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Crowdsourcing Jason Heyward's next contract

There are many estimates at Jason Heyward's next contract. This is another one.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Heyward is going to sign a new contract for a lot of money. Hopefully that contract is with the Cardinals as it would be a big loss to the team if Heyward signed elsewhere. Some estimates have been made about Jason Heyward's worth over the course of his next contract. Cliff Corcoran at Sports Illustrated recently estimated Heyward's worth at over $300 million dollars.

However you slice it, Heyward seems likely to be worth $300 million over the next decade. That makes him both the most expensive player on this off-season's free-agent market and one of its best bargains, given that most projections suggest he'll sign for closer to $200 million.

I conducted my own analysis earlier in the offseason at FanGraphs and reached a somewhat similar conclusion.

The numbers may seem outrageous, but MLB revenues have been rising at very high rates, and there is so rarely a player of Heyward's caliber and age that the market will likely have a difficult time finding a consensus. Heyward's defense and lack of power has the potential to confound, but stripping away the defense, we still see an incredibly valuable player with the potential to maintain or even improve his production.

These figures are of course at the high end and predictions of value, not the actual size of the contract. There have been many predictions heading into free agency and then tend to come in significantly less for Heyward. Jeff Passaan at Yahoo called Heyward "not $200 million great". Jon Heyman at CBS Sports predicted 9 years and $180 million for Heyward, ranking him behind Chris Davis. Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors predicted 10 years and $200 million to the Yankees, while Dave Cameron at FanGraphs predicted 9 years, $195 million with an opt-out to return to the Cardinals.

All of the predictions above were made by individuals, and although they are generally made by individuals with a decent amount of knowledge, sometimes it is better to survey a larger group to see what they think. FanGraphs does this before every offseason, and the results for Jason Heyward were hardly surprising. Jason Heyward finished with the second-highest salary figures to David Price, who the crowd undershot by about $20 million. The crowd came much closer to the Cardinals final offer of $190 million for Price.

As for Jason Heyward, the crowd came in at a fairly reasonable level:

Median Years: 8

Median AAV: $23 million

Total: $184 million

Average Years: 7.7

Average AAV: $22.7 million

Total: $174.7 million

If that is what it ends up taking to sign Jason Heyward, and it is the Cardinals who sign him, many celebrations will ensue in this corner of the internet.

As many of you know, I recently put out a request for writing applications at VEB. I asked a series of questions designed to help me make my decision, and I am happy to report we will be bringing a few more writers on board to help carry the load in the near future. I bring this up not to make any announcements of sorts, but to add that one of the questions I asked was how much money the applicant would offer Heyward over how many years. I had not initially planned to make these figures public, but I received a few requests for the information so will be sharing the results.

We received around 100 applications for writing positions, and of those, I was able to get answers on the Heyward question from 81 people. This set of data is somewhat prone to bias as it represents Cardinals fans, many of whom are trying to impress me, a known Heyward enthusiast. That said, many of the potentially highest amounts were not actually figures as I received the following answers:

  • $1 more than everyone else
  • All of it.
  • All of the money.
  • Scrooge McDuck money
  • all of it
  • All of the money.
  • (Many/ Much)
  • How big is the dump truck?
Regretfully, I was unable to hire all of these people on the spot. For the 81 responses I was able to take, the highest amount was 10 years and $280 million. Nobody went over 10 years on the contract. The highest average annual value was $29.2 million by someone suggesting a six-year, $175 million contract. The lowest amount by total dollars was $120 million with two people saying six years and one person offering five years. Only three people had the average annual value below $20 million with one contract at $18 million over seven years, one with the same price over eight years, and one offering 9 years and $175 million. While I value Heyward very highly, I'm not sure any of the suggested contracts are out of the realms of sanity.

Here are the totals:

Median Years: 8

Median AAV: $22.5 million

Total: $184 million

Average Years: 8.0

Average AAV: $22.9 million

Total: $182.7 million

These numbers are almost mirror images of the FanGraphs numbers indicating the crowd here is similar to the one there or that there is a general consensus of how much are certain segment of the public feels Jason Heyward should be offered/will receive on the free agent market.

Realizing that not everyone got to have their say, I have created a poll below.