Mariners Sign J.PBaseball 

Mariners Sign J.P. Crawford To Extension

The Mariners have officially announced a contract extension with shortstop J.P. Crawford, which reportedly adds on four additional years and $46.15MM in new money.  Crawford, who is now signed through 2026, is represented by Wasserman.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal, worth $51MM in total, starts this year and buys out two free agent seasons.  Crawford had already agreed to a $4.85MM contract for 2022.  Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has the financial breakdown of the new contract.  Jon Heyman of the New York Post notes that the deal does not contain option years and provides details on no-trade provisions.

Crawford, 27, was drafted 16th overall by the Phillies out of high school back in 2013.  He was traded to the Mariners with Carlos Santana in December 2018 in a deal that sent Jean Segura to Philadelphia.

Crawford has served as the Mariners’ starting shortstop since that trade.  Defense is Crawford’s calling card, as he landed a Gold Glove for his work in the shortened 2020 season.  In the 2021 Fielding Bible Awards voting, Crawford ranked sixth.  He didn’t particularly shine in Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric in ’21, but rated well there in ’20.  Crawford did rank seventh among shortstops last year in defensive runs saved.

With the bat, Crawford has steadily ascended to become above average, with a 103 wRC+ in 687 plate appearances last year.  That led to a career-best 3.1 FanGraphs WAR, though on a pro-rated basis Crawford was also close to that mark in 2020.  Back in November, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto made it clear that Crawford would be the team’s starting shortstop for 2022, regardless of who the team ended up pursuing in free agency.

Now, Dipoto has locked up Crawford through the 2026 season.  Dipoto said in a statement Friday, “J.P. brings excellent defense at a critical position, in addition to solid on-base skills and a penchant for delivering in the big moment.  He’s an incredibly competitive player who has become an integral part of our team, both on the field and in the clubhouse.”

Crawford represents the sixth Mariners player under contract beyond 2022, joining Robbie Ray, Eugenio Suarez, Marco Gonzales, Evan White, and Andres Munoz.  The club has about $80MM in commitments for 2023.

It’s been a while since a somewhat glove-first, lower power position player in the three year service bracket signed a contract extension.  Back in January 2016, Dee Strange-Gordon signed a five-year, $50MM deal with the Marlins.

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