Worst Big Contract in MLB history?

Meliah

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After hearing about how Stanton is on the verge of a megadeal I thought I would pose this question to you all.

Old or current, which big contract do you think is the worst in MLB?
 

cjay101

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Alex Rodriguez in 2008 10/275
Barry Zito in 2007 7/126
Mike Hampton in 2001 8/121

Bobby Bonilla: returned to Mets in 1999 with 5.9 million left on deal he originally got with Marlins. The Mets bought it out but agreed to a 1.2 mil annual stipend with interest until 2035, so a total of 42.3 million!

Those Pujols and Cabrera deals aren't looking all that great long term either.

For that matter, I always wondered if a #1 pick that was actually down to earth would just say, yeah, I will sign a lifetime contract with you. I will receive 1 million dollars a year for the rest of my life. (obviously, endorsements, etc would be on top of that). You could imagine the massive amount of payroll space teams could save, hell just investing funds could pay the contracts with the returns alone in some cases. OBVIOUSLY the players association would flip and never allow it, and the agents might very well take out hits.
 
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budd2222

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Alex Rodriguez in 2008 10/275
Barry Zito in 2007 7/126
Mike Hampton in 2001 8/121

Bobby Bonilla: returned to Mets in 1999 with 5.9 million left on deal he originally got with Marlins. The Mets bought it out but agreed to a 1.2 mil annual stipend with interest until 2035, so a total of 42.3 million!

Those Pujols and Cabrera deals aren't looking all that great long term either.

For that matter, I always wondered if a #1 pick that was actually down to earth would just say, yeah, I will sign a lifetime contract with you. I will receive 1 million dollars a year for the rest of my life. (obviously, endorsements, etc would be on top of that). You could imagine the massive amount of payroll space teams could save, hell just investing funds could pay the contracts with the returns alone in some cases. OBVIOUSLY the players association would flip and never allow it, and the agents might very well take out hits.

No one would offer or take a contract for one mil.. With a life expectancy of 84 years a 18 year old could expect a max. of 66 million in his life time. I would guess that's far less than what most other #1 picks have made. On the other hand a team that picks a player that never makes it would be stuck with a million dollar AAA player.
 

cjay101

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No one would offer or take a contract for one mil.. With a life expectancy of 84 years a 18 year old could expect a max. of 66 million in his life time. I would guess that's far less than what most other #1 picks have made. On the other hand a team that picks a player that never makes it would be stuck with a million dollar AAA player.

That's my point exactly. You as a player guarantee a solid yet unspectacular return, and you as a team save massive gains on payroll if the player pans out. It would be high risk/reward on both sides. Obviously there is snowball's chance in hell a player would actually ever do this, plus the MLBPA would laugh forever.
 

katester44

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That's my point exactly. You as a player guarantee a solid yet unspectacular return, and you as a team save massive gains on payroll if the player pans out. It would be high risk/reward on both sides. Obviously there is snowball's chance in hell a player would actually ever do this, plus the MLBPA would laugh forever.

My thought is that every contract signed should be like Ricky Williams rookie deal. Low base but achievable benchmarks for bonuses. If a SP blows out his elbow one pitch into the season or your starting CF blows out a knee, he will still make some money, but the team won't be handcuffed long term.

Every player wants to rework their deal after they have a good year, none of them want to rework it after they have a bad one. Which is why 99% of the time, I am on the side of the owners when it comes to contract negotiation.

Oh, and to answer the worst contract question...I would give that one to the Phillies for extending Ryan Howard for an additional 5 years/$100 million (approximately), while he still had time left on the current contract he was playing under.
 

bdink25

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I like the ARod contract as mentioned. I would like to offer my $0.02 worth. In any sport the contract should be for one year with paid performance clauses (get paid for what you've done). Don't give out contracts for multi years for someone having a great year then do nothing afterwards. With the one year contract and performance bonuses everyone would get paid for their contribution(worth).
 

mm1sub

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I like the ARod contract as mentioned. I would like to offer my $0.02 worth. In any sport the contract should be for one year with paid performance clauses (get paid for what you've done). Don't give out contracts for multi years for someone having a great year then do nothing afterwards. With the one year contract and performance bonuses everyone would get paid for their contribution(worth).

