Inspired by the 2008 Seattle Mariners season, in which they became the first team in history to lose 100 games with a $100 million payroll, I've decided to write an article in their honor.
I've set out on a mission to put together the most expensive team of under performers possible.
I'm basing this entirely on 2009 salaries, and will not include any players that have only been busts because of injuries. My goal is to easily surpass a $100 million payroll, without taking into account bench players or a full bullpen.
I hope you enjoy.
Kenji Johjima isn't a bad catcher, but his most recent contract was a big mistake, and his production over the last two years just hasn't cut it.
Not to mention the fact that he has basically been reduced to the backup role in 2009, splitting time with Rob Johnson.
2009 Salary: $7.6 million
2009 Numbers: 34 games, 3 home runs, 12 RBI, .270 BA, .299 OBP
Plus, he's already proven that he is more than capable of being a starter on a 100-loss team.
There wasn't a lot to choose from among first basemen, as it seems most of the under performers at the position aren't getting paid much.
It came down to Laroche or Jason Giambi, and with Adam raking in almost twice as much, I went with him.
His numbers aren't awful, but his production has been among the worst of all starting first basemen, which makes his fat salary seem pretty undeserved.
2009 Salary: $7 million
2009 Numbers: 83 games, 12 home runs, 39 RBI, .246 BA, .331 OBP
After having a breakout season in 2008, Dan Uggla is having a rather pedestrian 2009. The power numbers are there, but he's continuing to strike out a lot while not getting on base very often.
He's also a really bad defensive second baseman. His salary isn't outrageous, but once again there wasn't a whole lot to choose from here. Second basemen just don't get paid that much.
2009 Salary: $5.3 million
2009 Numbers: 90 games, 16 home runs, 50 RBI, .224 BA, .339 OBP
Former NL MVP Jimmy Rollins is having a terrible season for the Phillies.
Not only as he gone from 30 home run power to 10-15 home run power in a matter of two years, but he also isn't hitting for average or getting on base.
Even his stolen base numbers and defense at short are significantly down. He's just not earning his paycheck this season.
2009 Salary: $8.5 million
2009 Numbers: 84 games, 7 home runs, 34 RBI, .231 BA, .286 OBP
At the ripe old age of 37, Melvin Mora is still raking in a lot of money...He just isn't earning it anymore.
His production has been really bad this year for the last place Baltimore Orioles, as he seems to have lost all of his power. He's not hitting for a whole lot of average or getting on base much, either.
2009 Salary: $8 million
2009 Numbers: 69 games, 3 home runs, 24 RBI, .267 BA, .333 OBP
Alfonso Soriano is making a ridiculous amount of money, but isn't coming anywhere near earning it in 2009. He's hitting for some power, but he's striking out a lot and not getting on base nearly enough.
The Cubs have already tried benching him and moving him down in the order, but nothing has seemed to work so far. That huge contract is beginning to look more and more like a huge mistake.
2009 Salary: $17 million
2009 Numbers: 82 games, 14 home runs, 33 RBI, .234 BA, .301 OBP
Chris Young isn't getting paid all that much, but he's having such an awful year I felt like I had to include him. The little money the Diamondbacks are paying him for this season is being completely wasted.
He's barely hitting for any power, he's not walking, and he's not getting hits. That pretty much sums it up.
2009 Salary: $1.9 million
2009 Numbers: 82 games, 6 home runs, 25 RBI, .198 BA, .292 OBP
His lack of production coupled with his bad attitude has almost definitely made the Cubs regret this signing. You can't really blame them, though, as he appeared to have turned his career around with the Rangers in 2008.
Unfortunately, he's back to his old ways with the Cubs in 2009. Like many of his teammates, he just isn't getting the job done, not hitting for power or average.
2009 Salary: $7 million
2009 Numbers: 74 games, 6 home runs, 21 RBI, .239 BA, .374 OBP
The Giants are still hurting from what may go down as one of the worst signings in baseball history.
