Some contracts are particularly risky. Those given to pitchers are the top example, thanks to unpredictability of arm injuries. Then there's age: the older a player gets, the bigger a risk he becomes. Players with limited track records tend to be more risky, too.
Scarily, all three of those risks apply to the subject of this post, Kris Medlen. Medlen is 27 (and thus perhaps already past his peak), has only thrown 316 MLB innings, and has already had one major arm surgery.
I wouldn't be writing this, however, if I didn't think there was a case to be made for extending Medlen. We can dismiss his obviously unsustainable ERA from 2012, but his peripherals were still fantastic (his 2.22 FIP as a starter is a half-run lower than any other starter with 30+ IP). In particular, Medlen's phenomenal walk rate (3.2% as a starter, 4.4% overall) bodes well. And it's not like this is entirely out of the blue; Medlen dominated the minors with great peripherals, too.
Braves Extension Analysis: Kris Medlen
Talking Chop | Jan 22