Top 10 Most Overpaid MLB Players In 2010: That's Why Hot Dogs Cost $5
The New York Mets will be paying Bobby Bonilla until 2035.
With no salary cap and a new crop of talented free agents every season, it's no surprise that the MLB is littered with bad contracts.
Teams are struggling with payroll flexibility both short and long-term in a tight economy, and these ten guys are big reasons as to why so many argue that there needs to be a cap in place.
10. Aaron Rowand, OF San Francisco Giants
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2010 Salary: $12 million
2010 Statistics: .230 AVG, 11 HR, 34 RBI
Rowand is a useful player to have on your ballclub, but the price is simply wrong.
After winning the hearts of Phillies fans for his high-energy style of play, Rowand cashed in with the Giants on a 5-year, $60 million deal. Unfortunately for San Francisco, Rowand's production has slipped in every season since he signed the big deal.
Now with two seasons remaining, the Giants are looking to unload the veteran outfielder just days after winning the World Series. However, the team will have to pick up a significant chunk of the money owed to him if they hope that other teams will even consider taking him off their hands.
9. John Lackey, SP Boston Red Sox
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2010 Salary: $18.7 million
2010 Statistics: 14-11, 4.40 ERA, 1.42 WHIP
After the Red Sox surprisingly swooped in on the prize right-hander with a very generous contract, GM Theo Epstein may be sorely regretting this decision.
With another four seasons remaining on his 5-year, $82.5 million deal, Red Sox fans are hoping that he will provide a better return on investment than he did in his inaugural season. Lackey had his worst season since 2003 in his first as a member of the Red Sox, and that's when he was still pitching for the Anaheim Angels, not the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Matching his career high in WHIP and his second-worse BAA, Lackey has substantial room for improvement if he hopes to come close to being worth his paycheck.
8. Alfonso Soriano, OF Chicago Cubs
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2010 Salary: $19 million
2010 Statistics: .258 AVG, 24 HR, 79 RBI
Soriano doesn't resemble anything close to the player he was in past years.
After extraordinary seasons with the Yankees, Rangers, and even one with the Nationals, Soriano cashed in on an 8-year, $136 million deal with the Cubs that had Chicago fans envisioning a trip to the World Series.
Unfortunately that hasn't happened, and what's worse is the fact that Soriano's skills are clearly in decline. With four years still remaining on his current deal at greatly inflated salary, the former All-Star has less trade value than a bag of balls used for batting practice.
Additionally, Soriano always sported a clean bill of health prior to his arrival on the North side, but has struggled to stay on the field for a full season in Chicago. The only way Chicago will be able to ever move him is if he rebounds to his old ways, but fans shouldn't be betting on that.
7. AJ Burnett, SP New York Yankees
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2010 Salary: $16.5 million
2010 Statistics: 10-15, 5.26 ERA, 1.51 WHIP
Given how poorly Burnett pitched this season, it was only his contract that kept him from going to the minor leagues--that's really how bad he was.
The second pitcher to appear on the list with a 5-year, $82.5 million deal, Burnett has failed miserably to live up to the hype that surrounded him upon his signing with the Yankees. After pitching somewhat decently in the first year of the deal, Burnett took a huge step back posting the highest BAA of his entire career.
After being banished from the rotation in the regular season, Burnett is yet another free agent swing n' miss for the Bronx Bombers, but fortunately the team's checkbook can balance a few bad investments.
6. Todd Helton, 1B Colorado Rockies
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2010 Salary: $17.775 million
2010 Statistics: .256 AVG, 8 HR, 37 RBI
With those numbers, Helton would be lucky to make a million, much less almost 18 times that.
The franchise player signed an 11-year, $141.5 million that hasn't exactly proved to be worth every penny. While Helton is valued a little more than his playing worth considering that he's been a mainstay for so long, the Rockies front office really shot themselves in the foot with this long-term deal.
Further complicating the matter, Helton recently signed a two-year extension that will keep him in a Rockies uniform for two seasons beyond his mega deal. At age 37 and with a debilitating back, what is Colorado thinking?
5. Vernon Wells, OF Toronto
2010 Salary: Approx. $16.1 million ($16,142,857)
2010 Statistics: .273 AVG, 31 HR, 88 RBI
In what was his best season since 2006, Wells actually played pretty well this season, but nowhere near good enough to take home $16 million.
Wells was given a 7-year, $126 million behemoth contract by former GM JP Ricciardi and has really fallen flat on his face since signing it. Considered one of the game's up and coming stars at the time, Wells has faded into the background with a thud.
Despite getting paid like a top-10 outfielder, he's simply not producing as such. Now just about halfway through his deal, the Blue Jays will hope to swap bad contracts with another desperate team, but it's hard to imagine what team will be this desperate.
4. Barry Zito, SP San Francisco Giants
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2010 Salary: $18.5 million
2010 Statistics: 9-14, 4.15 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
It's hard to believe that the World Series champs have two of the most overpaid players in baseball on their roster, but that's exactly what has happened.
One of the biggest free agent busts in MLB history, Zito is another member of the dreaded 7-year, $126 million club. Despite his consistent dominance in Oakland, Zito has never been able to translate his former success to his current team.
Zito has actually had the worst stretch of his career with the Giants since signing, and it doesn't appear he's returning to his dominant ways anytime soon. Once one of the most feared lefties in the game, now all the Giants hope for is that Zito keeps them in the game when he steps on the mound.
3. Manny Ramirez, OF Chicago White Sox
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2010 Salary: Approx. $18.7 million ($18,695,006)
2010 Statistics: .298 AVG, 9 HR, 42 RBI
It certainly was not a Cinderella storybook ending in Hollywood for Manny this year as he just never got the ball rolling in his time with the Dodgers.
The writing was on the wall when Los Angeles sold the infamous "Mannywood" sign out for advertisement, and shortly thereafter he was awarded to the Chicago White Sox on a straight waiver claim.
However, a transition to the American League didn't help his lost season whatsoever and he hit just one home run in his entire time with the Sox.
Now entering free agency, Ramirez would be best suited to take his talents to an American League team and become a designated hitter.
2. Alex Rodriguez, 3B New York Yankees
2010 Salary: $33 million
2010 Statistics: .270 AVG, 30 HR, 125 RBI
Don't get me wrong, A-Rod is a first ballot Hall of Famer despite the steroid allegations that cloud his name, but there is no athlete worth more than $30 million per season.
With Rodriguez's 50+ homer days behind him, there is no contribution that he could possibly make to the already stacked Yankees lineup that would justify his salary.
Just think about this: Rodriguez makes roughly $50,000 every time he steps up to the plate. So all those 0-4, three strikeout games where he was accused of not being clutch?
Who wouldn't take the criticism for $200,000 per game?.
1. Oliver Perez, SP NYM
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2010 Salary: $12 million
2010 Statistics: 0-5, 6.80 ERA, 2.07 WHIP
It's simply amazing to me that this guy lasted the entire season in the major leagues.
Despite making $12 million, the Mets tried to send Perez to the minor leagues, only to be blocked by Perez himself who didn't feel that he would benefit from a trip to Buffalo, instead insisting that he was capable of contributing at the major league level.
Perhaps Ollie needs to be sent for a CT scan, because that's absolutely delusional. After being banished to the bullpen, Perez pitched in just seven games from July 21-October 3, a span of more than two months.
Downright the worst pitcher in the entire league, the fact that he earned $12 million is just like the Wilpon's using $20 bills as toilet paper, because either way it's money being flushed down the toilet.