MLB: The First-Year Struggles of $100 Million Hitters
Going into this offseason, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth were the two most sought-after non-pitching free agents on the market. Both players capitalized on an aggressive market and signed nine-figure contracts.
Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, and Werth signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
Not only did both players hundred-million contracts in the offseason, but both outfielders have really struggled out of the gate.
Crawford’s struggles have been legendary in Boston. Going into Sunday’s action, the former Tampa Bay Ray was hitting .154 with a .357 OPS.
Werth’s struggles haven’t been as exaggerated because, well, he plays in Washington. But Werth has had a really slow start out of the gate. Werth was hitting .214 with a .704 OPS going into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While 20 games is a small sample size, their struggles in a new environment shouldn’t came as a surprise.
Not including Crawford and Werth, there have been seven free agent hitters who have signed $100 million contracts with a new team, and a good majority of those hitters did worse in the first year with their new team than they did the year before.
Here are the seven free agent hitters who have signed $100 million contracts with their stats from the last year with their old team and their starts from the first year with their new team.
1. Jason Giambi. Signed $120 million contract in 2002.
2. Ken Griffey Jr. Signed $116.5 million contract in 2000.
3. Manny Ramirez. Signed $160 million contract in 2001.
4. Alfonso Soriano. Signed $136 million contract in 2007.
5. Carlos Beltran. Signed $119 million contract in 2005.
6. Carlos Lee. Signed $100 million contract in 2007.
7. Mark Teixeira. Signed $180 million contract in 2009.
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