2009 Roster: Worst Contract Extensions (The September Edition)

Josh LevittSenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2009

After looking over my original roster from April, I decided that it was about time that I fully updated the 2009 roster of the worst contract extensions. Many of the players, who were on my original list, have played themselves off the list (that means you, Chris Carpenter), but a new group of players have unfortunately made their way onto the list either because of poor performance of even injuries (hello, Yuniesky).

The bottom line is this: in the world of baseball contracts, a lot can change from April to September.

Please take into account how I define "contract extension" for the sake of this roster:

1. Player was traded to new team and then signed a new contract with the club (i.e Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis)

2. Player was under contract with a team, but signed a new, long term deal (i.e Travis Hafner)

3. Player signed a new contract with same club BEFORE he filed for free agency (i.e Alex Rodriguez's 10 year/$275 contract is not an extension on this list...and neither is Luis Castillo's 4 year/$26 million dollar contract...or Nick Punto's 2 year/$9.5 contract. All of these guys filed for free agency before they signed with their old team)

Just one final note before we get to the rosters. The teams you see listed next to each individual player are the team that the player signed the contract extension with at the time.

2009 Roster of the Worst Contract Extensions (The September Edition)

C: Kenji Johjima (3 years/$24 million), Mariners
1B: Dmitri Young (2 years/$10 million), Nationals
2B: Bill Hall (4 years/$24 million), Brewers
SS: Bobby Crosby (5 years/$12.5 million), A's
3B: Eric Chavez (6 years/$66 million), A's

OF: Vernon Wells (7 years/$126 million), Blue Jays
OF: Eric Byrnes (3 years/$30 million), Diamondbacks
OF: Austin Kearns (3 years/$17.5 million), Nationals

DH: Travis Hafner (4 years/$57 million), Indians

Bench: Brandon Inge (4 years/$24 million), Tigers
Bench: Carlos Guillen (4 years/$48 million), Tigers
Bench: Chad Tracy (3 years/$13 million), Diamondbacks
Bench: Yuniesky Betancourt (4 years/$13.75 million), Mariners
Bench: Khalil Greene (2 years/$11 million), Padres
Bench: Gary Sheffield (2 years/$28 million), Tigers
Bench: Brian Schneider, (4 years/$16 million), Nationals

(Contracts that I'm still conflicted on: Todd Helton (9 years/$141 million), Michael Young (5 years/$80 million), Hideki Matsui (4 years/$52 million), Alex Rios (7 years/$69 million)

SP: Kelvim Escobar (3 years/$28.5 million), Angels
SP: Jake Westbrook (3 years/$33 million), Indians
SP: Dontrelle Willis (3 years/$29 million), Tigers
SP: Fausto Carmona (4 years/$15 million), Indians
SP: Jose Contreras (3 years/$29 million), White Sox

P: Nate Robertson (3 years/$21 million), Tigers
P: Jeremy Bonderman (4 years/$38 million), Tigers

(Not looking too good: Brad Lidge (3 years/$37.5 million), Manny Corpas (4 years/$8 million)

So by my count, here is the running tally of horrible contract extensions by team (turn away, Tigers fans):

1. Tigers: 6
2. Indians: 3 / Nationals: 3
3. Mariners: 2/ Indians: 2/ Diamondbacks: 2
4. Angels: 1/ White Sox: 1/ Padres: 1/ Blue Jays: 1/ Brewers: 1

The most amazing part about some of these extensions gone bad is that it's hard to fault the GM for making the move.

Can anyone is Detroit really blame Tigers' management for locking up Jeremy Bonderman to a contract extension only to have him suffer through two injury plagued seasons? Not me.

Can anyone really blame Indians GM Mark Shapiro for trying to keep playoff hero Fausto Carmona under control for a number of years for a reasonable amount of money? I can't.

So just remember this: while some of these extensions are completely and utterly indefensible (hello, Vernon Wells), there are a select few that are simply unworthy of bashing.