It is not the player's responsibility to protect the owners from themselves. No one forces the owners to offer those contracts. When players were forced to take one year contracts Mickey Mantle hit 40 home runs, knocked in over 100 and hit around .310 and had to take a pay cut because the year before he had won the triple crown. So if that year was compared to the triple crown year he had a bad year. I never blame the players for taking the money they are offered. The owner's do have the ability to only give one year contracts. But the problem is that other owner's will offer longer deals. Has anybody ever said that the money a company is offering is too much? If I am a player or an agent I would get as much as possible. In the end it is a business. Owner's will get rid of a player at the drop of a hat. They will trade them without one thought of the impact this will have on their family. I say take as much as you can get.
 

bonzomoretti

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Bobby Bonilla's second contract with the Mets in 1998. He is still being paid almost 2 million per year thanks to Bernie Madoff. The Mets agreed to pay him interest on his contract to be rid of him. At the time, his contract was around 6 million per year. The Mets agreed to pay him interest after his contract was done for I believe 30 years. So the Mets will be paying him until 2030 or thereabouts. Amazing!
 

bdink25

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I'm not blaming the players either. I'm suggesting that everyone would get what they would earn for performance.
It is not the player's responsibility to protect the owners from themselves. No one forces the owners to offer those contracts. When players were forced to take one year contracts Mickey Mantle hit 40 home runs, knocked in over 100 and hit around .310 and had to take a pay cut because the year before he had won the triple crown. So if that year was compared to the triple crown year he had a bad year. I never blame the players for taking the money they are offered. The owner's do have the ability to only give one year contracts. But the problem is that other owner's will offer longer deals. Has anybody ever said that the money a company is offering is too much? If I am a player or an agent I would get as much as possible. In the end it is a business. Owner's will get rid of a player at the drop of a hat. They will trade them without one thought of the impact this will have on their family. I say take as much as you can get.
 

mm1sub

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I'm not blaming the players either. I'm suggesting that everyone would get what they would earn for performance.

So would you give Mike Trout 100 million for 1 year? What would Madison Bumgarner get? Would it be based on regular season performance or post season? Would it be based on year to year performance? Do you think Mantle deserved to take a pay cut? In your example the owner's would make a fortune. Would the owner's lower ticket prices? My guess would be no they would not. Look how football players get screwed. Their contracts are not worth the paper they are printed on. If a player signs a big contract and then is not very good they just cut him. This hurts the players who are older. Which in turn leads to the younger players not really learning how to be professional athletes. At least that is just what i think.

Great conversation by the way.
 

bdink25

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Just for the sake of argument say Trout gets a $10M contract for one year with performance bonuses. Say he would get an extra $1M for 20 HRs, $3m for 30 HRs, and $5M for 40 HRs or more. Say he gets an extra $1M for hitting for a 300 average, an extra $2M for a 325 average, and an extra $4M for a 350 or more average. The least he would get is $10M or if he had a good year could make as much as $19M. To answer you question on Mantle, he should have done better.
So would you give Mike Trout 100 million for 1 year? What would Madison Bumgarner get? Would it be based on regular season performance or post season? Would it be based on year to year performance? Do you think Mantle deserved to take a pay cut? In your example the owner's would make a fortune. Would the owner's lower ticket prices? My guess would be no they would not. Look how football players get screwed. Their contracts are not worth the paper they are printed on. If a player signs a big contract and then is not very good they just cut him. This hurts the players who are older. Which in turn leads to the younger players not really learning how to be professional athletes. At least that is just what i think.

Great conversation by the way.
 

Jaybo374

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After looking at the list of 100 million dollar contacts on Wikipedia, I have to say that there are very few good signings. In most cases, the player who signed the contract may have had one or two good seasons after signing but after that they looked like a bust.

This being said, I believe Vernon Wells' contract of 7 years for $126 million is in the running for the worst.
 

Rabs

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B.J Upton's current deal with the Braves: 5 years @ $75 million. He is beyond terrible.
 

anglinomics

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Arod's contract with the Yankees is the worst I can think about. I am surprised that they could n0pt get it voided because of his steroid use. The club's should probably protect themselves from injury to some extent rather than give a guaranteed $100 million +.
 

David K.

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In general most long term contracts are bad. Contracts should be about 6 years and nothing over 10 Million per year. Best regards, David
 

Rabs

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In general most long term contracts are bad. Contracts should be about 6 years and nothing over 10 Million per year. Best regards, David

Seems like they are worth it for the first half of the contract, but as the player ages his numbers decline and he becomes overpaid.
 

mm1sub

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In general most long term contracts are bad. Contracts should be about 6 years and nothing over 10 Million per year. Best regards, David

So do the owner's get to keep all the extra money? The owner's would not offer it if they did not have it.
 

Jaybo374

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Guess you can Pablo Sandoval's new contract with the Sox one of the worst ones ever. Sheesh paying 20 mill for 3B with middling stats.
 
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