The Texas Rangers recently signed Elvis Andrus to a $120 million, eight-year extension that will bring Andrus' overall contract to $131 million over 10 years. That's a lot of money, and Andrus might be worth it.
Why should this matter to Royals fans? It offers us a comparison to remaining five years and $20.75 million left on Alcides Escobar's contract (if all options are picked up). In short, it makes Escobar's deal look like a steal. That's the advantage of locking up players early – a staple for small-market teams like the Royals. Dayton Moore has done a great job in locking up some of the Royals young players, like Alcides Escobar; and owner David Glass has been willing to accept the inherent risk that comes when signing young players to long-term contracts.
I'm not going to blow smoke and say that Escobar is as good as Andrus, but the difference isn't THAT big (I would estimate on average about a 1 WAR difference). And 1 WAR seems to be worth $4 - $5 million.
If Andrus averages 4 WAR per year, then his worth over the next 10 years would be $160-$200 million. He'll be 34 when his contract expires, and there might be some decline towards the tail end. Even if there is some decline, the Rangers seem to have made a decent deal.
If Escobar averages 3 WAR per year, then his worth over the course of the remaining five years of his contract (including this year) would be $60 - $75 million. His contract ends when he's 31 years old, so the Royals have him signed through his prime production years. The contract looks great from a Royals standpoint, and with three potential replacements in the minors now (Adalberto Mondesi, Orlando Calixte, Humberto Arteaga), it also makes him good trade bait. Assuming there is no major regression, and no major injuries, Dayton Moore hit a home run with Alcides Escobar's contract.