Worst contract in MLB is??? MLBRT 6/16


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Worst contract in MLB?

Worst contracts???
Worst contracts???

Is it time to give a hale and hearty farewell to the farewell tour in MLB?

And, should the Brew Crew sell or hold on Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy?

The baseball crew tells what they think about it all and lots more in this week’s MLB Round Table…


1) Last Tuesday (6/7) on ESPN.com an article “argued” about “Who has the worst contract in Big Apple baseball… Wright or Ellsbury?”

Who do you think has the worst contract in MLB… this is not limited to just NY, it’s open to all of MLB.

Reyes: DSA by Rockies
Reyes: DSA by Rockies

Dan 3Dan: Honestly, I’d have to say there’s two options…

After Colorado just recently designated Jose Reyes for assignment, I think he would be one of those choices.

But, I’ll go with Ellsbury. He’s got one of the most overpaid contracts in baseball for somebody who just can’t produce. It’s ridiculous how much he’s getting paid, the years he’s getting paid and just can’t produce for anywhere close to what his contract says.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: As far as the New York question goes, I would argue Ellsbury since he has been a complete bust since coming to New York, with Brian McCann just behind him in short order.

Melvin (BJ) Upton
Melvin (BJ) Upton

But, if, we are going to expand this to all of Major League Baseball, my eyes are pointed right at Melvin “B.J.” Upton. The 5 years and 75 million contract he was awarded by the Braves in 2013 is a lot of money for a player that has floundered since. That contract was an albatross to the Braves, and now the Padres.

meJoe: Zack Greinke… signed a 6 year/$206,500,000 contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, including an $18,000,000 signing bonus ($3 million bonus per year for the duration of the contract), $206,500,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $34,416,667.

In 2016, Greinke will earn a base salary of $31,000,000 and a signing bonus of $3,000,000. He is 32-years-old now and will be 38-years-old in 2022 when the contract ends with him making $35 million…

Greinke (l) & Shields
Greinke (l) & Shields

That is the worst contract in baseball.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I think at this given moment it has to be James Shields, now of the Chicago White Sox.

He signed a very lucrative deal with the Padres last season, where he getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million dollars per year. This contract is ridiculous, and he sits right now at 2-8 with a very poor ERA. He has gotten rocked in his first two starts with Chicago, and pretty much has been awful all year.

2) So far this season (as 6/7), Ryan Braun, at age 32, is ranked second in the NL with a .337 BA and is third in OPS at .959. Also, Jonathan Lucroy is ranked first among MLB catchers in batting average (.316), on-base percentage (.372), hits (61), runs (30) and triples (three).

Is it time for the Brewers to sell high on Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy and see who’s offering what, and, then, take the best young prospect package that they can get?

Dan 3Dan: Honestly, I’ve been debating on this over and over and over again. Still am.

Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun

I would love to see the Brewers be able to keep Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. I just don’t see that happening. Right now, I’d say they should trade  Braun and keep Lucroy, since they don’t have an immediate second option currently. They could start Maldonado but he’s not good. At all. Their minor league player of the month for May is a catcher, but, he’s not ready to step up to the big leagues and take over Lucroy’s spot. Unless they can get an MLB-ready catcher in any trade who is also a good prospect, then it would be a win-win. Other than that, I feel like Ryan Braun’s OF position is easier to replace and this is the first year he’s really produced at the level he used to since his little incident.

It’s just hard for me to trade either player because of how good they are, how attached I’ve gotten to them over the past couple of seasons and what the Brewers’ roster would look like if they were both gone. Honestly, I’d say keep both. But if you’re going to trade one, trade Braun. You could always trade Lucroy and keep Braun, but I’m looking at the secondary options

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: The Brewers need to sell. Both players have value to contenders, and, the Brewers are not going anywhere. Lucroy in particular has wanted out for a while now, so, might as well strike while the iron is hot on both players.

If, both are still in Milwaukee past the deadline, then that would be a major error on their part.

meJoe: Yes, they should and while they shouldn’t sell at any price, they should sell relatively soon or as close to the trade deadline as possible as teams are becoming a little more desperate to stay in the race for the playoffs.

Jonathan Lucroy
Jonathan Lucroy

Why?  Because, frankly as the Brewers are presently constituted I don’t see them really threatening to be a contending team any time soon, and, right now, both players are a playing at a high level and will command a high return in any deal.

