Most Overpaid Players for New York Yankees

Colin Kennedy@ColinKennedy10Featured ColumnistNovember 29, 2012

Most Overpaid Players for New York Yankees

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    The terms ''expensive' and ''New York'' go seemingly hand in hand. So when you talk about baseball's most overpriced players, the Yankees have to come to mind first. 

    Bill Clinton was in the White House the last time the Yankees didn't top Major League Baseball's payroll list.

    And, shockingly, a few players from that 1998 team are still wearing pinstripes today. 

    The Yankees developed a worldwide reputation for heavy spending under late owner George Steinbrenner that has translated into unprecedented success in recent decades.

    Some may call them tasteless. Others will complain they have an unfair advantage. 

    I prefer the phrase "smart investing."

    But,of course, with such a massive payroll, not every investment pans out. Not every player lives up to his contract. 

    So as we enter the world of high-rollers, here are four of the Yankees' most overpaid players.

4. Phil Hughes

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    2013 Expected Salary: $3.2 million

    2012 Stats: 16-13, 4.23 ERA, 165 K

    Phil Hughes has been quite unpredictable over his five-year career in pinstripes. 

    A stint highlighted by his valuable relief role in New York's 2009 World Series run has been plagued by inconsistency ever since.

    An inability to stay healthy and alarming drop in velocity have some fans questioning Brian Cashman's decision to stick with the 26-year-old many once valued as one of baseball's most prized prospects. 

    At $3.2 million, it isn't easy to argue that Hughes' production is worth that outlay of cash.

    Because of the Yankees' potent offense, his 16 wins in 2012 can be misleading. His 4.32 ERA is more indicative of how the right-hander pitched this past season. 

    Hughes' hefty contract makes guys like Chris Sale look like Black Friday's best bargain. The AL Cy Young contender posted an ERA just over three while earning a half-million dollars in 2012. 

    Other notable players who earned less in 2012: Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Harrison, Ross Detwiler, Jordan Zimmermann.

3. Curtis Granderson

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    2013 Expected Salary: $15 million

    2012 Stats: .232 AVG, 43 HR, 103 RBI

    Curtis Granderson's power numbers since coming to New York make it tough to put him on of the Yankees' list of most overpaid players. 

    But when you consider the short porch in right field, his horrible strikeout totals and recent lack of performance in the postseason, it is only fair to include him.

    His predictable hit-or-miss nature has become a frustrating rally-killer in the Bronx, where championships aren't targeted, but rather expected. 

    When one player strikes out 16 times in a single postseason, the criticism is inevitable.

    Granderson earned $10 million in 2012 while the NL MVP, Buster Posey, earned just more than $600,000.

    Yes, we are talking about the Yankees, who are forced to pay top dollar for everything but a subway ticket. 

    But with a plethora of talented young outfielders across the league, Granderson's contract certainly warrants questioning. 

    Other notable players who earned less in 2012: Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout, Ryan Braun.

2. Mark Teixeira

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    2013 Expected Salary: $22.5 million

    2012 Stats: .251 AVG, 24 HR, 84 RBI

    Much like some of the other players on this list, you can't argue that Mark Teixeira isn't a great player. 

    Without a doubt, his switch-hitting prowess and impeccable defense give the Yankees one of the game's premier first baseman.

    However, Teixeira's continual decline in average has sparked concern. A career .308 hitter, he signed one of heftiest deals in sports history to come to the Bronx in 2008. 

    Since his arrival, Teixeira's career average has plummeted nearly 30 points. 

    There is no question that he remains one of baseball's greats. But when you're making more than all but three players league-wide, you probably shouldn't hover around the .250 mark for three consecutive seasons. 

    The Only Players to Earn More Than Teixeira in 2012: Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana, Vernon Wells.

1. Alex Rodriguez

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    2013 Expected Salary: $28 million

    2012 Stats: .272 AVG, 18 HR, 57 RBI

    You knew this one was coming.How could the highest-paid player in the history of sports not make this list?

    Anyone who knows anything about baseball knows that you could cut Alex Rodriguez's contract in half and he would still be grossly overpaid. 

    I'm not here to bash one of the greatest players this game has ever seen. In fact, I am typically one of the first to defend the guy who is probably this generation's most highly scrutinized athlete. 

    What I can't do, however, is defend the contract that the Yankees gave him. 

    When they signed him in 2007, the Yankees committed more money ($275 million) to one player than the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals paid their entire teams combined in 2012. 

    That means more than 100 professional baseball players could add up their paychecks from this past season, and they would still fall short of Rodriguez's contract. 

    Certainly, at the time, A-Rod was deserving of the title as the league's highest-paid players. His MVP year in 2007 made it nearly impossible for the Yankees to let him walk. 

    But when a player making that much money sees his production drop off that severely, you better know he is topping my list of the Yankees' most overpaid players. 

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