After hearing the salaries of some MLB players, you may get the idea that some MLB owners have a printing press built in to their basement or attic. Every offseason, a team, usually in New York, decides to throw what may resemble infinity dollars at the most coveted free agents on the market.
If you don't believe me, just take a look at the payroll of the New York Yankees and compare it to the rest of the league. Although some players may deserve their respective salaries, the following players are not living up to their ridiculously lucrative contracts.
Once heralded as the most dominant pitcher in baseball, Zito has become an average pitcher at-best with the San Francisco Giants. In fact, he had no hand whatsoever in the Giants winning the World Series last season because he wasn't even a part of the playoff rotation.
He is truly the definition of a washed-up star. In only eight starts this season, he has posted a 3-3 record with a whopping 5.24 ERA. Woeful, to say the least.
The nine-time Gold Glove winning center fielder has seen his production drop during the past few seasons. Hunter's average has fallen to an anemic .234 and he has only managed 13 home runs and 50 RBI while batting in the heart of the Angels order.
Hunter is essentially being outplayed and out-slugged by the Angels 25-year-old rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo, who is making a meager $414,000 a year.
Zambrano's story echoes that of Zito. He was once considered to have the best "stuff" in the game, but his .271 BAA (Batting Average Against) leaves a lot to be desired. He has a 7-6 record this season with a 4.59 ERA in 21 starts for the Cubs. Zambrano is just another average pitcher with a superstar salary.
The picture really says it all. Soriano has been plagued by his poor defense since his days playing second base with the New York Yankees. His move to left field hasn't yielded the results the Chicago Cubs were hoping for. Not only is he a defensive liability, but he doesn't make enough contact at the plate.
He has struck out already 79 times this year and only walked a total of 16 times. His batting average has plummeted to .247 and his OBP is a worrisome .286. Although he has 15 homers and 44 RBI, his performance does not merit his $19 million annual salary.
"El Caballo" has been one of the most consistent power hitters in baseball since coming up with the Chicago White Sox in 1999. Prior to this season, he had belted 331 homers in his career, an average of about 26 per season. This season has been one to forget for Lee.
He's on pace for just 14 homers and 89 RBI. He is still hitting at a solid clip of .278, but for a man who is paid to drive in runs and hit the ball out of the ballpark, he is not having a good season.
For a guy who hasn't played all season, Santana sure has made some dough. He's just another example of New York teams overpaying for injury-prone starting pitchers. Pedro Martinez, A.J. Burnett, and Carl Pavano come to mind for some reason.
Wells has to be a top candidate for disappointment of the season. The Angels brought him in to provide protection in the lineup for Torii Hunter and power-hitting Kendry Morales. Unfortunately, Morales is out for the year and Wells' role became much greater.
Surely Wells was feeling the pressure to perform at a high level and his slow start to the season may prove that. But he is the second highest paid player in the game and the Angels deserved a much better return on their investment. Yes, you read that correctly. Vernon Wells is making significantly more money than the likes of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. His average, .215, is hovering just above the Mendoza line at the moment despite his resurgence in the past two months and is on pace for just 68 RBI this season.
I think the $32 million speaks for itself, but if I need to convince anyone else I'll give it a shot. Not only is A-Rod's salary in a league of its own, his production has fallen off dramatically over the last few seasons. At age 36, he isn't getting any younger. Don't expect to see the Rodriguez we saw in 2007 ever again; sorry Yankee fans.