Tag:NL West
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:53 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 10:13 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part III: Pitchers



By Matt Snyder


As we conclude the short series on overpaid players, we'll take a look at the man on the hill: The pitcher.

The interesting thing I found about pitchers is that not too many "long-term" contracts stood out like a sore thumb as being bad in terms of what is left on the current deal. A lot of the honorable mention types are for just one year, maybe two. This, I believe, illustrates the caution the overwhelming majority of teams exercise when coughing up long-term deals for pitchers.

That doesn't mean there are no guys on the list, however. We have a couple really good fits.

As a reminder, we're only talking about the contracts from now until the conclusion of the deal. Any money already banked doesn't count in this exercise.

Right-handed starters

Worst: John Lackey
Remaining contract: 3 years, $47.85 million

Ignore that Lackey is injured now and will miss all of the 2012 season. In fact, that actually helps the Red Sox here if last season was any indication. Lackey was brutal in '11, putting together a 6.41 ERA, 1.62 WHIP while leading the majors in earned runs and wild pitches. He allowed a whopping 203 hits in his 160 innings pitched and posted a negative WAR (Wins Above Replacement player). And when he's healthy again, he'll be 34.

Honorable Mention

A.J. Burnett, Yankees: He helped the Yankees win the World Series title in 2009, but was he really integral? He was bad in the ALCS and was terrible in one of his World Series starts after leading the league in walks and wild pitches during the regular season. Since then, Burnett is 21-26 with a 5.20 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. He's now the Yankees' fifth starter and will make $33 million for the next two seasons.

"Fausto Carmona," Indians: He may miss the season after being caught for identity fraud (his name is actually Roberto Hernandez Heredia). He's due $7 million this season.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: It's hard to not appreciate the way Peavy is an absolute bulldog on the hill, but he was 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA last season as he battled back from a severe injury and he's set to make $17 million in 2012.

Jake Westbrook, Cardinals: Twelve starts in 2010 got Westbrook a two-year deal with the Cardinals. He's going to make $8.5 million this season after a pretty bad 2011 campaign.

Carlos Zambrano, Cubs/Marlins: He'll make $19 million this year, but the Cubs are paying most of it so Big Z can pitch for the Marlins.

Derek Lowe, Braves/Indians: He'll make $15 million this year, but the Braves are paying most of it so Lowe can pitch for the Indians.

Left-handed starters

Worst: Barry Zito
Remaining contract: 2 years, $39 million

Perhaps the worst news is there's actually a club option for 2014. Now, obviously the Giants won't pick that up, barring Zito becoming Tim Lincecum overnight, but there's a $7 million buyout if they don't pick up the option. So Zito will cost the Giants $47 million more, at the very least, before they can wash their hands of him. This actually has to be one of the worst contracts of all time. Zito is 43-61 with a 4.55 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and zero postseason innings pitched in his five seasons with the Giants.

Honorable Mention

Johan Santana, Mets: He was earning his deal pre-injury, so this one isn't really anyone's fault. Santana is due $49.5 million for the next two seasons, though, so that is rough.

Relievers

Worst: Rafael Soriano
Remaining contract: 2 years, $25 million

Soriano wasn't even the Yankees' best setup man last season (David Robertson was way better). Soriano was a stud in Tampa Bay in '10, so it's possible he's a great closer for the Yankees in 2013, if Mariano Rivera retires. But even when Soriano had a good second half last season, his numbers weren't awesome. And, again, we're talking about a non-closer making eight figures per season.

Honorable Mention

Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies: It will be interesting to see how Papelbon performs throughout this contract. He could very well earn his $50 million over the course of the next four years, but I'm wondering what the Phillies' front office thought when they saw that the Reds signed 2011 Philly closer Ryan Madson to a one-year, $8.5 million deal. I also wonder how this deal will feel if the Phillies can't find a way to lock up Cole Hamels long-term (he's a free agent next offseason). So this one has less to do with Papelbon and more to do with what the deal might end up costing the Phillies, because $50 million is an awful lot to give to a closer.

Brandon Lyon, Astros: Lyon will make $5.5 million this season. His 2011 season was cut short due to an injury, but he had an 11.48 ERA with as many blown saves as actual saves (four).



