Thursday, January 31, 2013

5 of the worst contracts in the MLB

Let's cut to the chase. These are all guys who have signed massive contracts in the past few years and have not lived up to the billing, making them impossible to trade and a hugeee waste of money. Perhaps they were worthy of these deals in past seasons, but all of these players are vastly overpaid when compared with their current production and future outlook.

Vernon Wells   OF  LAA   (2 years left, owed $42 Million) 
Wells might not have the lengthy deals of other guys on this list, but no one is more undeserving of a $21 million annual salary than one Vernon Wells. Not only has his play steeply declined since being traded to the Angels, but coming into this season, he likely won't get much playing time with Trout, Hamilton, Bourjos manning the OF and Trumbo getting most of the looks at DH. This is a career .273 hitter that just batted .224 in two seasons in 750 ABs to go along with a .264 OBP. Wells hit 25 home runs in his first year as an Angel with lots of playing time and managed 11 last year in 250 ABs. Paying someone $21 million for those type of numbers should be a legitimate crime. At age 34, there is no real optimism for any sort of comeback. The Angels can't wait until his contract expires so that they can start worrying about the terrible contracts they've given Pujols and Hamilton.

Ryan Howard   1B   PHI     (4 years left, owed $104 Million) 
Howard was once worth $25 million a year when he averaged 49 home runs and 140 RBIs over a 4 year span from 2006-09. But Ryan is no longer that player with immense power and after injury last year, the 33 year old slugger looks more like a $10 million dollar a year player than $25 million a year player. Howard  hit 31 home runs in 2010 and 33 in 2011, with 110 RBIs while batting around .260 and slugging nowhere near his career average of  .551 (.460 combined in 2010-11). Solid numbers but not worth $25 million a year. With injury concerns becoming more relevant in his career and at age 33, I don't see this Subway endorser putting up the stats to merit his insane contract.

Carl Crawford    OF      LAD     (5 years left, owed $106 Million) 
Here is another guy who has been ravaged by injuries. The Redsox were so excited to sign him away from the Rays 2 years ago and now he is playing as a Dodger. That didn't last long. Crawford got the contract because he is a well-rounded baseball player, provides good defense, incendiary speed and a reliable bat (career .292 average). In his first year in Boston, Crawford didn't bring his A game, scoring just 65 runs to go with 56 RBIs, 23 walks, only 18 steals and batting .255 in 500 ABs. That's not worth $20 million a year, not even close. Last year, Crawford got hurt, but showed signs that the .255 average in the previous season was a complete fluke by batting .282 in albeit a very small showing of 117 ABs. Crawford will have a chance in LA to show whether he is still the guy that put up this stat line (110 runs, 19 homers, 90 RBIs, 47 steals and a .303 average) in the 2010 season for the Rays. At 31, he isn't really young anymore but may still have a few solid seasons in LA, probably not worth anything close to $20 million a year though.

Alex Rodriguez      3B      NYY   (5 years left, owed $119 Million) 
This one is fairly obvious. A-rod is owed around $25 million a season and will be 42 when this contract expires. A-rod has done great things in the past, but this is just not a good idea. At 37, being injured and not being able to play this year while also being linked numerous times to PEDs, A-rod is a huge waste of cash. A-rod is in perfect company on this list, an over-the-hill athlete in his 30's, has seen his production dip each of the past two years and is grossly over payed for nothing. After 7 straight seasons with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs with the Yankees, A-rod has hit a combined 34 home runs and driven in 119 runs the last 2 years. Again, not close to the value he should have as a player who is paid $20+ million a year. Yankees can't wait to get rid of this guy.

Jayson Werth       OF     WAS      (5 years left, owed $102 Million) 
Werth, 33, turned a stellar 3 year span with the Phillies, where he averaged 28 home runs, 84 RBIs and 90 runs, into a whopping 7 year, $126 million contract. Since then, Werth scored 69 runs to go with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs while also striking out a career high 160 times and ended the season with a .232 batting average. Plain and simple, Werth should never have gotten this rich a contract in the first place as he was never a star worthy player once in his career. His best seasons in Philadelphia he posted a 4.6 WAR (Wins above replacement) rating whereas an MVP candidate player would put up a WAR rating of at least 7-8. Before getting injured last year, Werth was having a decent season. At 33, there isn't much optimism that he will retain his gaudy power numbers from Philly.The Nats are pretty much stuck with this contract unless someone dumb trades for it. At least they are finally baseball contenders.

Guys who just missed: Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, Barry Zito, Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, John Lackey, Josh Hamilton, Alex Rios, Nick Markakis, and Adam Dunn.

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