The Duel

Most Overpaid MLB Free Agent Signings Ahead of 2020 MLB Season

Mike Esposito
Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler glances at the scoreboard vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers
Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler glances at the scoreboard vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers / Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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As is the case almost every year, plenty of big-money contracts were handed out in MLB free agency this past offseason. However, whether its due to betting on potential or questionable evaluation of talent, some teams around the league spent more money than they should have in order get the key free agent they so desperately coveted.

With that in mind, here three of the most overpaid free agents of the 2020 MLB offseason.

3. Didi Gregorius, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

Didi Gregorius throws the ball across the infield during a game for the Yankees.
Didi Gregorius throws the ball across the infield during a game for the Yankees. / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

One-year "prove it" deals are the norm when it comes to free agent signings who are coming off down years. However, spending $14 million for a year of Didi Gregorius may have been an overpay on Philly's part. The 30-year-old shortstop struggled in 2019, finishing the year with a .238/.276/.441 slash line in 82 games played for the New York Yankees. With only six shortstops slated to make more than him in 2020, Gregorius will have to have a serious bounce-back year for the ages in order to justify the salary the Phillies are giving him.

2. Yasmani Grandal, C, Chicago White Sox

Former Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal after a swing during a game in the 2019 season.
Former Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal after a swing during a game in the 2019 season. / Stacy Revere/Getty Images

There's no doubt that he's one of the league's better offensive backstops, but the Chicago White Sox easily overpaid when they signed Yasmani Grandal to a nearly unprecedented four-year, $73 million deal this offseason. Slated to make $18.25 million annually over the next four years, the 31-year-old catcher — who's averaged 110 games played, 18 homers and 52 RBI a season in his career — is being paid more than some of the league's best sluggers in Francisco Lindor, Khris Davis and Anthony Rizzo, to name a few. Unless he can put together a few 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons in the south side of Chicago in the coming years, the White Sox could quickly come to regret not allocating some of that money to improving other areas of their roster.

1. Zack Wheeler, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Former Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler sets up before throwing a pitch.
Former Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler sets up before throwing a pitch. / Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Does Zack Wheeler have the potential to be one of the game's top pitchers? Sure, but shelling out $118 million over the next five years based on potential alone is a huge risk for the Philadelphia Phillies. Wheeler has done very little to show that he's worth the contract he signed, sporting a 3.77 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across five professional seasons. Projected to make $21.5 million this year, the 31-year-old will have a higher salary than some Cy Young Award contenders like Trevor Bauer ($17.5 million), Corey Kluber ($17.5 million) and Charlie Morton ($15 million), to name a few. There's always a possibility that Wheeler pans out in his new surroundings, but if he fails to do so, the Phillies will have to eat yet another big contract for years to come.


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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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