Part I: Infielders and catchers
Part II: Outfielders and designated hitters

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:43 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:55 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part II: OF/DH



By Matt Snyder


As we continue our look at the most cumbersome contracts in baseball, today we'll look at outfielders and designated hitters. We covered the infield and catchers Wednesday and will look at pitchers Friday. As a reminder, we're looking at what is left on the contract, not what the player has been paid through the duration of the deal.

Left Field

Worst: Vernon Wells, Angels
Remaining contract: 3 years, $74 million

Man, this was a tough call because it's a crowded field (see below), but we'll go with Wells because the average annual value remaining on the contract is insane. He hit .218/.248/.412 last season and had a negative WAR, meaning a replacement-level player was better than a guy making over $25 million for the season. At age 33, he could certainly bounce back, but it's hard to see him all of a sudden becoming worth as much money as he's making.

Honorable Mention

Carl Crawford, Red Sox: There are six years and $128 million left on the deal, and I feel like many will argue that Crawford's remaining contract is worse than Wells'. I'm willing to give the 30-year-old Crawford a mulligan for his catastrophic first season in Boston. Next year at this time we'll know a lot more.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: Amazingly, he still has three years and $57 million left. Wow.

Jason Bay, Mets: In two seasons for the Mets, Bay has hit .251/.337/.386 (what an ugly slugging percentage for a supposed power hitter) with just 18 homers in 218 games. He still has two years and $36.25 million left, too, in addition to a $3 million buyout should the Mets not pick up his option year.

Center Field

Worst: Alex Rios, White Sox
Remaining Contract: 3 years, $38.5 million

While his teammate got much of the blame last year in terms of the White Sox's shortfall -- and you'll see him below -- Rios was pretty awful himself. He hit .227/.265/.348, which was good for a 65 OPS-plus (if you don't know what that is, trust me, it's embarrassingly bad). He actually posted a negative 1.5 WAR, meaning -- according to the stat -- that he single-handedly cost the White Sox a win and a half just by being in the lineup when he was. And now, thanks to that contract, he's untradeable.

Honorable Mention

Actually, I've got nothing here. Once one-time center fielders' contracts get too big they are usually shoved to the corners. The big-money guys here (Matt Kemp, Curtis Granderson, etc.) are fairly compensated.

Right Field

Worst: Jayson Werth, Nationals
Remaining contract: 6 years, $116 million

Very easy choice. I fully expect a bounce-back season from Werth this year, as several things didn't go his way last season. That being said, the Nationals are paying Werth like he's a superstar all the way until the season in which he turns 38. He wasn't even a superstar his last year in Philadelphia, when he was 31.

Honorable Mention

Nick Markakis, Orioles: There's a reason you only hear about other teams asking for Adam Jones in a trade and not Markakis. The latter is due $43.05 million over the next three seasons while he hit .284 with 15 homers and 73 RBI last season. You need more offense than that from a corner outfielder in order to pay him almost $15 million a year.

Designated Hitter

Worst: Adam Dunn, White Sox.
Remaining contract: 3 years, $44 million

Another easy one. Like Werth, I also expect Dunn to bounce back, but there's no way he can be good enough to earn his full contract over the next three years, especially considering how bad he was last season. He was historically awful with the bat -- there's really no need to rehash the gruesome details at this point -- and that's all he does. And if he does field, his value actually decreases because he's such a butcher with the glove.

Honorable Mention

Travis Hafner, Indians: Nitpicky here, but Pronk will make $13 million this season. He's only averaged 91 games per year the past four seasons. No one else really warrants mention, because Big Papi, for example, is still worth the big bucks.

On the Other Hand ...

Justin Upton, Diamondbacks: Thanks to an early Longoria-type extension, Upton is set to make $46.109 million over the next four seasons. He made just under $4.5 million last season, when he finished fourth in a crowded NL MVP field. Since Upton is only 24, the D-Backs will have to pony up again -- and probably in huge fashion -- to lock him up through his prime, but for now this is a very team-friendly contract.

Special Cases

Bobby Bonilla, Mets: This is both hilarious and sad at the same time. When the Mets bought out Bonilla's $5.9 million contract in 2000, they agreed to repay him with interest starting 11 years later. Beginning July 1, 2011, the Mets are paying Bonilla an annual salary of roughly $1.2 million until 2035. Or around $35 million in all. In 2012, the Mets will pay Bonilla more than the following regulars/rotation members: Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee.

