Top overpaid players in MLB

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by JediANGELA, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    I just saw this on yahoo.


    Overpaying a player once is OK, as long as you learn from it

    By David Pinto - SportingNews 12 hours, 29 minutes ago



    Going into the 2008 season, 124 baseball players hold contracts with an annual salary of $8 million or more. Getting a contract of that value generally means a player has shown his worth with great performances or long-term durability. Teams, however, sometimes overpay for past performance.

    Eighty-six of those 124 players carried over their contract from the previous season, but some did not produce enough last year to justify the salary paid. By examining these players and their contracts, is it possible to avoid such mistakes in the future?

    To evaluate a player?s output versus his salary, ?Win Shares? provides a single number of a players value, including batting, fielding and pitching. The Win Shares metric, developed by Bill James, is intended to indicate the number of wins contributed by a certain player.

    Win Shares per million dollars allows the ranking of players based on bang for the buck. For the players in question here, we use the average number of win shares per season since the signing of the contract, and the average yearly value of the contract.

    For example, shortstop Orlando Cabrera played three seasons on a contract that averages $8 million annually. In that time, he posted 19.6 Win Shares per season. 19.6 Win Shares divided by $8 million results in Cabrera producing 2.45 Win Shares per million dollars?a good number. For the 86 players we are talking about, the average is 1.4 Win Shares per million dollars.

    Splitting the players into four groups provides a better way of seeing who is not producing at a level worthy of their contracts. We divided players into batters and pitchers, then subdivided them based on how far into their deals they are?short term (one or two seasons in) and long term (three or more).

    Bottom five short-term pitchers

    5. Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks: 0.3 WS/million. Johnson needed back surgery during the ?07 season. He is throwing well in spring training so far, so it?s possible he can bring up that number in the second year of his contract.

    4. Vicente Padilla, Texas Rangers: 0.2 WS/million. He played most of the season, accumulating 23 starts with a 5.76 ERA. He struggled with elbow problems most of the year.

    3. Adam Eaton, Philadelphia Phillies: 0.2 WS/million. This was just a bad deal. Eaton never was very good and sustained a strained middle finger tendon in each of his previous two seasons. With the Phillies, he posted the worst ERA of his career.

    2. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals: 0.0 WS/million. Carpenter made one start in ?07 and eventually had to have Tommy John surgery. He?s not expected back until mid to late ?08 at the earliest. He?ll basically provide no value for the first two years of a five-season contract.

    1. Jason Schmidt, Los Angeles Dodgers: 0.0 WS/million. Schmidt made six starts in ?07 and pitched very poorly, posting a 6.31 ERA. He missed the rest of the season after shoulder surgery. He has two years left on his contract and threw pain free in his first bullpen session of the spring.

    Bottom five short-term hitters

    5. Nomar Garciaparra, Los Angeles Dodgers: 1.2 WS/million. He could not sustain his solid ?06 campaign and fell even further off his poor ?05 numbers. The Dodgers are rid of this contract after this season, though.

    4. Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs: 1.1 WS/million. A great ?05 season earned Lee a big contract for ?06. Lee?s low rank here is based on a 50-game season in the first year of the contract. Based on ?07, he can make this deal look a lot better over the next three seasons.

    3. Jim Edmonds, San Diego Padres: 0.95 WS/million. Edmonds saw both his on-base average and slugging percentage take a nose dive for a second year. The Padres acquired him from St. Louis in the offseason and hope for some kind of rebound in the final season of the deal.
  2. darth_gersh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2005
    star 6
    I agree with Ben Sheets. He needs to step it up this year. Also, Ben could you please stay healthy this year. That means no blisters on your pitching hand that keep you out for a month.
  3. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    Almsot every pitcher is way overpaid
  4. tom Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    you can easily extend that to pretty much every professional athlete. but if your point is that pitchers shouldn't be paid as much as everyday players i'm not sure i'd agree. after all if the point is to win games you need both good pitching and good offense, and a pitcher, even if he only pitches every five days, can have way more control over the game's outcome than any everyday player can.
  5. DRHJ9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2003
    star 4
    I love this player, because he WAS on my favorite team...

    But Barry Zito is in the Top 5 at least, in being overpaid.
  6. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    I disagree with Beltre being on this list. Yes, his first season in Seattle was bad, but I think that was to be expected, after making the switch from the NL to the AL.

    Though he may not have had another .330/40 season, he's probably the third most valuable man on the roster (behind Ichiro and JJ Putz). A .280/20/100 clip is pretty good for a third-bagger, and when you factor in his defense (don't look at errors, his target at first base sucks and it's a misleading statistic anyways) he suddenly becomes a +10-20 wins over replacement kind of player.
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I'm surprised Mike Hampton wasn't #1 on the pitchers list, given how long he's been out, but I guess I'd forgotten about how much time Pavano missed.
  8. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Personally, I'd like to see a list done without injured players, or at least without players who lost significant time to injuries. Who have teams really lost their investment on, not just seen an injury claim their investment?
  9. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    The true underperformers, in other words. Yeah, I agree, I'd like to see that list. And I think Andruw Jones might be on that one for last year...
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