Tag Archives: bad contracts

Angels $$ in the Outfield

Arte better not expect the second coming of Vlad with Vernon....

Did Arte Moreno ever really buy the Angels from the Disney Corporation? Are the Angels are spending all their money on outfielders in an attempt to bring back the classicly bad movie Angels in the Outfield? At the time the movie came out it was laughable that the Angels would ever win a pennant, and after a head scratching offseason it seems just as laughable right now spending more on their 30+ year old outfield than the movie grossed at the box office. Moreno is making Al Davis look sane these days.

You may or may not have heard they traded for Vernon Wells giving up Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays. Wells is a slight upgrade over Rivera, but not a $15M upgrade. Wells had a pretty good season last year, but if you look at his career numbers you will see he has one pretty good year, then a bad one, and the worst part about him is he has continually declined from his career highs he set in 04-06. I’m not saying he’ll be terrible this year, but he will never live up to his contract. Rivera was supposed to make $5M this upcoming season, while Wells is due to make $23M in 2011 with three more years of $21M left on his contract. Both Rivera and Wells are 32 years old, and without PED’s we know that their production will dwindle as time rolls along, unless some crazy undetectable strengthening drug comes along.

The Angels struck out on landing Carl Crawford, and decide to trade for a guy that the Blue Jays have been trying to get rid of for years!?! I even put him on my list of worst contracts in the MLB back in August of 2009. This move makes no sense at all, especially when the reason for them not wanting to sign Crawford was that he wanted too many years. He wanted seven, and that would’ve put him at 35 years old when his contract ran out, coincidentally that is the same age that Wells will be when his contract is done. I’ve got nothing against Vernon, but in two years which player would you rather have? Not a tough choice there right?

With their current outfield alignment, they weren’t especially bad out there, nor were they all that good, but having this be their major upgrade of the offseason seems like a joke. They are still paying for the final year of Gary Matthews Jr.’s ridiculous contract ($11.5M this year), and he’s not even playing anymore. They are spending $63M on the outfield including Matthews Jr. Yup, $63M is not a typo for (Matthews Jr, Wells, Hunter, and Abreu). That’s more than the A’s entire payroll, ok, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it’s close, and they still don’t look like a great team. I know Vernon won’t be labeled as the most overpaid fourth outfielder like Matthews Jr. was, but he could be in four years during the final year of his contract! Was it Torii Hunter’s contract working out that made them pull the trigger? I’ll be the first to admit that I thought Hunter was overpaid when they signed him, but this seems like a twice as risky scenario, since Wells hasn’t had an all-star worthy season since 2006, and Torii is known for his hard work ethic, not the same with Wells. Why wouldn’t they put in a better offer for Beltre since he obviously would’ve come to LA if the price was right since all Boras clients ever want is the most money. It would’ve sured up their worst infield position, and they wouldn’t be stuck with quite as large of a contract. They needed an upgrade at 3B much more than in the outfield. Whatever their reasons, I’m glad they are going to stick with Brandon the .200 hitter Wood at third base, and even happier they have Vernon for the next four years keeping a lot of salary tied up. Just so you know Brandon Wood makes the A’s Kevin Kouzmanoff look like a shoe in All-Star.

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Rumors, Signings, and the Upcoming Lockout

Didn’t pay much attention to the NBA free agency bonanza over the three day weekend (or sports for that matter), but caught up the last couple days on the rumor mill, and it sounds like all the rumors that were swirling on Friday, sound just about the same as they do today. Maybe there’s a little more of the I think so and so is leaning towards staying/going here, but nobody’s opinion is truly relevant, since nobody knows what factors are in play for these guys in making their final decisions so rumors will continue. There was one big commitment over the weekend with Amare Stoudemire agreeing to a five year $100M contract with the Knicks. I think it’s good for the guy, he wasn’t going to get a max deal in Phoenix, so why not go where someone that is willing to dish out the cash! He might not be exactly what they were hoping for, and as MCeezy said, they still aren’t relevant without another big player, but he is as worthy as anyone for a max offer. He’ll probably hold his fantasy value rejoining the anti-defensive D’antoni coached team. They might actually come out of this free agency period a winner depending on what else they get. I’m not going to say I think this was the greatest signing, but it’s far from a bad one as some would have you believe. If he somehow recruits another superstar, then he would be an all-time Knicks without even stepping on the court. It was much better than signing Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay to the “max” deals. I’m starting to wonder where Boozer will land since there are really no rumors about him. I do like the ring of Boozer’s Vodka if he ends up on the Nets. D-Wade and Chris Bosh are going to team up in Miami, just as I predicted. It’s tough to tell how much of a supporting cast they can have with only four players (Chalmers and Beasley) on the roster, but if they really don’t care about the money that much, maybe they’ll be able to bring in another big name.

