After watching Barry Zito shut out the Colorado Rockies, I wanted to take a look at the worst baseball contracts over the last 10 years. Of course, there is a Colorado Rockie on this list and is my number one worst baseball contract.
1. – Mike Hampton – Colorado Rockies – 8 years – $121 Million
When Hampton signed with the Rockies, there was hope that a big name pitcher coming to the Rockies would open the flood gates to other free agents to come to Denver. Unfortunately Hampton did not live up to the hype. Making the all star team after a great first half, he plummeted in the second half going 14-13 with a 5.12 ERA in 2001
2. – Alex Rodriguez – Texas Rangers – 10 years $252 Million – New York Yankees – 10 years – $275 million
Rodriguez was once considered the best player in baseball. The Rangers tried to lock him up to be a Ranger for life. Seeking the limelight of New York City, Alex took his talents to the New York Yankees after a blockbuster trade. Although he garnered MVP wins in 2005 and 2007, Rodriguez was mired in a steroid scandal and has never been the same player since he went off the “JUICE”.
3. – Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals – 7 years – $126 Million
Starting with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Werth made a name for himself as a power hitter. After a wrist injury he ended up signing a 2 year deal with Philadelphia for $10 Million. Then in 2010, Werth became a free agent and signed the 7 year contract with the Nationals. Werth has failed to live up to the contract in 2 seasons so far with the Nationals finishing 2011 with a .232 batting average with 20 home runs and only 58 RBI.
4. – Barry Zito – San Francisco Giants – 7 years – $126 Million
Zito was a top of the rotation starter for the Oakland A’s from 2000 – 2006 when he jumped ship as a free agent to the Giants. With the signing of Zito, the Giants rotation looked to be one of the best in baseball history. Zito however began to struggle early in his career with San Francisco. 2011 was a big disappointment for Zito starting the season on the DL. He was replaced by Ryan Vogelsong who ended up becoming an all star. When Zito returned he was relegated to a utility role finishing the season at 3-4 with an ERA around 6.0. He did look like the Zito of old however against the Rockies yesterday.
5. – John Lackey – Boston Red Sox – 5 years – $82.5 Million
John Lackey began his career with the Anaheim Angels and quickly became one of the best pitchers in the American League. In 2007 Lackey was the first pitcher in the league to 10 wins, made the all star team and won the Cy Young award for the best pitcher in the AL. As a free agent in 2010, Lackey signed a 5 year contract with the Red Sox. In his first year with the Sox, he went 14-11 with a 4.40 ERA – a good season for many pitchers, but not a Cy Young award winner. In 2011 Lackey faltered to a 12-12 record with a 6.41 ERA. Now for 2012 he has gotten Tommy John surgery and is out for the entire season.
6. – Vernon Wells – Toronto Blue Jays – 7 years – $126 Million
Vernon Wells began his career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 and quickly became one of the best hitting outfielders in the league. 2006 was likely Wells’ best year in the majors but the rest of his career has been marred with injuries and poor play. In 2011 Wells was traded to the Anaheim Angels for some throw in players and finished 2011 with a batting average of only .218 – the lowest of his career.
7. – Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox – 4 years – $56 Million
Dunn began his career in 2001 with the Cincinnati Reds and by 2002 Dunn was an all star. Known for his moon shot home runs, Dunn quickly became a huge threat to go deep at every at bat. He continued on a torrid pace until he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. He had the most walks in baseball that year but also struck out 164 times – among the highest in baseball. In 2009 Dunn agreed to a 2 year $20 million deal with the Washington Nationals. With the signing, Dunn moved to first base and after his contract was up signed with the White Sox. After an appendectomy, Dunn struggled and saw reduced playing time. His 2011 campaign was among the worst of any player in baseball finishing with a .159 average but did not have enough at bats to qualify for rankings among major league stats.
There is my list – let me know what you think. Another one to add for the Colorado Rockies would be the joke of Denny Neagle. 5 years and $51 Million was a joke as he finished 17-19 with a 5.31 ERA, he got hurt and picked up a hooker to seal his career in Colorado.
Denver Sports by Kris Loco