Best and worst current 100M+ deals

ESPN’s Buster Olney recently had an interesting chart up where he looked at the value that clubs received on the largest contracts that have even been issued. Here’s the list:

Dollars spent per win above replacement in completed $100 million contracts, through 2011:

Player Contract WAR $/WAR
Albert Pujols 7-year/$100M 59.0 $1.70M
Alex Rodriguez 10-year/$252M 71.6 $3.52M
Carlos Beltran 7-year/$119M 32.2 $3.70M
Derek Jeter 10-year/$189M 48.0 $3.94M
Kevin Brown 7-year/$105M 26.2 $4.01M
Todd Helton 9-year/$141.5M 32.9 $4.30M
Manny Ramirez 8-year/$160M 34.2 $4.68M
Jason Giambi 7-year/$120M 21.9 $5.48M
Ken Griffey, Jr 9-year/$116.5M 11.7 $9.96M
Mike Hampton 8-year/$121M 10.7 $11.31M

This list represents deals that have expired. But that made me start wondering about the contracts that have been signed more recently and are still ongoing. We obviously can’t take a final tally, but we can look at how things stand as of today. On the heels of the Yu Darvish hoopla I’m going to include Diasuke Matsuzaka in this chart, since the total outlay to acquire him exceeded 100M. With that out of the way, here’s the list of current $100M+ players.

(Note-WAR is via Fangraphs, contracts from Cots)

Player Contract/$ spent WAR $/WAR
Miguel Cabrera (8-year/152M) $66.3M  21.7 $3.05M
CC Sabathia (7 year/$161M) $60M  18.7 $3.21M
Mark Teixeira (8-year/$180M) $62.5M  12.6 $4.96M
Alfonso Soriano (8-year/$136M) $82M  15.5 $5.29M
Alex Rodriguez (10-year/$275M) $122M  18.6 $6.55M
Johan Santana (6-year/$137.5M) $82.5M  10.9 $7.57M
Diasuke Matsuzaka (5-year/$101.1M) $101.1M  10.6 $9.53M
Vernon Wells (7-year/$126M) $63M  5.6 $11.25M
Barry Zito (7-year/119M) $80M 6.6 $12.12M
Joe Mauer (8-year/$184M) $23M 1.8 $12.77M

As you can see, very few of these contracts have yielded good value. It’s far too soon to draw any conclusions on some of them, with the Joe Mauer deal at the head of that list. But its safe to say that once you get into 9 figures, almost everything has to go right in order for the team to get good value. It’s also safe to say that many of these deals will only look worse as they proceed, with Soriano, Wells and A-Rod aging and Santana attempting to return from major shoulder surgery.

The Yanks have been relatively quiet this offseason, but I think these charts show pretty clearly that just because you spend a ton of money, that doesn’t mean you are necessarily getting production in return. More often than not, you don’t.

0 thoughts on “Best and worst current 100M+ deals

    • I recalled that as well, then looked it up and saw someone had him just missing the cut. Now I double checked, and numerous sources list him at 6/100. I’ll add him tonight in place of Joe Mauer, I hate judging Mauer on a single year.

  1. FWIW, it’s amazing that the least athletic and worst-bodied player in this latter grouping — Miguel Cabrera — is turning out to be the best signing.