3 reasons why the Cardinals need to sign Jordan Walker to this extension right now
Jordan Walker has the character and personality to handle a long-term commitment so early
Yes, there are some cases where these mega-deals to young players go sideways. While I am confident that Tatis Jr. will remain a star in the league, his actions over the last few seasons have brought into question his mega-extension for many. But when you look at the list of players who got really big extensions at such a young age, you can see a correlation between the success of the deal and something beyond their talent on the field: their character.
By all accounts, no matter who you talk to within the Cardinals organization or those who have gotten to cover Walker, the 20-year-old is wise beyond his years and has the maturity needed to succeed in today's game. Walker is one of the last people you'd ever expect to get into any kind of trouble. He's the kind of player who just loves to play baseball and is going to work day in and day out to be the best he can be, no matter what his contract status is.
Something to note with him getting a deal so early too. This isn't a case of a 31-year-old getting a ten-year mega deal and having to worry about his motivation when he hits his late 30s. Say Walker gets even an 8-year deal, he'd be in line for another massive deal after this contract if he continues to work hard and produces during these years. Having that next carrot on the stick is helpful motivation for any player, even one like Walker who really doesn't need it.
If I were in the front office, I'd love to get Walker locked up sooner rather than later. If that's midseason or after the 2023 campaign, that makes sense too. Walker is on the cusp of stardom, and I'd get out ahead of any contracts before that number rises significantly.