I found the rumor of Carmelo waiting it out until next year’s free agency to go join Amare in New York as a laughable scenario. Does Melo even really have a choice on waiting it out with the lockout scheduled for next year? He could’ve been part of this free agent frenzy, but chose to take the extra year and some extra cash instead of opening up his 2010 summer. The Baltimore native has lived the rough life, so I don’t see him passing up any guaranteed money. Could he really pass on an extension that would guarantee him close to $20M per year for the next three? I’ll say no. The way money is flying around this summer is going to get even crazier after Lebron makes his choice tomorrow. You may think it already has with contracts like Amir Johnson (5 years $34M), Darko Milicic (4 years $20M), Drew Gooden (4 years $39M), but this summer there will be even more of those unfathomable numbers for guys that are at best bench players, especially if all these big free agents end up staying put. There’s a lot of teams waaay under the cap that were hoping to lure a Lebron or Wade to their city, but all these potential suitors forgot one thing, what if they don’t want to leave and want the extra $20-30M guaranteed that these guys can have tacked onto the last year of their contract in their current cities. So in essence, some teams will be overpaying for guys this summer that aren’t going to change a franchise into an instant contender. I’m thinking Richard Jefferson, Luis Scola, Raymond Felton, and Ray Allen will all eventually get some ridiculous money thrown their way from teams that are desperate to make a splash. They are good, but should only be additions to an already good team not THE addition that makes them a team. Continue reading


Some Contracts Really Are Killers

Homer Simpson Doh

There are a lot of bad contracts for baseball players every year, but there are a few of them that must have had Ray Charles reading them over before they were inked in. In making this list, I decided to make a couple of parameters. The contract has to go through at least next season. The entire body of the contract has to be bad. For example, you really can’t argue against the $18 million Derek Jeter is due to make next year as being overpriced.Derek Jeter If you look at how great the first seven years of his contract were for the Yankees, I’m sure there would be no hesitation in a do-over situation. You could say that someone like Eric Chavez would qualify as he’s due to make $11 million next season, and he has only played 418 games over the last 5 years of his 6 year contract. But on the flip side I can understand why they picked him to build a team around him at the time. He was never on the DL and won six straight gold gloves averaging nearly 25 HR’s and 100 RBI per season. So really when they signed him, it wasn’t quite as ridiculous as it looks. Here are a few of the ugliest contract situations in the MLB right now.

It’s hard not to ignore the third Blue Jays since they have been under the Riccardi regime, they seem to like to cut contracts short. BJ Ryan, who is now out of baseball is owed $10 million next year. I guess they shouldn’t sign pitchers at the ripe age of 30 to five year deals coming off their first and really only good season of their career. They also dumped Frank Thomas last year and nobody wanted to pick up the tab on him either. They were scared of Alex Rios and his outrageous contract, but were lucky enough to get bailed out by the White Sox earlier this week. Come to think of it, just based on these three horrific contracts, how is JP still running things across the border!?! Must be some kind of Canadian loyalty or a forgive and forget kind of thing.Vernon Wells Vernon Wells is about as ridiculous as it gets! He’s owed $23 million in 2011 and $21 million in 2012. He isn’t a good defender, and isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball. He has a no trade clause as if anyone would want to take on that money. Wait, maybe the White Sox will!?!

Sorry Tony, but your Cubbies have a few monster contracts on the list. Soriano is tough to top as he’s due to turn 34 this off-season, and the Cubs owe him $18 million annually through 2014. He was a 40-40 guy when they signed him, but he was turning 31! It’s tough to justify giving him 8 years, and he may prove me wrong but since they signed him he’s been more of a 20-20 guy, and you can definately get that for cheaper. Milton Bradley is owed $9 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011, for having half a good season in Texas before they signed him. Zambrano and Ramierez could be killers at the end of theirs, but we’ll see since they’re still doing well.

It’s impossible to avoid Barry Zito’s contract in San Francisco. He’s going to get about $19 million for the next four years, and it’s the most widely criticized contract among the baseball world.Barry Zito If anything, you just hope the Giants learned their lesson after this one. They really didn’t though as they overpaid for Renteria this offseason, but not to the extent of Aaron Rowand’s deal that is in place. Rowand is going to make $12 million annually for the next three years. He did come off a great season, but since going to SF he hasn’t really showed that he was worth the money. I think he was on the over-rated side defensively to begin with. Yeah, he made some amazing catches, but overall he isn’t anything that special to warrant that much money.

My favorite team to hate, the Angels, and Gary Matthews ugly contract will always makes me smile as long as it exists. He’s got two years left for nearly $12 million a year. He hitting a solid .250 in his Angels career and is holding down the fourth outfielder spot.Gary Matthews Jr. Fuentes contract isn’t ridiculous, but personally I would have gone for something cheaper as he’s owed $10 million next year. At least his contract is a short one. Carlos Lee gets an honorable mention. He’s still a solid hitter, but how long can it last? He’s going to make $18.5 million annually for the next three years. He can’t run the bases or play in the outfield, so once he stops hitting it will look ridiculous. He looks to be on the road to being the next Travis Hafner, but at least the Indians only owe him $13 million annually over the next three years. As we wave goodbye to the steroid era (At least, I think) and the gross over spending on contracts for players on PED’s, I think lists like mine will shrink. If it doesn’t, we can blame it on GM’s like JP Riccardi!