There is absolutely no question that the free agency period is one of the most important times in all of baseball because it is when teams truly look to shape their entire rosters. In many cases, teams sign the perfect free agent for their roster and as a result of this, find an abundance of success with them there. However, sometimes teams display too much desperation for certain players and end up overpaying them immensely. When this occurs, this sadly can lead to a lot of major financial problems for them and the player often does not reach expectations. This seems to always happen with older players as well.
With all that has been stated thus far, we will be looking at twenty MLB players that need to be bought out. There is no question that these players simply are not worth the insanely expensive contracts they hold and some even are hurting their team’s chances of winning. This definitely is not ideal and as a result of this, we likely will end up seeing many buyouts in the near future. The league is full of massive changes, so there is no question that we are going to be in for quite an exciting off-season. As these players get bought out, there will be new contracts that will have the same fate as well.
Nonetheless, let’s look at the 20 MLB players who need to be bought out!
20 Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury switched sides of the biggest rivalry in all of sports when he signed a seven year deal with the New York Yankees. This was seen as a smart move by the team because Ellsbury had just come off a fantastic year and appeared to be a five-tool player as well.
However, ever since signing this deal, Ellsbury has not been good whatsoever and now is on the bench entirely. One has to assume that the Yankees will opt to buy him out soon because of the fact that they could use the extra money to bring in way better players for their World Series hopes.
19 Rusney Castillo
The Boston Red Sox signed Rusney Castillo in hopes that he would develop into a star for them.
He was expected to have a plethora of potential and due to this fact, the Red Sox gave him a massive seven-year, $72.5 million deal during the 2014 offseason.
It is absolutely clear that this signing is one of the worst ones in the history of the MLB. Castillo was never able to develop into the player he was expected to be and has been in the minors since 2016. A buyout has to be coming in the near future because at this point, they are essentially paying him for nothing.
18 Russell Martin
Russell Martin was once a top notch player, so it makes a lot of sense that the Blue Jays gave him a deal that paid him $20 million per season. He was a huge reason behind the success of the team just a few years ago, but over the last few seasons, everything has changed.
Martin simply is not a good baseball player anymore and has seen his statistics drop off immensely each year since 2016. There is no question that at this point in time, it would be wise for the team to buy him out and use the money to help restart their rebuilding period.
17 Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera was once one of the best players in all of baseball and will definitely be a future hall of famer. However, even with this being the case, it is quite apparent that he is on the downswing of his career because of all of the injuries that he has gone through over the years.
The Tigers have an extremely challenging decision with him moving forward because he will be under contract until at least 2023, with the chance of being until 2025 as well. At the end of the day, he simply appears to have the worst contract in all of baseball, so they could look to use a buyout.
16 Yasmany Tomas
The Arizona Diamondbacks thought that they had found a long-term player for their outfield when they signed Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million deal. He definitely showed his value in 2016 when he managed to hit 31 home runs and he seemed like a long-term fix.
However, last season was a complete disaster for him and the team decided to send him down to the minors to work on his game. Since then, he has yet to make the club again and now can be deemed as one of their worst signings ever. A buyout needs to occur as soon as possible.
15 Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey was once seen as the ace of the Cincinnati Reds and the player that they would ride on to become contenders. However, the last few seasons have been truly awful. When seeing how he has a massive salary as well, one has to assume a move will have to happen.
Bailey has not been a good pitcher for a number of years now and it is definitely time for the team to move on from him at this time.
There is no question that he simply is not good anymore and they could use prospects within the system to replace him and get far better from it.
14 Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols is a future Hall of Famer and there is no question he is one of the greatest players to ever be in the league. However, once he left the Cardinals to join the Angels, his play slowly started to drop off. Now under an extremely huge contract, he is injury prone and a shell of his former self.
At the end of the day, the Angels must buy Pujols out of this contract because it is going to slow them down from being contenders anytime soon. They would save a lot of money and be able to bring in new pieces to help catch up with their division. Although a true legend, Pujols has become expendable.
13 Chris Davis
Chris Davis has easily the worst contract in all of baseball and the Orioles are seriously going to need to use a buyout with him. When seeing how he is set to make roughly $22 million each season until 2022. When seeing how his power is gone and he is on the bench, this is far from ideal.
Davis is having one of the worst seasons in MLB history and it is apparent that this can be deemed as the worst contract ever.
Davis simply is not a star like he once was and now the Orioles have to suffer the consequences. A buyout would at least stop the bleeding and criticism a bit.
12 Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward was once one of the top prospects in all of baseball and he did develop into a top notch player as well. When he hit the open market in 2015, he was paid for his skill by the Chicago Cubs with one of the biggest contracts in all of baseball. It was seen as a smart move at the time.
However, Heyward has truly lost all of his skill since coming to the Cubs and now has one of the worst contracts in all of baseball. One has to assume that the team must be looking at the potential of a buyout because at the end of the day, he is extremely overpaid and has done nothing.
