You may find a couple of bad contracts on some of MLB’s worst teams, but there are also bad deals on current MLB contenders.
Teams that are competing often take bad contracts if they come with talented players who can help them win.
Here are the three notorious examples of bad MLB contracts for players actually on a good team.
3. Robinson Cano, New York Mets
A couple of years ago, before Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson took over the team, the Wilpons took a lot of heat for trading the organization’s top prospect, Jarred Kelenic.
They wanted Edwin Diaz, an unquestionably elite reliever even if he is prone to a performance blip every once in a while.
However, a lousy contract came with Diaz.
It was Robinson Cano.
The Mets are on the hook for the last two seasons of Cano’s 10-year, $240 million contract, which will come in 2022 and 2023.
At least they are not paying him this year, since he got suspended for performance-enhancing drugs for the second time in his career.
But they will pay him $24 million each in 2022 and 2023, when he will be 39 and 40 years old, respectively.
I still can’t believe the Mets gave up 2 highly rated prospects (Justin Dunn & Jarred Kelenic) for Robinson Cano and his mammoth contract. I didn’t think the Mariners could/would find a trade partner who wanted Cano at $24 million per season AND give up young talent in return.
— T-BILL (@tbillnw95) May 13, 2021
That’s a lot to pay for a 40-year-old second baseman with questionable athleticism.
He sure can hit, or at least he did during last year’s abbreviated season.
But can he do it next year?
2. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton is the only player on this list that remains productive, so paying him is not so much of a burden.
However, there is no question that his contract is heavy.
The issue with Stanton’s deal is not paying him per se, and his luxury tax number isn’t even that high ($22 million) since the Miami Marlins helped cover some of his contract.
However, he is almost impossible to move.
Top sluggers usually get paid a lot, and the Yankees knew the risks when they acquired him in 2018.
And despite the litany of injuries, Stanton has been a productive hitter for the Bombers when healthy.
This year, he is slashing .257/.356/.457 with 17 homers and 53 RBI in limited action (.813 OPS).
If he is healthy, he will get in a groove eventually.
Yet, there is no denying that his contract, a mammoth 13-year, $325 million deal, is one of the most expensive in MLB.
1. Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres have mostly made sound baseball decisions over the last few years.
These decisions, such as investing heavily in the international free agent market, being very active in trades, and not turning their backs to the draft have made them a true playoff contender.
Yet, they made a notorious blunder before the 2018 season: signing first baseman Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal.
At that time, it even appeared that they were bidding against themselves, since very few teams were actually willing to pay the price.
What was the price?
An eight-year, $144 million contract.
The Padres are tied to Hosmer’s contract until 2026.
So that means Hosmer (and money and prospects) didn't get move to a team that wanted to buy prospects. But Padres didn't make any huge additions that necessitated moving out the salary, so maybe they just didn't make an offer. https://t.co/fgV5OdbfKk
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 30, 2021
It’s clear that Hosmer, who has struggled to the tune of a .728 OPS this season, is a negative asset.
He is expensive, he doesn’t play a premium position, and he hits nothing but ground balls.