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5 Worst Current Contracts in the MLB

Adam Taylor McKillop
Check out a list of the worst current contracts in the MLB including Stephen Strasburg.
Check out a list of the worst current contracts in the MLB including Stephen Strasburg. / G Fiume/Getty Images
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Nothing seems to be going right for the Washington Nationals in 2021. Just two years after that magical World Series Championship run, this team sits in dead last in the NL East with a 22-29 overall record. Adding further to this bad start is news of another injury to starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg will undergo an MRI on his right trapezius muscle today. It's uncertain the severity of this injury, however, marks another potential injury issue for Strasburg. The 32-year-old righty signed a 7-year, $245 million contract following the 2019 season. Unfortunately, he's only pitched in 7 games in the two years since that deal.

This reeks of a bad MLB contract and got us thinking about the worst current contracts across the league. Check out the list below.

Worst Contracts in the MLB

1. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Washington was faced with an option following their 2019 World Series title. It came down to giving a long-term contract to Strasburg or 3B Anthony Rendon. Both were key in the championship run, however, the Nats could really only afford one. They chose to keep Strasburg around and the early dividends have not paid off. Since 2019, Strasburg has only appeared in 7 games due to multiple injuries. Furthermore, he's suffered a 5.74 ERA in that span. The career 3.21 ERA pitcher is clearly capable of better things on the mound, but he simply hasn't been able to stay healthy since signing a long-term deal.

2. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis is often regarded as the worst contract in the entire MLB. Honestly, his contract may rank up there in the all-time worst as well. Following a monster 2015 campaign in which the slugging first baseman smacked 47 home runs and 117 RBIs, the Baltimore Orioles signed Davis to a 7-year, $161 million contract. This is rare for an Orioles team that often plays budget baseball. In five years since, Davis owns a dreadful slashing line of .196/.291/.379 and averages just 70 RBIs across 162 games. Those are decent numbers, but not for a player batting below .200 and making $17 million each year.

3. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto is another slugging first baseman on a historically (recent) bad franchise in the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati signed Votto to a 10-year, $225 million contract ahead of the 2014 season. The early returns were great as Votto eclipsed 100 RBIs in four of the first five years of this deal. But, this contract was signed when Votto was 30 years old. He's due to earn $20-25 million each year until he turns 40. Naturally, the production has taken a turn for the worse. He's hit just .248 over the last three years including just 86 RBIs in that span. For a slugger paid to hit 100+ RBIs each season, averaging 29 per year just won't cut it.

4. David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers

It's hard to completely fault the Los Angeles Dodgers for finding a place on this list. But, the David Price contract is now their responsibility and it hasn't been a great return. Price originally signed a 7-year, $217 million deal with the Boston Red Sox in 2017. He spent four years in Boston and helped bring home a World Series before getting sent to Los Angeles with Mookie Betts. Los Angeles likely knew that landing Betts meant eating some of Price's contract, but it didn't help when Price opted out of the 2020 COVID-19 season. Los Angeles owes Price $32 million in each of the next two seasons and the lefty has showed his age at 35 years old now. This season, Price owns a 4.00 ERA and has only started three of the 12 games he's appeared in.

5. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Back in 2016, Miguel Cabrera was just 33 years old and still one of the scariest hitters in the league. He inked an 8-year, $248 million deal with the Tigers including mutual options for the ninth and 10th years of this deal. Essentially, the Tigers could pay $30 million until 2025, when Cabrera turns 42. It's likely that won't happen as the deal has reached a sour point over the past three seasons. The slugger's age finally caught up to him as Cabrera now exclusively plays DH while hitting just .259 in three seasons. This year, the future Hall of Famer owns a .193 batting average with just four home runs in 38 games. It's sad to see the legends of the game reach this point in their careers, but age is undefeated in that battle.


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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. 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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