15 MLB Players Who Won’t Live Up to Their Pay in 2013
15 MLB Players Who Make Way Too Much Money
Who are the first players who come to mind when you’re thinking of most overpaid players entering the 2013 MLB season?
Critics may point toward the huge contracts that the Los Angeles Angels gave to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. In 2011, Pujols signed a 10-year, $250 million contract. In 2012, Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract. At the time of those deals, both players were on the wrong side of 30.
Those were overpayments. But let’s consider Pujols, who has made base salaries of $12 million (2012) and $16 million (2013). His numbers aren’t too extreme until he makes a $23 million base salary in 2014. That goes up $1 million per season until he makes $30 million in 2021.
One could argue that all professional baseball players are overpaid. Even with that mindset, some players are more overpaid than others. They’ll never live up to the zeroes on their contract. Not when compared to more important occupations (e.g. police officer, firefighter). Not when compared to competition on their own team (e.g. Mike Trout vs. Hamilton or Pujols).
These players are among the highest paid at their positions. That’s about the only reason that some of these players had their jobs on Opening Day. If these were non-guaranteed contracts, they’d have to continue their careers overseas or move into the post-baseball phase of their lives.
These are 15 MLB players who won’t live up to their pay in 2013. Please note that these players are listed in alphabetical order via last name, not by ranking. Continue with slideshow.
Jeremy Affeldt (San Francisco Giants, Middle Reliever, $5 Million)
Many critics considered it a stretch when the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Brandon League a three-year, $22.5 million contract to become their closer. So it’s fair to say that the Giants overpaid for Jeremy Affeldt, a 33-year-old reliever who projects as a seventh-inning man and left-handed specialist behind Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo.
Affeldt is a good pitcher though. And with two World Series championships in three seasons, maybe it’s wise to overpay for those precious innings toward the end of games—not just the ninth inning.
Josh Beckett (Los Angeles Dodgers, Starting Pitcher, $15.75 Million)
If you’re Clayton Kershaw, you’ll love seeing these next three slides. Or maybe Kershaw will start worrying that the team will run out of money for him.
Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers, Outfielder, $20 Million)
In December 2010, Carl Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers were so desperate to compete for the 2012 National League pennant that they accepted a bunch of awful contracts in a late-season trade that included Crawford.
The Dodgers missed the playoffs. Now they’re stuck with this contract. Only five more years before ownership can re-invest into another huge contract.
Zack Greinke (Los Angeles Dodgers, Starting Pitcher, $17 Million)
Money was what mattered for Zack Greinke. He got it when the Dodgers gave him a six-year, $147 million contract. That includes a 2013 base salary of $17 million.
Not bad for a No. 2 pitcher. Greinke even gets the luxury of opting out of his contract after 2015 or following any season that he’s traded. Goodbye trade value.
Ryan Howard (Philadelphia Phillies, First Baseman, $20 Million)
Is $20 million too much for Ryan Howard? Wait until his base salary jumps to $25 million in 2014. Don’t forget that Howard is a 33-year-old first baseman who’s coming off an Achilles injury.
John Lackey (Boston Red Sox, Starting Pitcher, $15.25 Million)
In December 2009, John Lackey signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Red Sox. Since then, the 34-year-old pitcher has yet to finish a season with an ERA below 4.40. Tommy John surgery cost him 2012. In 2013, Lackey will attempt a comeback.
Carlos Marmol (Chicago Cubs, Closer, $9.8 Million)
When former general manager Jim Hendry re-signed Carlos Marmol to a three-year contract, he probably didn’t expect Marmol to temporarily lose his closer gig in each of the first two seasons of that deal. After Marmol was yanked before blowing a save in his first attempt of 2013, Marmol may not make it out of April before he loses his job—for good.
Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees, Third Baseman, $28 Million)
What can a team buy with $28 million? The Houston Astros roster. They’d have $3 million leftover.
Johan Santana (New York Mets, Starting Pitcher, $25.5 Million)
Injuries have ruined what was one of MLB’s best pitchers. Johan Santana has undergone his second shoulder surgery in 31 months. The 34-year-old will probably miss the entire 2013 season. He still gets paid.
Alfonso Soriano (Chicago Cubs, Outfielder, $18 Million)
Another memory of Jim Hendry’s past, Alfonso Soriano has two years left on the eight-year, $136 million contract that he signed before the 2007 season. Soriano comes off a 2012 season when he hit 32 homers and 108 RBI. But at age 37, Soriano’s lack of speed makes him a liability in bigger outfields. His power numbers are bound to regress
Mark Teixeira (New York Yankees, First Baseman, $22.5 Million)
At age 32, Mark Teixeira will miss the first two months of the season as he recovers from a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. Teixeira has already seen his on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) drop in each of the last five seasons. In 2012, Teixeira hit 24 homers. That was his lowest total since 2006.
Dan Uggla (Atlanta Braves, Second Baseman, $13 Million)
The Braves don’t overpay for top-tier talent as much as they overpay for average talent. Fans are hoping for a breakout year for Dan Uggla. Uggla is coming off disappointing seasons with a .764 OPS and 732 OPS.
B.J. Upton (Atlanta Braves, Outfielder, $12.45 Million)
Another example of overpaying for mid-tier talent, the Braves gave a $72.25 million contract to a 28-year-old outfielder who comes off his worst season (.298 OBP and 169 strikeouts). 2008 was the last season that B.J. Upton had a batting average over .246.
Vernon Wells (New York Yankees, Outfielder, $21 Million)
At least the Yankees are sharing the expenses with the Los Angeles Angels. You know who else is grateful for that? The Angels—and most of their fans.
Jayson Werth (Washington Nationals, Outfielder, $16 Million)
Mike Rizzo has made a lot of gusty moves that have paid off. This was one that he could’ve done without. For the most part, this was done to appease the fan base. Jayson Werth has a combined 1.4 WAR in his first two seasons with the team.