Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2009 Roster: Worst Contract Extensions

It's a tough economy out there. We all know that by now. But it's obvious to note that baseball is completely different than the real world. I thought it would be fun to make a roster comprised solely of terrible contract extensions.

First off, lemme explain how I classified an "extension" for this list. A extension could mean a number of different things:

1. Player was traded to new team and then signed a new contract with the club
(i.e Miguel Cabrera)

2. Player was under contract with a team, but signed a new, long term deal

3. Player signed a new contract with same club BEFORE he filed for free agency
(i.e Alex Rodriguez's 10 year/$275 contract is not an extension on this list...and neither is Luis Castillo's 4 year/$26 million dollar contract...both guys filed for free agnecy before they signed with their old team)

Please keep in mind that I am only dealing with contracts that are currently active, meaning that extensions that have expired (like Mark Mulder), are not eligible.

So there you have it. Maybe these extensions looked good at the time, but for whatever reason, these deals look excessive, and somewhat stupid, now.

2009 Roster of the Worst Contract Extensions

C-Kenji Johjima (3 years/$24 million), Mariners
1B- Todd Helton (9 years/$141 million), Rockies
2B- Bill Hall (4 years/$24 million), Brewers
*(I know Hall doesn't play second base anymore, but I had no one else!)*

SS- Michael Young (5 years/$80 million), Rangers
3B- Eric Chavez (6 years/$66 million), A's

OF- Vernon Wells (7 years/$126 million), Blue Jays
OF- Eric Byrnes (3 years/$30 million), Diamondbacks
OF-Gary Sheffield (2 years/$28 million), Tigers

DH- Travis Hafner (4 years/$57 million), Indians

Bench- Brandon Inge (4 years/$24 million), Tigers
Bench-Scott Rolen (8 years/$90 million), Cardinals/now with Blue Jays
Bench-Carlos Guillen (4 years/$48 million), Tigers *Debatable*
Bench- Hideki Matsui (4 years/$53 million), Yankees
Bench: Dmitri Young (2 years/$10 million), Nationals
Bench: Jack Wilson (3 years/$20 million), Pirates

SP- Chris Carpenter (5 years/$65 million), Cardinals
SP- Jake Westbrook (3 years/$33 million), Indians
SP- Dontrelle Willis (3 years/$29 million), Tigers
SP- Bronson Arroyo (2 years/$25 million), Reds
SP-Nate Robertson (3 years/$21 million), Tigers
SP-Jose Contreras (3 years/$29 million), White Sox

RP-Mike McDougal (3 years/$6.5 million), White Sox

So what does this list prove?

1. Teams rarely give out extensions to relief pitchers, especially middle relief pitchers. Given the unpredictability of middle relievers, this is expected.

2. What about the second basemen? Any feelings as to why there is/are virtually no second basemen on the list?

3. You'll notice that I was unable to fill out an entire 25 man roster. That surprised me.

Did I miss anyone?

Discuss.

21 comments:

lar said...

Is Bill Hall's contract extension really bad enough to include him twice? C'mon now! ;-)

But seriously... maybe there are so few second-basemen because there are just so few stars or near-stars at the position. There are guys like Utley and Roberts who are genuinely good at the position and are worth their contracts (though Roberts' contract might show up on this list in a couple of years). but other than those guys, 2B seems to be a pretty nondescript bunch, doesn't it? and a guy generally has to have one or two good or near-good years to earn questionable contract extension in the first place, and maybe there just aren't too many second-basemen who even fit that description.

That's all I can figure, at least...

Josh said...

Iar,
Good catch. Moving Bill Hall over to 2B definitly played with my head a bit there.

As for your theory, that makes lots of sense. Well put and very thought out. It'll be interesting to see what future extensions bring for second basemen as the class we have now is one of the best in recent memory (pedroia, kinsler..etc). However, those extensions are years down the road, which is a shame for the purpose of this roster.

David said...

Damaso Marte, 3 years/$12MM Yankees

How many lefties signed 1 year deals uner $2MM this off-season?

Josh said...

David,
Even though Marte's deal is still somewhat new, he's definitely one that I have to consider

Anonymous said...

If Freddy Sanchez makes 625 PA or 600 and is an all-star, it triggers a 8 million dollar option. Freddy is a great hitter and defender when healthy, but 8 million is too much for him. Especially for the Pirates

Richie's Dad said...

Second Baseman should have been Kaz Matsui 3 years/$16.5M A complete waste of money.

Josh said...

Anon: Freddy could potentially be an option if he has a bad season this year.

Richie's Dad: I believe that Matsui's contract was actually a free agent deal.

Anonymous said...

What about Robinson Cano at 2nd?

Josh said...

Anon: Can we honestly say that Cano's extension has been that bad? Sure, his 2008 season was not great, but I think it's too early to lump Cano in this group.

If he has a bad 2009, then I think he's in the discussion

Frejus said...

What about Louis Castillo for 2B

Josh said...

Frejus: I wrote this in the post:

"(i.e Alex Rodriguez's 10 year/$275 contract is not an extension on this list...and neither is Luis Castillo's 4 year/$26 million dollar contract...both guys filed for free agnecy before they signed with their old team)"

hope that clears it up.

Anonymous said...

I second Kaz Matsui.

Anonymous said...

When you see how the Cardinals filled 2nd with an outfielder and scrub minor leaguers, I thinkk that shows that unless you are an elite guy, you won't get an extension at second. Also, didn't Pedroia already get one?

dyce said...

Derrick Lee's 5 years/$65M way to much for a below average (for position) and average defense.

My vote for 2nd base is Brandon Phillips 4 years/$27M to $43.25M.

matsui was a free agent people.

Anonymous said...

Kaz was a FA.

I would have to agree with dyce and say that DLee was worse than Helton's extension. Lee had one good season and Helton was puttin up HOF type numbers

Josh said...

Pedroia did already get a extension, but I imagine that his next one (assuming he keeps up these numbers) will be bigger.

And the major difference I see with Lee and Helton is that Heltons deal has completely strapped the Rockies and prevented them from re signing Matt Holliday. Helton is in obvious decline (especailly his power) and has been for years.

Lee and Helton are pretty similar players at this stage in their careers. The major difference is that Helton is owed more than $51 mil over the ext 3 years, while Lee is owed only $26 million over the next two.

A case can definitly be made that Lee's extension was pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

"My vote for 2nd base is Brandon Phillips 4 years/$27M to $43.25M."

are you serious?!do you not watch baseball at all?phillips is one of the top 2nd basemen in all of baseball.as a matter of fact i can think of only 2 2nd basemen who bat 3rd on their respective teams.one of course being chase utley,the other being phillips

Anonymous said...

OK, here's a good one for 2B- Brian Roberts. He's a good player, but $10mil a year?

Anonymous said...

"as a matter of fact i can think of only 2 2nd basemen who bat 3rd on their respective teams.one of course being chase utley,the other being phillips"

this says a lot more about the Reds than it does about Phillips.

OBP is your friend, learn to love it.

GM-Carson said...

I'm just hoping the Phils Hamels and Moyer extension start to look better. They've been awful this year so far.

Aaron "W.K." said...

There has been a drought at second base, especially considering the bonanza of young SS and 3B recently. But as you mention, the tide is turning, with Utley, Pedroia, Kinsler, Roberts, Uggla, Phillips, Cano, Polanco, Aaron Hill and Kelly Johnson.

I also think that extensions that go into effect 2-3 years in the future (Carpenter, Hafner) should be ranked even worse.