Markus Hancock Signs Surprise Deal With Fargo

Updated: August 5, 2016

12/06/2023 – Fargo, ND.

Huge news out of Fargo, as it has now been confirmed that future hall of fame pitcher Markus Hancock has signed a three year contract with the Fargo Dinosaurs. This seems to have come out of nowhere as there were few rumors or indications that the Dinosaurs, who have not made the PEBA playoffs since the 2018 season, extended a two year offer with a third year vesting option (will vest with 13 starts made in the second year) at $25 million and $27 million in the first two years respectively with another $27 million for third year option if met. That is a lot of money for the Fargo Dinosaurs, but the short-term nature of the contract does help to reduce some of the risk.

Obviously it is worth noting that Hancock is well past his early days in the league. This deal will constitute paying him in the upper twenty millions for his age 37 and 38 years, with possibly his age 39 year in the league. For the star pitcher, who’s pitched 15+ years in the league, it will be a question of what he has left in the tank and how concerned should the Dinosaurs be with an increased chance of injury now that Hancock is nearing 40 years old through this contract. Part of what has helped Hancock compile record setting numbers through his career has been his ability to stay healthy. The longest disabled list (DL) stay was a couple seasons ago when Hancock suffered shoulder inflammation that lead to a 4 month stint on the DL. Last season, he made all of his starts without any significant injury, so hopes are high that Hancock will avoid major injury in the next couple of years. The vesting option helps the Dinosaurs mitigate some of the risk since he’ll need to make at least 13 starts in the second year of this deal to vest the third year, but ultimately we are to believe that both Hancock and the Fargo Dinosaurs would be happy if he remains healthy and productive and this turns into the potential three year deal.

What the Dinosaurs hope to get is something similar to what Hancock put up last season for the Bakersfield Bears, helping them make the playoffs. Hancock started 33 games with a 3.07 ERA in 231 2/3 IP and 199 strikeouts to only 38 walks. His WHIP (walks and hits divided by innings pitched) was 1.06, and his FIP (fielding independent pitching) was much lower than his ERA at 2.63, indicating that Hancock was perhaps better than his ERA suggested.

With Hancock now a Dinosaur, he and last season’s staff ace and Sovereign League strikeout leader, Ernesto Molina (2.90 ERA), give the team an impressive 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation heading into next season.

Steve Youngblood, Fargo Gazette