Friday, April 22, 2016

USA Today’s Five Worst $100 Million Contracts Includes One Yankee

In the world of Major League Baseball in the year 2016 it seems like handing out a $100 million contract is more common place than a marker or milestone anymore. There is so much inflation in the game and so much money in the game right now and the team and players both know it leading to some interesting contract negotiations and deals every single winter. USA Today picked on those deals that have crossed the $100 million threshold and picked the five worst in the history of the league and unfortunately one of those men is wearing a Yankees uniform today. 

The crew over at USA Today did not simply use fandom, bias or anything like that to make their decisions but instead they used total WAR over the course of the $100 million deal to find the worst value per contract and with that equation they found that CC Sabathia has one of the worst $100 million contracts of all-time. Here is what the crew had to say about the fourth worst contract over $100 million in MLB history according to WAR: 

4. CC Sabathia (2012-16), Yankees 

Salary per 1.0 WAR: $23.2 million Contract details: 5 years, $122 million WAR over contract: 4.2 

Sabathia's first mega-deal with New York, a seven-year, $161 million commitment signed before the 2009 season, actually turned out quite well for the Yankees. It was a five-year extension signed midway through that contract that's proven to be an albatross, as Sabathia has struggled to overcome issues on and off the field over the past few years.
Once a durable workhorse whom you could annually count on for 200 innings and a sub-3.50 ERA, Sabathia recorded a 4.81 ERA while averaging 141.1 innings between 2013-2015. He hasn’t looked any better this year, despite admirably seeking help for his alcoholism last fall. 

Like Howard, Sabathia is only under contract through the end of this season. The Yankees will have to pay him a $5 million buyout for 2017, however. 

To finish out the list Carl Crawford came in 5th with his seven-year deal worth $142 million that the Boston Red Sox gave him while Sabathia came in fourth with his current five-year and $122 million contract he signed before opting out of his previous deal. The third worst contract belongs to Mike Hampton of the Colorado Rockies who gave him an eight-year deal worth $121 million and only got a total of 3.0 WAR back in return while the second worst contract can be found in San Francisco. The Giants gave Barry Zito a seven-year deal worth $126 million only to see a similar 3.0 WAR returned. Rest assured Mr. Zito and Mr. Hampton and Mr. Sabathia that none of these contracts are as bad as the contract that the Philadelphia Phillies handed Ryan Howard before the 2012 season. 

Howard signed for five-years and $125 million and to date, the contract expires after this season so it is a bit incomplete at this time, the first baseman has given the Phillies a -3.0 WAR. That’s not a typo, he has had a negative WAR. Howard is the only $100 million man to ever accumulate a negative WAR and that is something special, just not special in the way that you want to be remembered for. So remember Yankees fans you may not like the CC Sabathia contract and you may not like him being on the team anymore but at least he isn’t Ryan Howard. Think of it that way. 

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