If I were a General Manager in Major League Baseball I’m avoiding any big time contract, I don’t care who you are. It’s always easy to play general manager for your favorite baseball team after the fact. For years I listened to Boston Red Sox fans complain about J.D. Drew’s atrocious contract of 5 years for 70 million dollars and in return getting minimal production. It’s easy to bash on the San Francisco Giants for signing Barry Zito to a 7 year deal worth 125 million annually. More often than not these huge contracts don’t work out because of poor production, or injuries. This offseason we saw multiple big time contracts that left me shaking my head. Granted, Albert Pujols is one of the greatest players of all time, but how can the Los Angeles Angels afford to pay a 32 year old 250 million over 10 years? Pujols has started his stint with the Angels in a bit of a struggle. I think he will come out of it but even if he does there is no way he plays throughout this contract. In his last season the Angels slugger will be making 30 million dollars, at age 42! Other big time contracts consisted of Prince Fielder going to Detroit and Jose Reyes finding a new home in Miami. Teams continue to make these bonehead decisions. Just one year ago the Boston Red Sox signed Left Fielder Carl Crawford to a huge contract making him the highest paid outfielder of all time, when his career high numbers in Tampa Bay were 19 homeruns with a .307 average. To make matters worse the Red Sox added the left handed hitter into their already heavy left handed lineup, giving him no clear spot in the order. Crawford was brutal for the Sox in his first season and hasn’t played a game in his second. What makes matters worse is that the Red Sox might have to watch Ellsbury walk because of this idiotic move. The contract that had me shaking my head the most was Jayson Werth’s deal with the Washington Nationals. Werth has no business making over 100 million dollars, he strung together a couple of good seasons with the Phillies, however at age 31 he already had bust written all over him.
The way the Major League’s is set up players that get drafted by their respective teams come up through their program and into the Bigs with their rookie contracts. These rookie contracts are much cheaper than that of the free agent contracts. Once these players finish their rookie contracts they are usually between the age of 26-30 and they are expecting long term contracts. If I’m a GM I’m not giving it to them. These players give way too much of a risk to your organization in the back end of their career, way too much of a risk to give them a lot of cash. I have yet to see a long term contract with a boat load of cash included that I like. Alex Rodriguez is currently the highest paid player, making 32 million annually, and ARod isn’t even in my top 5 third basemen in the AL.
Josh Hamilton, slugger for the Texas Rangers is in his final year of his contract. Hamilton is having an amazing season, leading the league in nearly every category. The centerfielder is batting .402, has 18 homers (5 more than the next highest player) and 45 RBI (12 higher than the next highest player). I was recently asked if I would give Josh Hamilton a long term contract with a lot of money involved and my answer was “no”. Why risk giving Josh Hamilton a long term contract when he poses a serious injury threat and has also shown some serious off field troubles, even though it looks like those times are behind him, you never know.
There are too many things that have to happen for long term contracts to work, I would rather spend money elsewhere. Much wiser, and sign guys to shorter contracts. The longest I would sign a player is to a four year deal, maybe an exception to one or two players a five year deal. Teams in this league can survive without spending their money like crazy. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series last season with a low payroll and the San Francisco Giants won it the year prior with an even lower payroll. The Cardinals took a shot on a low risk high reward signing with Lance Berkman, Berkman was awarded comeback player of the year. I’m taking my chances elsewhere on multiple players with short term low risk high reward players rather than putting all of my eggs in one basket. Here are some of the worst contract in Major League Baseball today:
Barry Zito: 7 years $126,000,000
Vernon Wells: 7 years $126,000,000
Alfonso Soriano: 8 years $136,000,000
Carl Crawford: 7 years $142,000,000
Alex Rodriguez: 10 years $275,000,000
Albert Pujols: 10 years $250,000,000
John Lackey: 5 years $82,500,000
Ryan Howard: 5 years $125,000,000
Jayson Werth: 7 years $126,000,000
Conner “Country Breakfast” Patch @connerpatch68