11 Jordan Zimmerman
Just a few short seasons ago, Jordan Zimmerman was one of the top pitchers in the MLB. Due to this fact, the Detroit Tigers ended up giving him a monster five-year, $110 million deal before the start of the 2016 season. This definitely has backfired immensely however.
Zimmerman has just fallen off immensely over the last few seasons and never was able to live up to the expectations he was supposed to reach. It is unlikely that the team will be able to find a trade partner for him, so it is very likely that they could opt to use a buyout with him.
10 Troy Tulowitzki
Troy Tulowitzki was once the player that helped the Blue Jays get over the hump and appear to be real contenders in the MLB. However, the last few seasons have been extremely tough for him because he is seriously injured and there is no way to tell that he will ever come back.
When seeing how Tulowitzki has many more years left on his deal, it definitely is the time for the team to give up on him.
There is no question that he has been a good player in the past, but injuries have ruined his career entirely and they could use the extra money for their rebuild.
9 Ian Desmond
When the Colorado Rockies signed Ian Desmond, they had hopes that he could become their Ben Zobrist. They envisioned moving Desmond to play first base because he had been an excellent fielder in the middle part of the infield, so they thought this would be wise.
However, Desmond has been awful in the field since the move and even worse when it comes to his offensive numbers.
When seeing how his contract is set to last until 2022, this is definitely a move that will be hurting them for a long time. A buyout would be wise by them to help remedy the situation.
8 Dexter Fowler
There is absolutely no question that Dexter Fowler was an extremely important piece of the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series title. This resulted in Fowler getting a massive five-year, $82.5 million deal the off-season following it with the St. Louis Cardinals. Now, this is one of the worst deals in the league.
Fowler has lost his starting job with the team and it makes a plethora of sense when seeing how awfully he has been hitting with his .180 average. This signing has just been extremely lackluster and it definitely appears to be time for the team to administer a buyout with him,
7 Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez can definitely go down as the best pitcher to ever play for the Mariners and this is evidenced by his immense success during his prime years. However, it is very important to note that this season has shown that age has definitely caught up with him and he no longer is a star.
This is totally a normal occurrence in baseball because pitchers lose velocity as they get older. However, even with this being the case, it is extremely bad for Seattle because he is set to make $27 million next season. A buyout would make sense because there is no need to give a now bullpen guy that much money to be awful.
6 David Wright
David Wright will forever be one of the most influential players to ever wear a Mets’ jersey and it is very sad to see how everything has changed for him. There is no question that Wright definitely could have remained a star at this time, but injuries have kept him out of play since 2016.
At the end of the day, no matter how many comeback attempts he tries to make, there is no chance that he will end up back in the MLB.
Injuries have simply derailed his career and now he has an expensive contract until 2020. With all of this being said, a buyout would be a good move.
5 James Shields
James Shields has just played so poorly since being traded to the Chicago White Sox back in 2016. He has put up some of the worst numbers in modern era pitching and it is surprising to see that he still has a job at this present time. With that being stated, a change definitely is needed.
Shields has one more year left on his deal and it would be wise for the White Sox to opt to use a buyout instead. This is a pitcher who has shown that he truly has nothing left to show as a starter. Perhaps he can have a new chance in a bullpen role, but that would be a longshot.
4 Wei-Yin Chen
After having a very strong tenure with the Baltimore Orioles, Wei-Yin Chen was rewarded for his success with a big contract from the Miami Marlins. At the time of the signing, this made a lot of sense because the Marlins were looking to become contenders and needed pitching.
However, since arriving to the team, Chen has not pitched well at all and has gotten injured on numerous occasions. It is scary to think that he will be under contract until 2021, so with that being said, the Marlins should look to buyout his contract because he truly is a waste.
3 Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon is one of the most important players in the history of the Kansas City Royals because he led them to their 2015 World Series title.
Due to his contributions, he was rewarded big time by the club when they gave him a four-year, $72 million deal to avoid free agency.
However, since signing this deal, Gordon has dropped off dramatically and is a shadow of his former self on the field. He no longer is the contact hitter who would come in at clutch times. Now he is one of the worst hitters in all of baseball and a buyout could very well be looming.
2 Brandon McCarthy
Brandon McCarthy has had a pretty decent MLB career over the years, but when seeing how many injuries he has been getting, one can tell that it is coming to a close. However, it is important to note that does have one more year on his contract to try to stay with them.
When seeing how his statistics have fallen off pretty dramatically over the years, it is very likely that this will mean that he will end up being a buyout candidate this off-season. The Braves are on the rise and need to save money for their next big player. McCarthy just appears to be expendable.
1 Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy signed a pretty big five-year, $70 million deal with the Kansas City Royals before the start of the 2016 season and many thought he would be a great addition to the club. However, Kennedy would only have one decent season with the team and the rest have been awful.
Kennedy is now one of the worst pitchers in the entire league and one has to assume that a buyout should very well could occur. This is a pitcher who has truly fallen off over the last few seasons and has had an ERA above 5.00 each season. This should mark the end of his tenure.