New York Yankees: 5 Worst Contracts

Phillip BrownSenior Analyst IIJanuary 11, 2012

New York Yankees: 5 Worst Contracts

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    The Steinbrenner's, Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees are known for spending an exuberant amount of money on free agents. They have, in fact, overspent for quite a few players, but who is overpaid and who is not?

    Let's look at the five most overpaid New York Yankees right now.

Derek Jeter

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    Remaining Contract: Two years, $33 million with a player option for $8 million ($3 million buyout).

    It pains me to say this, but Derek Jeter is overpaid.

    The 2010-11 offseason was a debacle for the New York Yankees. Not only did they miss out on Cliff Lee but they also overpaid Derek Jeter.

    I know Jeter is a Yankee great and will go down as a Top 10, if not Top Five, Yankee all-time, has off-the-chart intangibles and is still a good player, but he is 37 years old and is not worth the price.

    I do not blame the New York Yankees organization for signing him to this deal because they could not let Jeter walk, but they did not handle it correctly and in the end they overpaid. Not only did Jeter get over $50 million, but it became a PR nightmare that may have left some bad blood between Jeter and the Yankees.

Pedro Feliciano

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    Remaining Contract: One year, $4 million with a club option for $4.5 million with $250,000 buyout.

    Why is this a picture of Pedro Feliciano in a New York Mets jersey?

    Because I couldn't find one of him in a Yankees jersey. He has yet to throw a pitch as a Yankee.

    I think that is all the explanation needed.

AJ Burnett

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    Remaining Contract: Two years, $33 million.

    This is another obvious one. AJ Burnett is getting paid $16.5 million to record a 5.15 ERA.

    Burnett has on of the best arms you will ever see, but he is a headcase and cannot focus on the task at hand.

    He is the most frustrating player on the Yankees roster because some games he looks like an ace (see Game 2 of the 2009 World Series and Game 4 of the 2011 ALDS), while in others, he looks like a Little Leaguer.

    Bottom line is AJ Burnett cannot be trusted in must-win games.

Rafael Soriano

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    Remaining Contract: Two years, $25 million.

    Rafael Soriano was signed by the Yankees—despite protest from general manager Brian Cashman—to be their eighth-inning man and eventual successor to Mariano Rivera.

    David Robertson stepped in and made people forget about Soriano—for the time being—but this contract may just stop the Yankees from grabbing a starter this offseason (perhaps Roy Oswalt) because of their recent thoughts on payroll cuts.

    A 4.12 ERA is not worth his three-year, $35 million contract, but there is some good news, as Soriano had a 2.75 ERA since May 1st.

    Despite this, Soriano needs to show that he can be a shutdown relief pitcher in order to justify his contract. Relievers do not get long-term deals unless they are great.

    Francisco Rodriguez accepted arbitration instead of hitting free agency and Ryan Madson signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Remaining Contract: Six years, $149 million.

    Alex Rodriguez is a very good player, but nobody is worth almost $25 million a season, especially not a 36-year-old with a surgically repaired knee.

    Rodriguez is still a very good fielder and is one of the best hitters of all time, but he is declining with age.

    Historically, Rodriguez has been very disappointing in the postseason, save 2009, but he has been an excellent regular season player, and if he recovers from his knee injury I expect him to remain a very good player.

    The bottom line is, if Alex Rodriguez can remain healthy he may be worth some of this contract but he has not played 140+ games since 2007 and at 36 years old I do not see that changing anytime soon. At the end of his contract the best-case scenario is that he is a serviceable DH.