The Philadelphia Phillies are one of baseball's oldest franchises, and with age comes more and more experience. For the Fightins, this involves many things: lore and milestones during the season, and contract talks/disputes following the season's conclusion.
There have been many instances in Phillies history of botched, problematic contracts. Some have come to pass, others are still in effect, and others are just getting started. These contracts have often led to moderate to high success, often at a discount rate. But in other cases, these deals have failed miserably, causing fan hatred and/or a premature cut from the team for the player involved.
Because in Philly, you don't get off easy. You play to win, or you go home.
Jimmy Rollins most recently signed a new contract with the Phillies. Many, including myself, believe that it's a steal for the Phillies—at least on paper. But what if it turns out to be a total bust, and Jimmy's hurt all three (or four) years? Or what if he hits below the Mendoza line each season of the contract?
These are all risks the Phillies have had to take, and since contracts have escalated in monetary amounts in recent years, the risk has never been higher. Since contract data is difficult to find before the mid-to-late 1980s, we'll take a look at the last 20 to 25 years or so of fraught, terrible contracts that the Phillies have signed. In fact, many, of these contracts have come in the 2000s, mainly because the Phillies were never aggressive spenders until Ed Wade became the Phillies' new general manager in 1998.
Please note that not all of these contracts were poorly signed deals, but they interfered with the Phillies' plans, whether in terms of payroll flexibility, an inability to trade the player, or that the player was an obstacle to bringing another player into the major leagues.
Let's get to it.