The Duel

Would You Rather: Chris Davis or Yu Darvish's MLB Contract

Max Staley
Pittsburgh Pirates  v Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs / Stacy Revere
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

Major League Baseball may not have a traditional salary cap like the NFL or NBA, but a bad contract can still really hurt an organization, especially for a small-market team.

Arguably, two of the worst contracts in the MLB belong to Baltimore Orioles' first baseman Chris Davis and Chicago Cubs' starting pitcher Yu Darvish. While neither Baltimore or Chicago can be defined as small-market teams, these contracts are surely still tough to swallow.

As both teams would likely want a mulligan on these deals, let's make the argument as to which is actually worse.

Yu Darvish Contract: Six Years, $126 Million

Darvish has gotten off to a nightmare start to the 2019 MLB season, surrendering 10 earned runs through 12 innings, giving him 7.50 ERA through three starts. He was similarly ineffective last season, posting 4.95 ERA in eight starts with the Cubs. Darvish also has been at his worst in big moments, as he tallied a 21.60 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 postseason. For a player who's owed $101 million through 2023, that just isn't going to cut it.

Chris Davis Contract: Seven Years, $161 Million

Meanwhile, Davis has arguably been even worse. He hasn't recorded a hit in his last 50 at-bats, which is the longest hitless streak in MLB history. Even before this infamous streak, Davis was struggling to live up to his massive contract. He hasn't hit above .222 in a single season since 2015, and he's actually hit below .200 in two of the last five seasons. Davis still has $92 million remaining on his contract through 2022, so the Orioles are likely going to be stuck with his lack of production for quite a while.

These are without a doubt two of the worst contracts in baseball. And since all MLB contracts are fully guaranteed, it's going to be tough for the Orioles or Cubs to build a contender with these albatross contracts on the books.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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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