2014 MLB Free Agency: 10 Players Who Will Get Paid Far Too Much
These Guys Will Sign Contracts Worth Too Much
The Major League Baseball free agency period seems to get more and more ridiculous every year. Players get overpaid simply because they are the best available, not because they are the best at what they do.
What happens when a player receives a contract that is more than likely a sum larger than their worth? They falter. The pressure of a huge contract is too much for them to handle, and as soon as they begin struggling, the pressure multiplies tenfold from fans and the media. Very seldom do big contracts actually work out for both the player and his team.
Two examples over recent year come from a single team: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. After the 2011 season, they signed Albert Pujols to a monumental 10-year, $240 million contract. He was worth it at the time, but he played terribly in his second season with the team, hitting .258, with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs — career-lows in each category. The next year, the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $133 million deal. Hamilton stunk it up in 2013, hitting .250 with just 21 home runs and 79 RBIs. His OPS dropped to .739 and he dropped his strikeouts from a year by just four to 158.
Every offseason, at least one player receives a contract that his new team ends up regretting. Pitchers are more than often overpaid because of the mantra “pitching wins championship.” However, this list will feature five hitters and five pitchers, all of whom will receive more money than they are worth.
10. Matt Garza, SP
Matt Garza has a serious temper issue. At a position that takes a cool and calm attitude, Garza plays the game his own way. In 2013, Garza had a 10-6 record and 3.82 ERA in 24 starts with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. Nothing about that is spectacular, yet he’ll probably receive upwards of $60 million guaranteed.
9. Ubaldo Jimenez, SP
Sure, Ubaldo Jimenez had a decent 2013 season with the Cleveland Indians — 13-9, with a 3.30 ERA and 1.330 WHIP. But let’s not forget he’s only one season removed from losing a MLB-high 17 games. If his contract is anywhere near $50 million, the team has paid too much.
8. Curtis Granderson, OF
Curtis Granderson has had the luxury of hitting at Yankee Stadium over the past four seasons, inflating his power numbers tremendously. Any left-handed hitter would love to aim at the Bronx’s short porch in right field. Granderson hit 115 home runs in his career as a Yankee, with no more than 30 in a single season prior to 2010. Some team will be mystified by Granderson’s power numbers and sign him to a ridiculous contract.
7. Mike Napoli, DH
Mike Napoli will be rewarded financially for his heroics in the 2013 postseason, whether he returns to the Boston Red Sox or not. But the former catcher is now limited to where he can play. However, every team wants a player that has proven he can play in the playoffs. Some team will likely pay extra for Napoli’s services — $40 million for a DH is simply too much.
6. Ervin Santana, SP
Ervin Santana is coming off the best season of his career ERA-wise. However, you can’t believe that he is capable of a season better than his 2013 campaign. He wasn’t even that great, yet some team in need of pitching will pay heavily for Santana because he’s one of the best available. He gave up the most home runs in MLB in 2012, and he can very well do it again.
5. Ricky Nolasco, SP
Some team will get really excited with what Ricky Nolaco was able to do with the Los Angeles Dodgers after he was traded from the Miami Marlins before last season’s trade deadline. He was 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 starts with the Dodgers. It is likely some team will see that success as something he can continue, but what if he was over-performing with a free agent contract as motivation? Once he signs his contract, that motivation and his performance will be lost. He’ll undeservedly get upward of $45 million.
4. Bronson Arroyo, SP
Bronson Arroyo is by far the most overrated pitcher in this offseason’s free agent pool. He led the league in home runs allowed next year, yet teams believe he’s worth a $40 million contract. He throws a lofty curve ball that he then leaves hanging, and often gets blasted into the bleachers. He’ll need to go to a very pitcher-friendly ballpark in order to see his free agent contract worth the money.
3. Brian McCann, C
Brian McCann will only be able to play catcher for a few more seasons. He has been injury prone, but because he’s considered one of the best catchers in baseballm he’ll get paid a ridiculous amount of money. Expect a five-year deal worth upward of $75 million for the aging catcher.
2. Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Shin-Soo Choo is actually a great baseball player. He is great defensively and has blossomed into one of the better leadoff hitters in the game. However, some team will overpay for his potential. He has not hit over .300 since 2010 and it is unlikely his OPS will hover above .900 again. Some believe he’s worth a $100 million deal, which is a price tag some team will likely pay for Choo.
1. Robinson Cano, 2B
I’m sorry, but $300 million is way to much for any baseball player. Cano is one of baseball’s best, but he does not deserve that high of a contract. Nonetheless, the New York Yankees will likely pay whatever Cano demands.