Nobody told the San Diego Padres teams were supposed to be pinching pennies and not investing money in their ball club. The Friars were one of the most active teams this offseason, then just as pitchers and catchers were reporting to spring training, they did it again.
Fernando Tatis Jr. reached a contract extension for 14 years at a total value of $340M.
Do the Padres know they are paying Manny Machado $300M over ten years? Do the Padres know they are paying Eric Hosmer $144M over eight years? Do the Padres know they took on $59M in Yu Darvish’s contract over the next three years?
The Padres payroll is not the subject of this piece, the idea that the 7 YRS/$210M contract Max Scherzer signed in 2015 is now the 20th largest contract in MLB history, is.
I’m not here to argue there should be a salary cap for players, there shouldn’t. I’m not here to say baseball teams are overpaying their players, while they may be, if they are the ones signing the paychecks, sign away.
The Washington Nationals signed Max Scherzer for 7 YRS and $210M in 2015 in what has turned out to be a great deal.
I’m here to look at Scherzer’s contract and the others which have pushed it down the list from near the top, and see who is getting their money worth. As we sit now, six years into the Scherzer deal, this may be the best contract on the list as far as return in considered.
During his time with the Washington Nationals, Scherzer has two Cy Young Awards, led the league in wins twice, pitched to the tune of a 2.80 earned run average, and helped the Nationals win a World Series. Every year he has pitched in DC he has put up great numbers. Even in his down year last year, he still had an ERA south of 4.00.
A look at some of the statistics and contributions of others players who have signed more lucrative deals than Scherzer and you begin to wonder if his deal isn’t Top 3 in dividends paid.
Taking out the contracts which have been signed in 2018 or later because they have a lot of years left on them with too small of sample size, we are left looking at ten deals.
Giancarlo Stanton has been traded and oft-injured since he signed his extension with the Miami Marlins in 2014. He won the MVP award in 2017, though has yet to take a team to the World Series.
Alex Rodriguez made up two of those deals, but only lasted three years with the Texas Rangers. He won an MVP there, no playoff appearances, though. He hit 351 home runs with the New York Yankees and a World Series. He was suspended the entire 2014 season and wore out his welcome by the time his contract came to a close.
Miguel Cabrera has seen his power numbers fall off drastically since signing his extension in 2014 with the Detroit Tigers.
Do you think the Los Angeles Angels regret signing Albert Pujols? After three MVP seasons in St. Louis, he’s hit 30 home runs twice since relocating. At 41 years of age, the Halos will be glad to get out from underneath this contract at the end of the year.
Robinson Cano had a couple nice seasons with the Seattle Mariners before they traded him to the New York Mets. He’ll sit out all of 2021 after violating the league’s drug policy.
Seeing Joey Votto on this list is kind of a surprise. He had three solid years after signing $225M extension, though his power numbers have drastically fallen off as well.
David Price won a World Series and pitched great in the Series for the Boston Red Sox. They shed his payroll shortly after, however, and traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers (who may have only been interested in taking him to get to Mookie Betts).
Clayton Kershaw has paid dividends for the Los Angeles Dodgers. A gamer who was finally rewarded with October success a year ago. Money well spent.
Prince Fielder had a couple good years with the Detroit Tigers, though was traded to the Texas Rangers just two years are signing his deal. His career ended early because of injury.
All this to say, of the 20 largest baseball contracts issued, with Scherzer’s coming in at the 20th largest dollar amount, his is arguably one of the best deals. He’ll be 37 years old when his contract expires at the end of this year and most likely has just one, multi-year contract left in him. How will the past six years help him get paid in that deal?