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Thread: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    http://www.springtraining09.com/feat...base.php#below

    For this exercise I only considered current contracts (so Mike Hampton's eight-year, $121MM deal is out). Also, there are some lousy deals that were worth less than $15MM total that I chose to leave out. 2006 was a black hole for free agent contracts. Continue reading for the full list of the the 45 worst contracts, organized by team.

    * Gary Matthews Jr., Angels. Five years, $50MM ($10MM per year). Signed in November of 2006. The Halos were enticed by Matthews' career year, but at least they've acknowledged their mistake by reducing his role.

    * Carlos Lee, Astros. Six years, $100MM ($16.66MM per year). Signed in November of 2006. This backloaded deal pays Lee $18.5MM per year over the last four years. We've yet to see the worst of it.

    * Eric Chavez, A's. Six years, $66MM ($11MM per year). Signed in March of 2004. File this one under, "seemed like a good idea at the time."

    * Vernon Wells, Blue Jays. Seven years, $126MM ($18MM per year). Signed in December of 2006. Wells has a full no-trade clause and the deal is heavily backloaded in the last four years. He could still turn things around somewhat if he stays healthy and his center field defense bounces back.

    * Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays. Four years, $24MM ($6MM per year). Signed in January of 2007. Overbay, Hall, and Inge all have the same contract; they're the type of players you'd rather go year-to-year with.

    * Jeff Suppan, Brewers. Four years, $42MM ($10.5MM per year). Signed in December of 2006. Another heavily backloaded deal. This one was widely panned at the time. It was presumably signed based on Suppan's nice second half and playoff work.

    * Bill Hall, Brewers. Four years, $24MM ($6MM per year). Signed in February of 2007.

    * Chris Carpenter, Cardinals. Five years, $63.5MM ($12.7MM per year). Signed in December of 2006. The Cardinals already had Carpenter under control through 2008 when they signed this deal. In the first two years he's thrown 21.3 innings.

    * Alfonso Soriano, Cubs. Eight years, $136MM ($17MM per year). Signed November of 2006. This backloaded deal includes a full no-trade clause. Jim Hendry bought high on Soriano; he's dealt with injuries as a Cub.

    * Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs. Four years, $48MM ($12MM per year). Signed December of 2007. I can't lie - I liked this deal when it was signed. The Padres and White Sox offered similar amounts.

    * Eric Byrnes, D'Backs. Three years, $30MM ($10MM per year). Signed August of 2007. Former D'Backs CEO Jeff Moorad is responsible for this one, which was not well-received at the time.

    * Jason Schmidt, Dodgers. Three years, $47MM ($15.66MM per year). Signed December of 2006. The Dodgers knew of Schmidt's partially torn rotator cuff before they signed him.

    * Juan Pierre, Dodgers. Five years, $44MM ($8.8MM per year). Signed November of 2006.

    * Barry Zito, Giants. Seven years, $126MM ($18MM per year). Signed December of 2006, full no-trade clause. Probably the worst contract on the list.

    * Aaron Rowand, Giants. Five years, $60MM ($12MM per year). Signed December of 2007. He's a useful player, but the price is wrong.

    * Edgar Renteria, Giants. Two years, $18.5MM ($9.25MM per year). Signed December of 2008. Signed before the bottom fell out of the market.

    * Dave Roberts, Giants. Three years, $18MM ($6MM per year). Signed December of 2006.

    * Jake Westbrook, Indians. Three years, $33MM ($11MM per year). Signed April of 2007. The Tribe already had Westbrook under contract for '07. Hindsight is 20/20, so Westbrook and his Tommy John'd elbow make the list.

    * Travis Hafner, Indians. Four years, $57MM ($14.25MM per year). Signed July of 2007.

    * Carlos Silva, Mariners. Four years, $48MM ($12MM per year). Signed December of 2007. Silva raised the bar for mediocre starters with this deal, but the market corrected itself in 2008.

    * Miguel Batista, Mariners. Three years, $25MM ($8.33MM per year). Signed December of 2006.

    * Kenji Johjima, Mariners. Three years, $24MM ($8MM per year). Signed April of 2008. Ownership-mandated - we'll let Bill Bavasi off the hook.

