Worst Contract for Every MLB Team

Bad contracts are one of the biggest ways for a Major League Baseball player to become a villain. It’s not always their fault as the team has to agree to the deal too. But when a player is unable to live up to the contract, putting up poor numbers by comparison to the amount he’s making, he gets a bad reputation and ends up on a list with the word “worst” in the headline.

Every team has at some point experienced a bad contract and at any given time you can find one. The deals pay for the past, present, and projected future. The future projections for a player tend to be the one they get paid for the most as MLB deals are handed out years in advance with little adjustment along the way after arbitration. Unfortunately nobody knows for sure what someone will do and often favorable deals backfire.

Searching through the payroll of all 30 MLB teams you will find players getting overpaid everywhere just as much as you will see some earning hardly anything when compared to their teammates. For instance, Dallas Keuchel made $524,500 in 2015 to win a Cy Young Award. Meanwhile, Cliff Lee was paid $25 million to spend the entire season on the disabled list. MLB contracts don’t work the same way it does in DraftKings or FanDuel where they are adjusted toward performance. These guys make what they were promised and there’s very little teams can do along the way to get out of it even when they stink up the joint.

Included in this list are players who are on bad deals because their on-field performance has declined or never was very good. There are also a few potential All-Stars on contracts we know will get worse along the way. Whatever the situations, these are the worst contracts for every MLB team.

30 Arizona Diamondbacks: Aaron Hill 

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

29 Atlanta Braves: Nick Swisher 

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

28 Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez 

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

27 Boston Red Sox: Rick Porcello 

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

26 Chicago Cubs: Edwin Jackson 

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

25 Chicago White Sox: John Danks 

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

24 Cincinnati Reds: Homer Bailey 

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

23 Cleveland Indians: Chris Johnson 

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

22 Colorado Rockies: Jose Reyes 

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

21 Detroit Tigers: Victor Martinez 

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

20 Houston Astros: Colby Rasmus 

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

19 Kansas City Royals: Omar Infante 

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

18 Los Angeles Angels: Jered Weaver 

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

17 Los Angeles Dodgers: Carl Crawford 

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

16 Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton 

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

15 Milwaukee Brewers: Matt Garza 

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

14 Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer 

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

13 New York Mets: David Wright 

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

12 New York Yankees: CC Sabathia 

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

11 Oakland Athletics: Coco Crisp 

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

10 Philadelphia Phillies: Ryan Howard 

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

9 Pittsburgh Pirates: Mike Morse 


8 San Diego Padres: Melvin Upton Jr. 

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

7 San Francisco Giants: Matt Cain 

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

6 Seattle Mariners: Robinson Cano 

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

5 St. Louis Cardinals: None 

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

4 Tampa Bay Rays: None, They’re Too Cheap 

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3 Texas Rangers: Elvis Andrus 

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

2 Toronto Blue Jays: Russell Martin 

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

1 Washington Nationals: Jayson Werth 

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals’ outfielder Jayson Werth got a huge deal from the ball club before the 2011 season after punishing them plenty as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. It started poorly then got better once he was healthy. Sadly, Werth has continued to get injured frequently and it has slowed him down significantly. Coming off a year where he played in 88 games with just a .221/.302/.384 slash line, Werth will play 2016 as a 37-year-old with a guaranteed $43 million left on his contract over the next two years.

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Worst Contract for Every MLB Team