Manny Ramirez, Dodgers: We'll ignore that the Red Sox are paying Manny B. Manny $2 million per year until he's 54 because he helped bring them two World Series titles. But the Dodgers are paying Ramirez $8.33 million in 2012 and 2013. Assuming Clayton Kershaw gets more in arbitration, that means Manny will be the Dodgers' sixth highest-paid player this season. Of course, Frank McCourt is still going to make a billion dollar profit, so ...


Part I: Infielders and catchers
Part III: Pitchers, coming Friday

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:35 pm
 

James Loney won't face DUI charges

James LoneyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Dodgers first baseman James Loney won't be charged for an incident in November in which he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he sideswiped several cars on the 101 Freeway, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At the time, Loney pled his innocence, even though a police report suspected he was under the unfluence. Drug tests came back negative and the city attorney's office announced there was insignificant evident.

Loney, 27, hit .288/.339/.416 for the Dodgers last season and will be a free agent after the 2012 season.

For some reason, each report notes that he was driving a Maserati, as if it's a surprise that young guy in Los Angeles who made nearly $5 million last season drives a nice car. I'd be much more interested in the make of the car if it were a Kia or something.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Category: MLB
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:06 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 6:35 pm
 

Cuban explains losing out on Dodgers



By Matt Snyder

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has now swung and missed three times on owning a baseball franchise. Cuban's latest attempt to join the MLB ranks was with the Dodgers, currently up for sale from Frank McCourt's ownership. Cuban was among the names eliminated from the preliminary bidding and is not a finalist. He spoke to Access Hollywood about why, and it sounds like he didn't want to move on as a finalist.

Dodgers in transition
“It just didn’t work out. I wanted to buy a baseball team; they were selling a media rights deal," Cuban said (Access Hollywood), alluding to the fact that the Dodgers' TV rights are up for sale and obviously a big part of the purchase price.

He then elaborated (Access Hollywood): “The economics got so out of control because the Dodgers’ TV deal’s up for bid and so there’s a lot of groups coming in going, ‘This TV deal’s worth so much money that we’re gonna pay whatever it takes to get the Dodgers.’ And so they’re buying the TV rights deal first and the team second,” Mark said.

It's a bit of a head-scratcher to come at it from this angle, because buying a baseball team is a huge package deal. Every team has TV rights. If they didn't, revenues would be a lot lower. Basically, Cuban's bid was far too low and he thinks the other bids are too high.

But anyway, that's Cuban's story. He's out. The biggest names left in the bidding are Magic Johnson, Rick Caruso (Joe Torre's group), Steven Cohen and the Disney Family.

Hat-tip: Bill Shaikin on Twitter

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:58 pm
 

Giants OF Pat Burrell will retire



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Just days after J.D. Drew said he was retiring, Pat Burrell is also ending his career in baseball. It seems only fitting that the two will go out after the beginnings of their career were intertwined. CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports Burrell will retire.

The two were picked within the first five picks of the 1998 draft, but the story goes back to 1997.

The 1997 Golden Spikes Award winner from Florida State, Drew was taken by the Phillies with the second overall pick in 1997. However, Drew and agent Scott Boras wanted a record $10 million contract from Philadelphia, which wouldn't meet that demand. Instead of relenting, Drew went to play in an independent league and re-enter the 1998 draft.

It just so happened the Phillies had the top pick in that draft as well. But instead of trying their luck with Drew, they took Burrell, the 1998 Golden Spikes Award winner, out of Miami. Drew went to the Cardinals with the fifth pick.

Burrell signed quickly and was immediately cast as the anti-Drew.

While Drew would make his big-league debut in 1998, Burrell spent two more years in the minors before appearing with the Phillies in 2000. That year he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting after hitting 18 home runs and driving in 79. In nine years with the Phillies, he hit .257/.367/.485 with 251 homers, winning the World Series in 2008, his final season in Philadelphia.

The Phillies didn't have need for the outfielder anymore in 2009, letting him sign with the Rays as a DH in 2009, but he struggled in that spot, hitting just .218/.311/.361 with 16 homers in 2009 and the first part of 2010. Hitting .202 with two homers in his first 24 games in 2010, the Rays released him.

Burrell signed with the Giants and rebounded, hitting 18 homers in 96 games for San Francisco, winning another World Series.