    * Luis Castillo, Mets. Four years, $25MM ($6.25MM per year). Signed November of 2007. Castillo didn't play much worse than most would've anticipated in 2008.

    * Austin Kearns, Nationals. Three years, $17.5MM ($5.83MM per year). Signed January of 2007. He was coming off a respectable 2006 season.

    * Nick Johnson, Nationals. Three years, $16.5MM ($5.5MM per year). Signed March of 2006. The Nats already had him under control for '06, which turned out to be his best year.

    * Danys Baez, Orioles. Three years, $19MM ($6.33MM per year). Signed November of 2006. The worst of the Orioles' ill-fated relief signings of '06.

    * Adam Eaton, Orioles. Three years, $24.51MM ($8.17MM per year). Signed by Phillies, November of 2006.

    * Michael Young, Rangers. Five years, $62MM in present day value ($12.4MM per year). Signed March of 2007. The Rangers have fielded offers on Young and found no takers.

    * Kevin Millwood, Rangers. Five years, $60MM ($12MM per year). Signed December of 2005 coming off a career year.

    * Andruw Jones, Rangers. Two years, $36.2 ($18.1MM per year). Signed in December of 2007 by Dodgers. Jones was so bad, the Dodgers paid him to go away.

    * Francisco Cordero, Reds. Four years, $46MM ($11.5MM per year). Signed November of 2007. It's hard to understand why the Reds decided to use their limited resources this way.

    * Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Four years, $27.5MM ($6.875MM per year). Signed by Orioles, December of 2005.

    * Julio Lugo, Red Sox. Four years, $36MM ($9MM per year). Signed December of 2006. Another Red Sox shortstop bites the dust.

    * Todd Helton, Rockies. Nine years, $141.5MM ($15.72MM per year). Signed March of 2001. This beast runs through 2011.

    * Jose Guillen, Royals. Three years, $36MM ($12MM per year). Signed December of 2007.

    * Gary Sheffield, Tigers. Two years, $28MM ($14MM per year). Signed November of 2006 as part of trade from Yankees.

    * Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers. Four years, $38MM ($9.5MM per year). Signed December of 2006.

    * Dontrelle Willis, Tigers. Three years, $29MM ($9.66MM per year). Signed December of 2007. Dave Dombrowski has made many shrewd deals but his recent extensions have hurt the team.

    * Nate Robertson, Tigers. Three years, $21.25MM ($7.08MM per year). Signed January of 2008.

    * Brandon Inge, Tigers. Four years, $24MM ($6MM per year). Signed December of 2006.

    * Michael Cuddyer, Twins. Three years, $24MM ($8MM per year). Signed January of 2008.

    * A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox. Three years, $18.35MM ($6.12MM per year). Signed October of 2007. The Sox already had him under contract through '08.

    * Jorge Posada, Yankees. Four years, $52MM ($13MM per year). Signed November of 2007.

    * Hideki Matsui, Yankees. Four years, $52MM ($13MM per year). Signed November of 2005.

    * Kei Igawa, Yankees. Five years, $46MM ($9.2MM per year). Signed in December of '06, this was a clear and poorly thought-out response to Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka signing.

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    Next Year redsbuckeye's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Some of those are particularly baffling, even considering a "what they knew then approach". Especially Schmidt and Suppan.

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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Interesting read, I would like to see the flip side of big money contracts that turned out to be really good. My guess it would be a lot shorter.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    I'd like to see that list whittled down to the top 10, or even top 20. No player making 6 million a year should be on the "Worst Contract in Baseball" list...thats chump change these days.

    Bill Hall for 6 Million a year...a below average contract...but not worthy of this list.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Bavasi was #2 in the bidding wars for both Schmidt and Zito. He won the Batista and Silva bidding wars.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Bavasi was #2 in the bidding wars for both Schmidt and Zito. He won the Batista and Silva bidding wars.
    Ownership has a lot to do with pursuing big $$$ free agents -- Seattle also spends more than most on international free agents, from 16-year olds to Ichiro. Highly doubtful that Bavasi was the only guy in the Seattle braintrust pushing for spending on starters, and that place has always had a somewhat complex decision-making process that goes beyond the GM. I think it's disingenuous for a Mariners fan to put the blame at his door alone.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I think it's disingenuous for a Mariners fan to put the blame at his door alone.
    I don't. It doesn't even rise to the level of the d in disingenuous.

