Re: Would it be smart to sign Bruce to an 8 year deal?
The sooner you lock him up, the cheaper his FA seasons are bought out.
Your not going to someone about to enter arbitration and try to lock him up for cheap. By then the player knows what he's worth, and will wait 3 seasons to become a FA.
If you lock him up when he has 3 seasons at 500K, but instead pay like 500K/1M/1.5M, then add on cheap arb years like 4.5/6/9, then add 2-3 options years like 14/16/18, then he's set for life without even playing a full season.
Going back to waiting after 3 years... Bruce will get about 8+M his 1st year as arb, and prob 15M by the last year. You might be able to buy out like 7/10/13, then those option years won't look as good.
You need to sign these once in a generation type players ASAP no matter what and for as long as possible.