With the all-star break slowly drifting further and further away, it is time to focus on what has gone right for certain teams, and what did has not gone right for certain teams. For starters we have guys who are getting paid a lot of money to produce at the level, of a player who gets paid way less than they do. There are some big name players that are struggling this season, and then there are players that are getting paid where much more than what they are actually worth.
There are contracts that are absolutely absurd, and they make you sit there and say to yourself how did he earn this contract. Many times have teams in the MLB overpaid for someone that they could have gotten on a cheaper deal, or gotten a player of the same talent that would not have cost them as much. When it comes to hitters, there are a few guys that are definitely way over paid, and their contracts are hard to get rid of. Several talented players have struggled leaving their old team to join a new one, due to their big pay day that they got for another team.
Players have good "contract years" which are when they are in their final year of their contract they play unbelievable so that they can have the upper hand when it comes to negotiations in the off season. Pitchers on the other hand are harder to find, and they tend to have big breakout years, and then once they sign their contract they just go into a shell of themselves. With that being said here are the top 15 worst MLB contracts of 2017.
15 Ubaldo Jimenez
Ubaldo Jimenez is a former ace, who is getting way too much money just because of his name. The former all-star (2010), has not been nothing special since the 2010 season, and Baltimore decided to give him a big four year contract. Nobody understands why, but then again that is baseball for you. Jimenez has not been a consistent pitcher for the past seven years especially with his current contract.
Ubaldo Jimenez is currently making $13.5 million from Baltimore, and is their fifth starter in the rotation. It also does not help the Jimenez is on the back nine of his career, and showed significant signs of slowing down. Baltimore looks to seriously regret signing Jimenez to potentially be what he once was.
With Ubaldo set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, it seems unlikely that Baltimore keeps him around, and if they do it will be at a much cheaper price.
14 Matt Wieters
Last offseason, Matt Wieters signed a 2 year $21 million contract, which is not a bad one, but he has not played up to the level that we have seen him play before. With Wieters making $10.5 million this season, and a potential $10.5 million next season as long as he does not opt out of his contract, he needs to show that he is worth it. If Wieters can stay healthy and produce at a high level this will look good for Washington, but the way he has been trending over the past three seasons does not look promising.
So far this season he has hit the ball like an average catcher, he needs to be one of the top hitting catchers in the league. Washington signed him for what he has done in the past, and not what he can do for them in the present. Look for Washington to hope that he either turns it around, or he decides to opt out and go some where else with the money that he will be asking for.
13 Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer cashed in during the 2011 offseason, as he signed a 8 year $184 million contract, which gave him an average of $23 million a year. Mauer is currently making $23 million for this season, and next season and his play has not been the same since he signed that huge extension. Mauer did play 158 games two years ago in 2015, but other than that has struggled to stay healthy year after year. He is also getting up their in age as he is currently 34 years old and has really bad knees.
Joe Mauer had to move from catcher to first base, because he had arthroscopic knee surgery in 2011, and couldn't be behind the plate anymore. Mauer's list of accomplishments speaks for themselves as he is a former AL MVP (2009), 6-time all-star, 3-time Gold Glove Winner, 3-time AL Batting Champion, and a 5-time Silver Slugger Award Winner. He has had a great career, but now that he is on the decline he should not be making anywhere near $23 million for one season.
12 Yovani Gallardo
The former ace of the Milwaukee Brewers has been struggling since he left Milwaukee. Gallardo has played for the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and now the Seattle Mariners in the three seasons that he has not played in Milwaukee. This season he has struggled so bad that he has found himself coming out of the bullpen. In Gallardo's career he always had an ERA over 3.00, but this year he has just not been able to find ways to get out of innings and his ERA is taking a hit for it.
He got his first career save this year, which is kind of impressive, but to be a starter that gets shelled as a starter, and then gets demoted to the bullpen is a slap in the face. Gallardo is making $11 million this season to be a long reliever pitcher for the Mariners. Seattle has a club option for him next season, but it does not look like he will be returning to Seattle after this season.
11 Curtis Granderson
Curtis Granderson is set to become a 36 turning 37 year old free agent after this season, and he is not earning the amount of money that he is currently making right now for his forseeable future if he even has one after this season. The rumors have been going around of a potential retirement for the 3-time all-star, and the way his play has been he could end up playing another year maybe two, but not at the amount of money he is making right now.
This season Granderson is set to make $15 million, which is a lot for an aging outfielder especially in the National League. His average is taking a serious hit this season, but he is still contributing at the plate every now and then. If Granderson wants a shot to play another year or two, he will need to definitely take less money if anybody even wants him after this season.
10 Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann is in the second year of his five year $110 million contract that he signed in the 2016 offseason, and he already looks like he is not worth the money the Tigers gave him. While having an ERA currently over 5.00 and the Tigers struggling, and looking to rebuild, Detroit looks to have put themselves in a tough spot here. Zimmermann is making $18 million this season, $24 million next season, and $25 million the two seasons after that.
To go along with the full no-trade clause that he has until the start of the 2019 season, it is one of the worst contracts that Detroit has one their books at the moment. Look for Detroit to try and eat some of that money due to the struggle he has at pitching in the American League.
