It is no secret that Alex Rodriguez’ contract with the New York Yankees is horrible. It’s ranked as the worst contract in Major League Baseball by Jonah Keri of Grantland.
The Yankees still owe A-Rod $US61 million over the next three seasons, including $US21 million this year.
That’s $US61 million for a player who will turn 40 in July, who missed the entire 2014 season while suspended, who has only played 44 games since the start of the 2012 season and 185 games since turning 35 in 2011, and who hasn’t hit more than 18 home runs in a season since 2010.
On top of that, the Yankees and Rodriguez are about to go to war over a $US6 million bonus he will soon be owed that is not even part of his regular contract.
That’s bad. But the Yankees aren’t alone in having a horrible contract for a player in this age of skyrocketing television broadcasting revenue. In fact, the Rangers actually have a worse situation with a trio of bad contracts in which the players are still owed a total of $US301 million.
In all, Keri lists 21 players with horrible contracts. Here are his top five including A-Rod and three players from the Rangers:
- Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees (3 years, $US61 million of original 10-year, $US275 million contract)
- Matt Harrison, Texas Rangers (3 years, $US41 million of original 5-year, $US55 million contract) — After going 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 2012, the Rangers locked up Harrison to a long-term contract. In the two seasons since, he has started six games and may never pitch in the big leagues again following spinal surgery.
- B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves (3 years, $US46.4 million of original 5-year, $US75.3 million contract) — In 2 seasons with the Braves since signing the huge free agent contract, Upton has hit .198 and averaged 10 home runs and 162 strikeouts per year.
- Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers (6 years, $US116 million of original 7-year, $US130 million contract) — Choo averaged 17 home runs, 17 stolen bases, and a .392 on-base percentage (OBP) from 2008 through 2013. But during an injury-plagued 2014 season his OBP was just .340, he hit 13 home runs, and he stole just three bases. Now he is about to turn 33 and still has six years left on a huge contract.
- Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers (6 years, $US144 million of original 9-year, $US144 million contract with the Detroit Tigers paying $US30 million of the remaining balance) — Fielder hit just 25 home runs in 2013, the lowest total of his career, and that was before a back injury wiped out most of his 2014 season. Fielder will be 31 this season and typically sluggers don’t age well if they are not using performance-enhancing drugs.
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