as a member of the Seattle Mariners.
He was an All-Star in 2011, going 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and struck out 173 batters in 171 innings pitched.
If Pineda can pull off a 2014 season that is at all similar to his 2011 campaign and possibly another in 2015, he may be a potential candidate for an extension before he hits free agency in 2016.
Ivan Nova is a likely candidate for an extension, as two of his three Major League seasons have been successful. His rookie season, 2011, was one in which he went 16-4 with a solid 3.70 ERA.
2012 was a tough year for Nova, as his ERA jumped to 5.02, while he also allowed 28 home runs with opponents hitting .284 against him.
Last season was easily Nova’s best. After an early season trip to the minors, Nova became a man on a mission. He finished the season with a 9-6 record, a 3.10 ERA, and a solid ground ball percentage of 53.5%.
Nova looks primed for a breakout season and possibly a new contract.