9 Carlos Beltran
Carlos Beltran is looking like he will be in the last year of his MLB career, and has been an alright designated hitter so far for the Houston Astros. The only problem that I have Beltran is the overpriced contract that Houston signed him to last offseason. He signed a one year $16 million contract with the Astros, and as a 40 year old that is quite a risk.
With Beltran having good health, and fitting in Houston well enough was a risk that the Astros were willing to take and it. It has worked out, but Houston could have gotten him for cheaper in my opinion. Looking forward the 9-time all star was a good addition, so far it is working out, but the overpay that they have done for him can screw them down the stretch.
8 Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey has not lived up to what the Cincinnati Reds thought he would be. Before the start of the 2014 season, signed a 6 year $105 million contract which is absurd for a pitcher who has not posted a ERA under 3.00 in his entire career. The only highlight that Homer Bailey has in his career is that he has thrown two career no-hitters.
Homer Bailey is making $19 million this season, $21 million in 2018, $23 million in 2019, and there is a mutual option in 2020 worth $25 million. He will more than likely spend his entire career in Cincinnati, and the Reds have no idea what they got themselves into, and they have overpaid an average pitcher at best. Look for the Reds to take a look in the mirror and not overpay for average talent again.
7 Matt Cain
Matt Cain is currently making $20 million which is tough to think about. Cain has not lived up to his contract that he signed before the 2012 season, which was a 5 year $112.5 million contract. He has not had an ERA under 4.00 since the 2012 season, and he has seriously let the San Francisco Giants down. Matt Cain has been labeled as an overpriced, through the prime of his career, and has been a huge let down for the Giants.
He has a club option in 2018, and it is hard to believe that he will be in a San Francisco Giants uniform in 2018 and in the future. Cain will not get anywhere close to what he is getting paid in 2017, and he has himself to thank for that. Look for Cain to be playing if he is playing next season in a different uniform.
6 Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward looked to be one of the best outfielders for the 2010s until he signed his 8 year $184 million contract before the 2016 season. Heyward looks like he is one of the most overpaid players in the league at this moment, and is making $21.5 million for this season, and next season as well, to go along with a full no-trade clause until he has all player options from the 2019 season to the 2023 season.
There is no reason why Heyward should decide to opt out especially with all that money that he will be making for the forseeable future. Heyward has struggled since he signed with the Chicago Cubs and looks like he has not been worth the investment that the Cubs made. He was a part of the 2016 World Series team that broke the curse, but he was not a big part of the reason why they won the World Series.
5 Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon is one of the more overpaid players in the league today, and Kansas City really regrets paying him what they have for him. This current season he is making $16 million as part of a 4 year $72 million dollar contract in which he signed before the start of the 2016 season. He is set to make $20 million in 2018, and 2019, then has a mutual option for $23 million in 2020.
Alex Gordon was a part of that Kansas City Royals team who went to two straight World Series in 2014 and 2015. He was not a big part of that team who won the World Series, but has a championship ring which is something that some players can't say they have. Gordon has struggled at the plate this season, and looks to be one of the only players from their championship team that will stay after this season.
4 Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello won the American League CY Young Award in 2016, but after looking at his performance this season it is starting to look like a fluke. Porcello signed a 4 year $82.5 million dollar contract extension when he was traded from Detroit to Boston, and besides last year he is not worth the investment that the Red Sox put in for him. He is currently making $20 million this season, and then $21 million for the next two years.
Looking ahead, the Red Sox rotation is looking solid with guys like Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, etc, and they should try and move Porcello for another starter who could be helpful for them. The Red Sox have the window for potential World Series contender, but they need to add some good talented right handers to the fold in order to continue to be one of the best teams in all of baseball.
3 Shin-Soo Choo
Shin-Soo Choo has been one of the more inconsistent players since signing his 7 year $130 million contract before the 2014 season. He is currently making $20 million this season, then $20 million in 2018, and $21 million in 2019 and 2020. He has had one solid year since he signed that big contract with the Rangers. Texas has found their designated hitter since Prince Fielder had to retire due to injury. Other than that Choo has no reason to be getting paid the way that he is right now.
He is 35 years old, and will be 39 years old when he hits the free agency market, and looks like he will not be playing longer than that. Choo has had an alright year so far, and Texas has not been great this year. Look for the Rangers to try and move him as soon as possible.
2 Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista has been one of the better players for the Toronto Blue Jays since 2010, but he has started to fall off a little bit. Bautista signed a one year $18 million contract, and has a mutual option with Toronto for the 2018 season worth $17 million. Bautista is six-time all star and has watched is numbers slowly decrease year after year. He wants to get paid like a big time player in this league, but at the age of 36 he is slowing down.
Toronto has not been the team that everybody thought they were going to be this year, and have struggled as a whole. Look for both sides to agree that they should go their separate ways, and to try and have both will try to better themselves for the future.
1 Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury is the most overpaid player in baseball at the moment, and the Yankees regret signing him to the big deal that they did before the 2014 season. New York and Ellsbury agreed to a 7 year $153 million dollar contract with a full no-trade clause and has not been what the Yankees thought he was going to be. He is currently making $21.142 million for the next three seasons, and then has a club option in 2021.
Jacoby is currently 33 years old and will be 36 years old when his contract is up, and will be up for a club option. The Yankees thought with their shorter field, he could be a twenty to thirty home run hitter for them at the leadoff spot like Curtis Granderson was, but unfortunately for both sides it has not worked out.
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