It’s the old sell high when you can, so you can reap the benefits of someone else’s needs.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: It really depends on where the Brewers want to go.

If, they are going full rebuild mode, then, absolutely, they should consider unloading Braun and Lucroy. Actually, I predicted that Lucroy would be out of Milwaukee by the end of the year based on his preseason comments about the Brewers being god awful. And, Braun is getting a long hard look with San Francisco, which may make the Giants the new favorites in the National League, if, they can pull this off.

So, if, they can unload them at the right price to a contending team in need of power and good defense, they should take a long look at it, but, it shouldn’t come cheap.

BigPapiFarewell3) ESPN.com says… “We’ll be tracking Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz‘s final major league journey all season long. Check back here for highlights, recaps and photos from his last stop at each stadium.”

Do you care about Ortiz’ farewell tour?

Have you ever cared about any of these recent farewell tours that have taken place?

And… are farewell tours now being over done?

Dan 3Dan: I don’t care about his every last trip to each ballpark. I’ll care more about that when the season is concluding. The last farewell tour in baseball that I cared about was Derek Jeter’s. He was an icon and I liked following where he went. But, I didn’t start following his farewell tour until middle of the August. It’s just too early to really follow unless you live in the city and want to get tickets to see David Ortiz play just one last time.Papi farewell tour3

I think a lot of things are being overplayed. I feel as if they’re over-done now, but, they’ll always happen because it’s something the media can write about with a snap of a finger.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I don’t care right now. In September, near the end, I will care about Big Papi. I felt the same way about Jeter, and, in basketball, I felt the same way about Kobe.

A season long farewell tour is nice and a fair tribute to the player, but, that does not mean that I need to care about every single game. I’ll care at the end. Now? Nothing.

meJoe: Actually, yes I am.

While, I don’t think its inappropriate for a team to honor a player, especially a player who has played the game at a high level and is probably going to be a Hall of Farmer, some type of  honorific or even a small ceremony. But, the whole idea of the full blown retirement tour with all sorts of paraphernalia being sold and an almost Old Timers Day type of ceremonies is becoming a little played out and I’m a bit tired of it.

And, for the most part these tours usually become co-opted by the team, MLB and various companies who are selling “mementos” or “souvenirs” or a “piece of baseball history.”

Simply put, it becomes a big money grab by all parties concerned and sometimes even the player.  Take Derek Jeter’s retirement tour for instance… by the ned of the year if I saw one more damn advertisement for a souvenir of the “Great Derek Jeter’s final season as a player” I think I would have puked.Papi Farewell Tour1

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Its nice to see the teams around baseball showing respect for a star player. Jeter had his two years ago, Rivera had his last year, and, now, Ortiz this year. If, I remember, Chipper Jones got a nice send off when he said he was going to hang it up.

I don’t mind it at all. It is a show of respect for one individual player. I think ESPN is going a little extreme with the coverage of it all, but, I don’t have a problem with the opposing team recognizing the past performances at their stadium.

4)  KC’s pitcher, Yordano Ventura, is a known head hunter and has instigated more than one free-for-all with his propensity for hitting MLB batters with his heater. He recently hit Baltimore’s star player Manny Machado… which was not the first time these two have been involved in an in-game extracurricular event, that resulted in Machado rushing the mound.

Both players were issued suspensions by Baseball… Machado got four games and Ventura got nine games. While, it  seems like Ventura got a well deserved punishment, the reality is that the punishments are not exactly equal…  Machado is an everyday player and will miss four games in a row (pending an appeal), while Ventura is a pitcher and will miss exactly one start.

Should MLB start seriously thinking of other ways to penalize pitchers who have a history of instigating brawls that is more equitable with the penalties that everyday players receive?

Yordano Ventura
Yordano Ventura

Dan 3Dan: I think they should do it equal, but, in the way that they review the brawl and tape and look at who is at fault. If, it is the pitcher’s fault, then you would suspend the pitcher more. If, you just gave the batter the blame, then he would be suspended for longer.

I think they should look at each the pitcher and batter as equals. Whoever contributes more to the problem gets suspended longer. Both shall be suspended for their parts but I’d give the party at fault a five-game longer suspension at least than the player not found on fault.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: MLB should find some way to effectively punish pitchers. Missing one start is not that much of a punishment. Pitchers should be punished for the games they are effectively in. Doesn’t mean I would have given Ventura a 9 game suspension, for that would have meant he would have missed 9 starts in my model, but, having him miss 5 starts for an example would have been fair in my opinion.

meJoe: Emphatically… YES!

