The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to spend as much money as possible to put together a winning team; that much is clear. But with great payroll comes great responsibility to not go crazy with contracts.
I can't say the Dodgers have abided by that made-up rule quite yet, because they certainly have their fair share of well-overpaid players. You can point to about half of the starting lineup as being "overpaid," but having an expensive contract doesn't necessarily make one overpaid.
Instead, I focused on guys who do not earn the money they are paid. For example, I truly believe that Matt Kemp, despite his mammoth salary, earns his paycheck by being a legitimate five-tool player. On the other hand, B.J. Upton's new $15 million-per-year contract with Atlanta doesn't seem very justified based on his performance.
Similarly, you won't see Hanley Ramirez or Adrian Gonzalez on this list. They may earn too much money, but they are multi-faceted, talented players who make one of the biggest impacts to any team in any league.
Read on for a list of the six most overpaid players on the current Dodgers roster—quick, before it balloons to double digits!
Let's start with our cover boy, newly minted closer Brandon League. Yes, he did a fantastic job stepping in for Kenley Jansen after being acquired in 2012. But what in the world justified a three-year, $22.5 million contract for this guy?
Prior to coming to Los Angeles, League had all of 54 saves and a 3.60 ERA. The latter is a great number for a starting pitcher or a middle reliever. But, there is no explanation for giving that big of a contract to a player who has blown nearly 30 percent of his save opportunities over his career.
On the positive side, League has some experience closing. Aside from Jansen, that's a category the Dodgers severely lack in. His sinker has crazy movement, and as long as he doesn't overthrow, he'll put up some good numbers at the back end of the bullpen.
But "good numbers" don't get you nearly $8 million per season.
You had to know this one was coming. The way Crawford is getting paid would have made perfect sense if he was still dominating like his days in Tampa Bay. But since signing the mega-deal with Boston, Crawford has been performing poorly if he's ever even healthy.
When the Dodgers made the blockbuster deal to acquire Adrian Gonzalez last summer, they were forced to take on Crawford and his ridiculous contract, along with Josh Beckett and Nick Punto. Though there is some hope, based on his career numbers, the Dodgers can't have excessively high hopes.
With Yasiel Puig no more than a year away from the majors, they have their left fielder of the future. And unless Crawford proves that he can still get on base and swipe bags at the same rate he used to, he may be expendable after the 2013 season. As of now, he's a very expensive bust.
Mark Ellis is one of my favorite players, not just on the Dodgers, but of any team in any era...ever. His career .991 fielding percentage is exceptional, and he's the ultimate pro at the plate and in the locker room.
That being said, his overall play has never justified almost $4.5 million a season. His career batting average is .265 and he averages less than 10 homers and 50 RBI per year. Don't get me wrong, Ellis is a very important player, and the market is much higher than it used to be for anyone's services.
But, even if you combine offense, defense, versatility and veteran leadership into one big package, I can think of a lot better price tags and a lot better second basemen the Dodgers could employ.
This one is hardly a fault of Lilly's. A player can't exactly help how healthy they will be. But in basically two-and-a-half seasons in Dodger Blue, Lilly has made 53 starts, winning 24 and having a sub-4.00 ERA. That doesn't sound too bad.
Except that Lilly is making $11 million per season and has spent a large chunk of his time in Los Angeles on the DL with various injuries. We don't even know if Lilly will be a member of the team in 2013, but if he is, he has an awful lot of catching up to do to justify the three-year, $33 million deal.
As a Dodger, Lilly has been paid almost $1 million per win. That says it all. The investment was a sketchy idea at the time, and it has turned out to be a waste.
My hatred towards Uribe has been well-chronicled on multiple media outlets. And I'm completely justified - you can't convince me otherwise. I knew signing a guy coming off a fluke season in San Francisco who had a career .297 on-base percentage at the time was a horrible idea.
But I never thought Ned Colletti would be stupid enough to shell out $7 million per year for a guy who can't make contact, can't run and only plays above-average, but not great, defense. The only silver lining to the Uribe situation in Los Angeles right now is that they finally got smart and benched him.
It's a cruel world. Juan Uribe has two World Series rings, despite the sub-.300 on-base percentage and one of the ugliest swings in the history of baseball. Did I make my point? I don't like Uribe and he is overpaid and I hate him and want him to go away. End, tantrum.
I went back and forth between including Ethier on this list. Ultimately, it fits my criteria. Ethier has been an invaluable member of the Dodgers since coming over from Oakland in the Milton Bradley deal. He has been the most important, clutch player in the lineup since 2006.
That being said, the six-year, $95.95 million contact extension he recently inked is nowhere near a fair amount for the numbers he has put up. In what way does an average slash line of approximately .290/20/85 earn you almost $16 million per season?
On top of everything, Ethier is a lost cause against left-handed pitchers. He essentially loses himself at least one at-bat, usually two, per game because of that deficiency. And opposing pitchers know it now. They go right at him, and he constantly gets rung up in important late-game situations.