6 MLB Players Who Never Lived Up to Their Big Contracts

Christopher CzarContributor IAugust 5, 2011

6 MLB Players Who Never Lived Up to Their Big Contracts

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    You know the old adage, "If you throw enough money at it, it will go away."

    That's a philosophy best adopted by a guy like Ben Roethlisberger not your MLB GMs.  But just like Big Ben at a crowded nightclub, mistakes will happen and people will be hurt when huge baseball contracts are involved. 

    Mainly, it's the fans of those teams burned by high-priced, low-flying free agents getting hurt.

    I momentarily thought about making this an awards slideshow, and calling these the "Werthies" in honor of everyone's favorite Mendoza line-straddling, Cristal-guzzling millionaire in DC, but I'm gonna give Jason Werth another year to crack .250 before declaring him the biggest waste of money since a Milli Vanilli concert ticket.

    Instead, this is going to be a list of the six guys who let expectations (or money) get to them.  Six guys who, like an Enron Exec, took the money and ran.

1. Barry Zito

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    Barry Zito is kind of like Adam Sandler.  The crappier he gets, the more he gets paid.

    Zito took the short trip across the bay to the San Francisco Giants and apparently left his talents in Oakland.  He certainly didn't forget his wallet, though.

    Zito is 43-61 and has made $18.5 Million for the Giants the past three seasons of the contract that is mercilessly due to expire in...what!...not for two and a half more years?

2. Vernon Wells

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    While with the Toronto Blue Jays, Vernon Wells signed a seven-year, $126 million contract in 2006.  After Canadian taxes were taken out, Wells made a cool $43,000 a year.

    After buying Nova Scotia, Wells never justified the money he earned, failing to reach 100 RBI after 2006. 

    His penance for mediocrity?  Being shipped away from the frigid snow, AstroTurf and high taxes of Toronto, to sunny Southern California.

    Some guys get no breaks.

3. Joe Mauer

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    I know Mauer is a good player and is the only guy on the list who still has a chance to earn his money..but eight years for $185 million for a suspect defensive catcher who's hit one home run?  In fact, he has a whopping 10 home runs since signing his Titanic sized contract.

    I think I've hit 10 home runs since Mauer signed his contract.

    Much hyped before reaching the bigs, Joe Mauer was Bryce Harper, before Bryce Harper's hype ate every prospect which has existed since 1901.  

    Mauer actually earned a hefty contract prior to 2009 with some good power numbers.

    However since his extension, he's got more singles than Pacman Jones at a Vegas strip club and more injuries than a breakdancing class at a retirement home.

4. Jason Bay

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    Jason Bay is having an excellent season for the Mets with 13 HR and 84 RBI.  Oh, never mind...that's over the last two seasons combined.

    Bay signed an $80 million contract prior to last year with the Mets and has failed to light up Broadway.  Rather, he's stinking up the locker room with with a .239 average and .342 slugging percentage.

    Rumor is the Mets want to trade Bay back to his homeland of Canada for Alanis Morissette straight up, but Canada wants cash too.

5. AJ Burnett

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    Since signing a five-year, $800 bazillion contract with the Yankees ($82.5 million actually), AJ Burnett has gone 31-33 for the Yankees with an ERA higher than the crowd at a Phish concert.

    Burnett's being out-pitched by Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia this year and has been bombed more than Mel Gibson and David Hasselhoff combined.

    Luckily he plays on the Yankees, so he's sure to be involved in plenty of 10-7 wins.  Well, luckier for him he plays for the Yankees who overpay everyone, even their bathroom attendants.

6. Carlos Silva

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    A guy who looks like he competes in professional eating, rather than professional baseball, Carlos Silva signed one of the most laughable contracts ever with the Seattle Mariners.  Four years, $48 million for a guy with the ability of a No. 5 starter—on a Triple-A team.

    Not surprisingly, Silva went 4-18 over two seasons with the Mariners before they were able to inexplicably pawn him off to the Cubs for the equally maligned Milton Bradley.

    After the gruesome twosome deal, it took Silva about four days to alienate Cubs fans, and he's been blaming everyone in Chicago for his failures since. 

    Yes, blaming them for all his problems while counting a huge stack of hundreds on a beach in Venezuela.