Jonah Keri of Grantland listed the top 15 worst contracts in baseball with an honorable mention section and, yes, the Phillies make an appearance on the list… more than once. The honorable mention section begins with Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon . Keri writes,
“Let's start with the usual arguments against paying big bucks for closers. They have a limited impact on the game, throwing one-third or even one-quarter as many innings as top starters; they have a high attrition rate, whether due to injuries, diminished performance, or both; and good closers usually come from humble beginnings and can thus be had cheap.”
However, Papelbon’s deal was not the only deal that Keri listed. It is no surprise that Ryan Howard landed on the list. Howard’s five-year, $125 million contract extension that he signed in 2010 landed him near the top of the list. He just finished the first of five years. He found himself with the third worst contract in Major League Baseball.
“He also suffered a brutal Achilles injury at the end of the Phillies' 2011 playoff run, which combined with a late-2012 broken toe and other ailments cost Howard 91 games and limited his season numbers to a hideous .219/.295/.423. Year 2 of the megacontract is in doubt too, with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. saying he doesn't expect Howard to fully heal from his torn Achilles until some point during the season. This was the worst-case scenario, to be sure. Still, the Howard contract, which has four years and $105 million left on it (counting a $10 million 2017 buyout), was yet another in a long line of deals signed more on the basis of past performance than realistic future expectations.”
The only two players that had worse contracts according to Keri were Carl Crawford (Dodgers) at No. 2 and Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) took home the top spot. The Dodgers had a staggering four players in the top 15 worst contracts in baseball.
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