I have always though it is inherently wrong to punish an every day player for… let’s say 5 days and then he misses 5 games. When a staring pitcher may get the same 5 days and then will only miss 1 game… or… his next start. (Note: I think that relievers are different in that many of the bullpen players sometimes appear frequently… like in 3 out of 5 games and maybe even 4 out of 5 games.) Which means he missed 1 game compared to the everyday player’s 5. That to me is very unfair and frankly not enough punishment. Especially, if said pitcher has a history of throwing against players and in particular the same player. And, if, you think about it… what type of deterrent is that for a pitcher? Anyone think that type of punishment will really stop him from being a headhunter? Not me.

Manny Machado
Manny Machado

Suspend the pitcher for 5 games/starts… then that might be a real deterrent that stops some of this headhunting that sometimes goes on in baseball. I’m not against throwing inside but when pitchers throw at a player’s head and there is a history of it against one playerthen its time to make the punishment fit the crime. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Interesting question…

I think that pitchers should be held accountable for their actions, and, suspending them for however long they are should be the amount of actual games.

So, yes, I think the suspension for players should be as they are given out, and, the the suspension of pitchers should be applicable for how many starts they would assume to make during the time period. So, if they get five games, they would ultimately get 30 games or what not.

The fact that Machado got four games for his actions, and, Ventura essentially got one game, when he was the instigator and has a long history of these kinds of incidents, then, he should have gotten 4 scheduled starts, not 9 games. That would be an appropriate penalty if you ask me.

5) In the aftermath of the White Sox signing James Shields, the team recently designating veteran pitcher Mat Latos for assignment and signed Justin Morneau to a $1 million deal (plus incentives that could be worth as much as $2.5 million) and immediately placed him on the 15-day disabled list.

What’s your take on these moves by the ChiSox?  

ChiSox DSAed Mat Latos
ChiSox DSAed Mat Latos

Dan 3Dan: I think the White Sox are just looking at some way to improve their roster. They started off on an incredible hot streak. Over the past couple of weeks, they went from first in the AL Central to third place. I like their moves and I’m really, really liking their trade to get James Shields. I still think he’s a good pitcher and has a lot of great stuff to offer.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl:  Morneau could help them. He’s had some injury issues, but, he can hit when called upon. Signing him cheaply doesn’t hurt them, even, if, he doesn’t work out.

I feel the same about Latos going out on assignment. If, someone picks him up cheap and he performs, then fine, but, if he goes elsewhere and does nothing, it neither hurt nor help the Chicago White Sox.

meJoe: Sounds like they’re tinkering around trying to add a piece here… lose a piece there and see if they can spark the team to be more competitive than they have been recently.

I’m not sure that’s gonna work if they buy someone  else’s mistake (Shields) and drop a guy (Latos) who may yet prove to better at less money and then pick up an arguably decent player (Morneau)who may have already seen his best days pass him by.

ChiSox sign Morneau
ChiSox sign Morneau

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Well, let me start off with James Shields. I first liked this idea, and, thought that he was underperforming in San Diego because of run support and he just didn’t fit well with the Padres organization. After watching his first two starts with Chicago. It is clear that the Chicago White Sox are regretting making this deal for Shields. He is on a sinking ship and will be at the bottom of the ocean before you know it. Can he right the ship? Perhaps, but, my money is he will be out of Chicago after this year.

As for Morneau? I have always been a fan of his play and he could be a good asset to have once he gets off the DL. He would be a good DH for the club and still has a decent glove on days you want to give Jose Abreu a day off. I like the move for Morneau.

But, so far, I don’t like the move for Shields.

Extra Innings…

thorpe sign

Thorpe in Cincinnati Reds uniform, circa 1917
Thorpe in Cincinnati Reds uniform, circa 1917











In 1909 all time great and multi-sport athlete Jim Thorpe makes his baseball pitching debut for Rocky Mount (Eastern Carolina League) with a 4-2 win over Raleigh. It is this appearance and his professional play through the year with Rocky Mount that will cause him to lose his medals that he won in the 1912 Olympics.


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