You can't blame them for signing Zito, as he had been an ace in Oakland, but they had to know they were taking a huge risk by giving him such a huge contract.
He's been a little bit better this season than any other with the Giants, but he's still having a mediocre season, and that's not what the Giants paid for.
2009 Salary: $18.5 million
2009 Numbers: 19 games started, 5 wins, 9 losses, 80 strike outs, 5.05 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
In yet another terrible Bill Bavasi move, the Mariners signed Carlos Silva to a fat contract following the 2007 season.
Silva had been okay with the Twins, but he has been absolutely terrible since signing with the Mariners.
He went 4-16 in 2008, with a 6.46 ERA, and looked as though he was attempting to do even worse than that in 2009 before landing on the DL.
2009 Salary: $12.2 million
2009 Numbers: 6 games started, 1 win, 3 losses, 10 strike outs, 8.48 ERA, 1.64 WHIP
After being a big part of the Rays World Series run in 2008, Scott Kazmir has come back with a mediocre first half of 2009. He's getting paid nearly twice as much as last season, but he's pitching about half as well.
He's still young, and has a lot of talent, so you have to think the Rays will be able to get him back on track. For now though, he isn't earning his money.
2009 Salary: $6 million
2009 Numbers: 13 games started, 4 wins, 5 losses, 51 strike outs, 6.93 ERA, 1.79 WHIP
Bronson Arroyo went from a pitcher with ace type numbers in 2006, to a mediocre pitcher getting overpaid in 2008, and especially 2009.
The Reds offered him a generous extension in early 2007, and unfortunately it hasn't really worked out for them this far. He's pulling in a lot of cash this season, but statistically is having one of his worst years.
2009 Salary: $10.1 million
2009 Numbers: 19 games started, 10 wins, 8 losses, 65 strikeouts, 5.07 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
Wow, both of the Chris Young's are under performing this season. Now, this Chris Young hasn't been nearly as bad as the other, but he is having a disappointing season.
The Padres aren't paying him a huge salary, but he's making decent money without doing much for it. He's been on the DL for awhile now, but his numbers were pedestrian when he was healthy.
2009 Salary: $4.6 million
2009 Numbers: 14 games started, 4 wins, 6 losses, 50 strike outs, 5.21 ERA, 1.45 WHIP
After Miguel had a disastrous season as a starter in 2008, the Mariners moved him to the bullpen. Now he's been slightly better in relief, but he's still been mediocre and is ridiculously overpaid.
I'm not sure where I could find out for sure, but I would think he has to be one of the highest paid non-closer relievers in the game.
2009 Salary: $9.5 million
2009 Numbers: 34 games, 8 holds, 30 strike outs, 3.33 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
After having a phenomenal 2008 season, in which he did not blow a single save, Brad Lidge has been almost the exact opposite in 2009.
He has been a little better as of late, but he had an atrocious first half, blowing six saves and posting awful numbers.
The Phillies are leading the NL East in spite of Lidge, unlike last year where he was a huge contributor.
2009 Salary: $12 million
2009 Numbers: 36 games, 19 saves, 6 blown saves, 37 strike outs, 7.09 ERA, 1.85 WHIP
So, with all of those players, my final payroll comes to $135.2 million. Success!
Now, how bad of a team would that be? Usually, that team would look pretty good on paper, but with the way they have performed this year, I'd say that's close to a 100-loss team.
With so many horrible contracts out there, I sincerely hope that in the future, general managers will be more cautious before serving up those eight-year, $120 million contracts. I hope you enjoyed.
Magglio Ordonez, Kerry Wood, David Ortiz, Jeff Suppan, Vernon Wells, JJ Putz, JD Drew, Jose Guillen, Julio Lugo, Garrett Atkins, Austin Kearns, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Chien-Ming Wang, Gary Matthews Jr., Kosuke Fukudome, Dontrelle Willis, Jason Giambi, BJ Ryan, Luis Castillo
If you have any other ideas for honorable mentions, please let me know!