Even with all the advanced statistics, it’s still sometimes difficult to truly project how a player will perform in the future. Teams often roll the dice with young and veteran players alike, signing them to lengthy extensions and free-agent contracts in the hope that their past performances will continue.
But while some contracts do work out for the better, many do not. Whether caused by freak injury or puzzling ineffectiveness, teams are often left with players performing at a fraction of their big salaries.
In the case of Albert Pujols, for instance, the Los Angeles Angels are on the hook for another eight seasons of the declining hitter. If a 33-year-old Pujols can’t pass the muster, it’s unlikely the 41-year-old version (the last year of his contract) will either.
Below are the worst contracts in baseball, position by position.