Boulevard of Bad Contracts – NL West
Boulevard? More like the Kennedy during rush hour! (Traffic and weather on the ones…) For all the deserved grief Arizona’s front office is receiving, at least the CONTRACT for Shelby Miller isn’t bad, and Greinke’s deal was signed this season. San Diego’s revolving door of contract hell has got them in a place where they own nothing to nobody next year that isn’t under their full control or arbitration eligible. Victory?
Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers – (2014 – 7/$215) – He was long-term pitching contract that I’d say would be worth it, until his recent injuries. Injuries can breed other injuries and with it being a back injury you just don’t know what that will do to his long term mechanics or release point. I’m skeptical he’ll be worth the money going forward, but I’d be happy to admit I was wrong in 2019 or so if he comes through this OK.
Adrian Gonzalez – Dodgers – (2012 – 7/$154) – Adrian’s slowing down. Though it’s probably not a HOF career, it’s been a good one. He may not get 20 home runs this season, though, and for almost $45 million in the next two years I’d think the Dodgers would want a lot more production than that.
Brandon McCarthy – Dodgers – (2015 – 4/$48) – Every nerd and geek’s favorite baseball player is unfortunately injury plagued. I’m hopeful for a full recovery, but I’m hedging my bets if I were the Dodgers.
Yasiel Puig – Dodgers (2012 – 7/$42) – I think he’d be fine if everyone would just let him do what he does best. But mediots, yakkers and other unwritten rule honchos have made it so Puig’s idiosyncrasies are the story, and I’m sure that affected his play. The Cuban market has been high risk with little reward in regards to many players.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – Dodgers (2013 – 6/$36) – When healthy, he was pretty, pretty, pretty good. He’s pitched 4 2/3 innings in the past two seasons, and has two more years on his deal. It’ll be a long shot if he makes it back 100% for the last two seasons.
Buster Posey – San Francisco (2013 – 9/$164) – Catcher alert! The Giants have been really smart in limiting his catching over the years, even with mediocre backups. But his 2016 production is only a value-add if he catches 130 games or so. I’m thinking that in 2019 or 2020 he’s going to turn into Joe Mauer, a first baseman with some value, but not $21 million worth of value. I do think the Giants HAD to sign him, but now they’re going to be tasting the bitter end of the deal.
Matt Cain – San Francisco (2010 – 8/$139.75 + team option in 2018) – He’s going to get $21 million next season. Since 2012, he’s been 16-29 with an ERA+ of 79. Cain is facing the end of the line, and his numbers are starting to resemble late period Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum than anything.
Hunter Pence – San Francisco (2014 – 5/$90) – If you can’t stay on the field, you can’t be valuable. Pence had been a stalwart, not missing a game for two straight years. But now, at age 33, he’s become an injury collector with declining production. They need more than just one win a year from him. The Giants contract luck hasn’t been that great overall, and Samardzjia’s and Span’s aren’t eligible for this piece, yet.
Carlos Gonzales – Colorado (2011 – 7/$80) – He’s making $20 million next season. He’s a decent player, but Colorado’s park effects turn his numbers into something he’s not. On the road this season he’s slashing .266/.318/.410. He’s the perfect player for Coors Field, but that’s not translating elsewhere. The Rockies seem to flash a lot of money at players for no good reason (Boone Logan, Chad Qualls, Jason Motte, Gerardo Parra) and overvalue the good ones they have, like Gonzales. I can only imagine the kind of money they’ll spend on LeMahieu after this season is baked into his arbitration status.