Tag Archives: Gary Matthews Jr.

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!

Rios Gets A Bailout

Alex Rios

Alex Rios probably has made enough over his career to feel comfortable financially, but he received a bailout from the Chicago White Sox today. In one of the unprecedented moves I’ve ever seen, the Toronto Blue Jays put Alex Rios on waivers, just after he had signed a seven year $69.8 million dollar deal in April of 2008. Although JP Ricciardi said this was not a “salary dump”, there are only two explanations, they either knew more about his decline over the last two years or they really did need the money. It also may show that JP isn’t really a good GM as he failed to make a deal for Halladay when there were plenty of options out there for him, and now he’s dumping one of his biggest signings he’s made since being Toronto’s GM. Who knows whats going on north of the border! Maybe Rios couldn’t cut it when they started testing for certain PEDs that he was taking, which forced Toronto’s hand to cut ties before the monster portion of his contract kicked in. I’ve never heard a name as big as his just released for nothing. I saw it flash on television while I was at a Sacramento Rivercats game (Oakland A’s AAA team), and went back to my friends to tell them that Rios was on waivers and nobody believed me! That’s how weird this move was!

The Chicago White Sox claimed him today, which has added to this perplexing situation. They picked up a fourth outfielder when they already have three good options in Dye, Podsednik, and Quentin. Just earlier this month they picked up Peavy via trade, and his ginormous contract of $45 million over the next three years, and now take on Alex’s ridiculous contract too! Why did they even want to pick up a fourth outfielder, especially one that is struggling?Gary Matthews Jr. Maybe they saw how well it worked out for the Angels by overpaying on Gary Matthews Jr. to be their fourth or fifth outfielder. One thing I still can’t figure out is, why wouldn’t the White Sox just let him not get claimed? If they let him fall through waivers, which he probably would have with his terrible numbers this season (.264 BA, 14 HR, 62 RBI over 108 games). This is also his second straight declining season, which makes this even more baffling. If and when he cleared waivers, they could have signed him to a different contract over the off-season and easily could have paid him less than $10 million a year. They are three games out of the division race at the moment, and I don’t see how this will help them other than having a “good player” to fill in when other players have their rest days. If they made the move because they had Thome, Dye and Contreras coming off the books in 2010, then why not wait until the off-season to make this move to try not to upset the clubhouse hierarchy? If anything, this move will hurt them financially and chemistry wise, unless he has a Matt Holliday-like turnaround in his new surroundings. There’s one big difference, Rios doesn’t have Pujols or have the excuse of going back to a familiar league! Good luck with that one Chicity.