How much would Ted Williams get paid today?

Imagine if you will the following player. 

23 years old and looking for a new contract. He’s been fairly dominant in the league in the last three seasons with over 100 HR, 250 RBI, an OPS for those three years over .950 and a WAR of over 19 for that time. In those 3 years he has over 340 games, over 450 hits and over 30 SB.  His BA is over .280 and his OBP is over .425. 

He’s young. Fired up. Ready to take the next team in his contract to the next level. 

Juan Soto turned down a contract extension this year for $440 million over 15 years. He will most likely get some insane owner to cough up $500 million over the next 15 years. Maybe even 20 years for $600 million. Scott Boras is working hard.

Search your feelings. You know this to be true. 

Ted Williams at 23 had been in the major leagues for 3 years. He had 127 HRs, 515 RBI, an OPS of 1.123, a WAR of 34.2, 586 games, 749 hits, 11 SB. His BA was .356 and his OBP was .481. 

Both players are going into 24 years of age with nothing but potential. Statistically they should most likely get better for the next 4-5 years before their bodies start to decline slowly over the next 8 years after that. 

Ted Williams at the age of 23 made $64,000 went into the military for the next 3 years during World War II, returning to play in 1946 at the age of 27. His career ended after 19 seasons but very well could have been 22. 

Today if that 23 year old Ted Williams wasn’t staring down the business end of a World War, it’s pretty reasonable that he would be pulling the first $750 million to $1 billion contract in MLB history. 

I can’t even imagine someone debating this. Look at the owners in MLB today. Look at what they have thrown money at and will be throwing money at over the course of the next few seasons. 

“Hey, cut down on the free giveaways so we can get this Ted Williams guy.”

You need to understand that he hit .406 at the age of 22. There are baseball games where an entire team is sub .260. In the season when his BA was .406 his OBP was .553. Half the time he went to the plate he ended up on base.

The best part was that he didn’t win the MVP. Joe DiMaggio won despite trailing Williams in every offensive category except at bats, hits, RBI and SB.

One. Billion. Dollars. Lock it in when Soto signs that contract extension with the Dodgers or Mets or Yankees.