Atlanta Braves: Is Mike Hampton Worth $15 Million a Year?

Derek CoffeltSenior Analyst IApril 4, 2008

ATLANTA—Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Hampton was once again placed on the 15-Day disabled list after a strained pectoral muscle. He was slated to start for the first time in three years last night as he once again sustained another injury.

I know this question has been asked for the last couple of years now, but is Mike Hampton really worth $15 million a year?

Since coming to the Braves in November of 2002 he has a combined record of 32 wins and 20 losses and a career ERA of 3.97. 

Granted, he missed all of the 2006 season with Tommy John surgery but the madness of overpaying players must stop. Not to mention his horrid rehab stint in which he tore his oblique muscle in 2007 only to be shut down after recurring elbow pain.

It's time for the Braves to wake up and stop living in the past with Hampton's flashes of brilliance. His 1999 season of 22 wins with a 2.90 ERA was an aberration at best.

Maybe the Braves should invest in a pitcher that can actually stay healthy. Tim Hudson is a great No. 2 starter along side starter turned closer turned starter John Smoltz.

It seems to me that the Braves should invest in their incredible farm system for pitchers.

They've had a great track record for giving rookies a chance to shine on the big stage yet they continually show loyalty to Hampton. Manager Bobby Cox has clearly shown that he trusts his young players to handle whatever comes to them on the field.

So I ask, why stick with Mike Hampton?