    Bavasi has a long track record in Seattle on both big and small transactions and these are "poster boy" examples of the "Ms" MO with him at the helm.

    If we were talking about the Johjima extension...maybe a case could be made for meddling.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Lots of folks here wanted Zito.

    Rojo rule #1: No long-terms to catchers and soft-tossers.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    Lots of folks here wanted Zito.

    Rojo rule #1: No long-terms to catchers and soft-tossers.
    Not everyone though....

    This is a sincere question: by what metrics is he a worthy of being one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball? Guys often get paid for what they have done in the past but really, its important to value them for what they'll do over the course of their contract. Clearly Zito of the last three years isn't the same guy as the Zito of his first three seasons. He stills eats innings and his ERAs look good but his peripherals are getting pretty scary-especially for someone reportedly demanding 6-7 years at $15M per. Basically, his xFIPS have been steadily climbing, his K/G has been trending downward and his BB/G has been trending up. The latter two are death knells for a guy with flyball tendencies (in any park). Right now xFIP is generally excepted as the best predictor of future performance for a pitcher. Zito's last year was an icky 5.46 (mlb average for starters was: 4.60). Importantly, Zito hasn't been above average relative to the league for the last three seasons using xFIP as an indicator.

    So, IMHO, its a scary proposition to commit so much for so long to a guy whose peripherals seem to scream will be in a decline phase from day one of the contract. Intangibles be damned when talking about that kind of money.

    I'd much rather use a stop gap like Lohse and hope Homer can be ready by August. I mean even if Zito gives you two solid years, what will you do for the final 4-5??? There is the potential that you'll have an even more expensive facsimile of Milton that can't be traded away. Truthfully, I'm not convinced that a good version of Zito in '07 puts the Reds into the playoffs.

    Frankly, given the insane market for the mediocre crop of FA arms this year, I would've spent what money I had earmarked for FAs by loading up on offense and defense.

    Anyways that's the world according to me....
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    The Dontrelle Willis signing becomes more mind-numbingly stupid by the day. When he was signed to that contract, there was clearly something wrong with him. And for the Tigers to ignore that is just pure idiocy.

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    Next Year redsbuckeye's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    Lots of folks here wanted Zito.

    Rojo rule #1: No long-terms to catchers and soft-tossers.
    I don't fault the Zito contract too much. Yes there was some writing on the wall at the time it was signed and it was a lot of money to throw around when it could have been shorter, but at the same time it wasn't the smack facepalm "durrrr" signing that some of the others were.

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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by redsbuckeye View Post
    I don't fault the Zito contract too much. Yes there was some writing on the wall at the time it was signed and it was a lot of money to throw around when it could have been shorter, but at the same time it wasn't the smack facepalm "durrrr" signing that some of the others were.

    I disagree. Many,many posters here saw that Zito was free-falling at the time.

    His problems were actually expected.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    I disagree. Many,many posters here saw that Zito was free-falling at the time.

    His problems were actually expected.
    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showp...9&postcount=53
    7 years to a pitcher is Wayne Garland stupid, Mark Davis moronic and Kevin Brownesque in its weight.

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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by redsbuckeye View Post
    but at the same time it wasn't the smack facepalm "durrrr" signing that some of the others were.
    It was to me.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Worst Contracts In Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    The Dontrelle Willis signing becomes more mind-numbingly stupid by the day. When he was signed to that contract, there was clearly something wrong with him. And for the Tigers to ignore that is just pure idiocy.
    http://baseballmusings.com/
    Dontrelle Willis returns to the majors this evening as the Tigers face Glen Perkins and the Twins. Is Willis really ready? In 12 2/3 innings at AAA he gave up 12 hits, walked six and struck out eight. I donít believe that bodes well for him. Perkins has been the anchor of the Twins starters this season. Glen issued eight walks the entire season, spanning 41 innings.


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