After signing a one-year deal with the Giants for 2011, he couldn't replicate his magic of the season before, hitting .230/.352/.404 with seven home runs in 92 games thanks to a right foot injury that had a large part in his retirement. In parts of 12 seasons, Burrell finishes with a career .252/.361/.472 with 292 home runs.

Drew's career line stands at .278/.384/.489 with 242 home runs in parts of 14 seasons.

While both players had good careers, neither turned out to be among the better players of their generation as so many predicted.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:05 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Korean company among Dodgers bidders

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Korean retailer E-Land leads a consortium that is on the short list of Dodgers bidders, Yohap News Agency reported on Monday (via Reuters).

This weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported that at least eight bidders had advanced from the more than 12 initial bids. Already out include Mark Cuban, as well as the group including Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser.

Dodgers in transition
Joining the Korean group in on the bidding is thought to believe a group led by Magic Johnson, another led by real estate developer Rick Caruso (that includes Joe Torre) and another by hedge fundmanager Steven Cohen.

The total cost is expected to be at least $1.5 million.

Major League Baseball has agreed to approve as many as 10 bidders, with Frank McCourt revealing the winning bid by April 1.

The Korean company wouldn't be the first Asian owners in baseball, Nintendo owns the Seattle Mariners.

Baseball is popular in Korea and its national team reached the finals of the last World Baseball Classic, losing to rival Japan in the championship game. Los Angeles also has a huge Korean American population -- more than 300,000, according to the 2009 American Community Survey.

The Dodgers also signed Chan-Ho Park, who was the first South Korean-born player in big league history when he debuted with Los Angeles in 1994.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:43 am
Edited on: January 29, 2012 1:17 pm
 

Roger Clemens strikes out 2 in UT alumni game

Roger ClemensBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Even at 49, Roger Clemens can still bring the heat. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner struck out two of the three University of Texas batters he faced in Saturday's alumni game.

Clemens threw a perfect inning in the game that featured the current Longhorn team against for Texas players. The Longhorns are ranked No. 13 in Baseball America's preseason rankings after appearing in the College World Series last season.

Clemens, who won the College World Series with Texas in 1983, started the game and struck out the first two batters, Cohl Walla and Taylor Stell. Neither Walla nor Stell were alive when Clemens picked up his second Cy Young in 1987. By the time the freshman Stell was born in 1993, Clemens had won 152 games and three Cy Young Awards.

New Padres closer Huston Street relieved Clemens, striking out a batter, and also played second base. Street singled and also scored a run in the 2-0 victory by the alums.

The Mariners' Chance Ruffin, the Reds' Drew Stubbs, the Rangers' Omar Quintanilla, the Cubs' James Russell and former big leaguer Brooks Kieschnick all played for the Texas alums.



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:13 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 1:07 pm
 

Dodgers narrow bidding list; Cuban out

By Matt Snyder

The field of potential next Dodgers owners has been narrowed, and the list no longer includes Mark Cuban, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The Associated Press reports Cuban refused to say whether he was in or out while at his Mavericks' game Friday night. UPDATE: Shaikin has now tweeted that the Garvey-Hershiser group is also out of the bidding.
Dodgers in transition

Shaikin also has reported that "at least eight bidders have advanced in the bidding and are being called finalists (latimes.com), including the groups led by former Lakers superstar Magic Johnson, real estate developer Rick Caruso (his group includes Joe Torre) and hedge fund manager Steven Cohen.

The initial bids -- from more than 12 groups -- were submitted Monday to the financial firm handling the sale by current owner Frank McCourt.

"Each of the preliminary bids has been reviewed carefully by the Dodgers and its financial adviser Blackstone. Blackstone is notifying all of the bidders as to which ones will and which ones will not advance in the sales process," the Dodgers said in a statement.

"The preliminary round of bidding has underscored the robust nature of the sales process, the significant purchase opportunity which the Dodgers represent, and the enormous value that the sale of the Dodgers, including their media assets, will generate."

McCourt put the team in bankruptcy last year and reached an agreement with Major League Baseball to sell the team by April 30, the deadline for him to make a $131 million divorce payment to former wife Jamie McCourt.

CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports that he's heard at least one bid is in the $1.5 billion range, so McCourt could end up approaching a sale price of $2 billion before it's all said and done.

Major League Baseball has agreed to approve up to 10 bidders while McCourt has agreed to reveal the winning bidder by April 1.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com