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Contracts MLB Teams Should Already Regret

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIOctober 21, 2015

Contracts MLB Teams Should Already Regret

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    It's been an exciting offseason, but from Flyin' Hawaiians to Korean imports, plenty of regrettable contracts have already been signed.

    The free-agent market isn't very deep, but there's plenty of players who can be defined as "bargain buys."

    Unfortunately, a slew of bargain players are finding huge paydays this season. Those are definitely moves teams will regret in the long-run.

Brandon McCarthy to Arizona (2 Years, $15.5 Million)

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    Brandon McCarthy came surprisingly cheap after a strong 2012, and it's hard to argue his contract is a mistake.

    But looking at his numbers, McCarthy posted a less than stellar 4.23 xFIP last year. He has yet to pitch 200 innings in a season and his career numbers leave plenty to be desired.

    Acquiring McCarthy may have made Arizona too comfortable with their rotation. As a result, they dealt promising right-hander Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians in a recent three-team trade (h/t MLB Trade Rumors).

    In terms of long-term success, keeping Bauer would have made much more sense for the young D-Backs.

Shane Victorino to Boston (3 Years, $39 Million)

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    Apparently, Boston didn't learn much from the signing of Carl Crawford.

    When it comes to baseball, speed is the one tool that seems to deteriorate the fastest. Unfortunate for Boston, that's what they're paying for with Victorino.

    With Cody Ross still on the table, the Victorino deal doesn't make much sense. Ross proved his value in Boston last season with 22 home runs—and he would have come cheaper for the same number of years.

    Victorino is coming off a career-high 39 steals, but he had just 19 in 2011. And with Ellsbury and Pedroia slated to hit one and two for the Sox, Victorino's speed could become less utilized lower in the order.

    The one difference-maker is defense, but Ross was above-average in right field last season—where as Victorino hasn't played the position since 2008.

B.J. Upton to Braves (5 Years, $75.25 Million)

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    The B.J. Upton deal doesn't make sense on one simple level. The Atlanta Braves need a leadoff man, and Upton is not an ideal candidate.

    Upton has failed to hit over .250 four seasons in a row. In that same span, his highest on-base percentage was .331 in 2011. He posted a career low .298 OBP last season.

    Upton has never scored more than 90 runs in a season.

    The best alternative for Atlanta would have been to bring back Michael Bourn. He'll never have the power of Upton, but he scores runs (over 90 the last two seasons) and has a career .339 OBP.

    Defensively, it's no contest—Bourn has a career 54.7 UZR, where as Upton's is 3.5.

    Based on what Bourn's already done for Atlanta—and that fact that he fits the team's needs—he makes much more sense for the Braves. And given the age difference, he probably could have come cheaper.

Chang-Yong Lim to Cubs (2 Years, $5 Million Split)

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    As reported tonight, the Chicago Cubs have signed Korean relief pitcher Chang-Yong Lim to a two-year contract (h/t MLB Trade Rumors). The $5 million is a split deal—meaning Lim will make less depending on how much time he spends in the minors.

    Since Lim is an internationally signed player, it's hard to estimate what effect he will have for the Cubs.

    But one thing we do know is that Lim has already gone through Tommy John surgery twice. And Chicago reportedly doesn't expect him to pitch until 2014 (via Yonhap News Agency).

    Even though it's not much money, it seems absurd to sign such an injury risk and not expect him to play until the end of his contract.

Zack Greinke to Dodgers (6 Years, $147 Million)

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    While the Dodgers will have a powerful front-end of the rotation with Zack Greinke, the signing could be a tough thing to work around in the future.

    Greinke's $24.5 million per year gives him the highest annual salary of any pitcher, leap-frogging CC Sabathia's $24.4 million.

    But by the time of Sabathia's signing, he was already a 117-game winner with three playoff appearances. Greinke has only won 91 games with a less than stellar playoff run in 2011. His track record isn't nearly as solid as Sabathia's.

    The signing also sets up a huge payday for left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers' prized pitcher will be a free agent after the 2014 season, and is sure to command superstar money.

    But with all the payroll L.A. has taken on in the last few months, they could have trouble finding flexibility for Kershaw.

    If the deal means losing Kershaw, it's certainly not worth it—even with the short-term dividends.

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