One Contract Mulligan Per Team

What if every team was given the power to remove one contract from their payroll?  Here's what we might see…

  • Angels: Brian Fuentes earns $9MM this year and has a vesting option for '11 at the same salary.  The Halos would also have to evaluate whether they're confident enough in Ervin Santana to pay him $26.2MM over the next three years.  We'll exclude Gary Matthews Jr. since he's technically not on the team anymore.
  • Astros: They might miss his bat, but they'd have to erase the three-year, $55.5MM remaining commitment to Carlos Lee.
  • Athletics: Eric Chavez has one year and $15MM left on his deal.
  • Blue Jays: Vernon Wells is on the hook for $98.5MM over five years.
  • Braves: Derek Lowe, owed $45MM over three years, would get the axe.
  • Brewers: Jeff Suppan is a goner, owed $14.5MM for one year.
  • Cardinals: Kyle Lohse would be a likely candidate, with $32.625MM owed over three years.
  • Cubs: Easily Alfonso Soriano, owed $90MM over five years.
  • Diamondbacks: I'll nominate Chris Young, who's owed $25.25MM over four years.  Chris Snyder at two years and $11.25MM would merit consideration.
  • Dodgers: Manny Ramirez is owed $20MM this year, and the honeymoon is over.
  • Giants: They'd have to wipe out the $83MM owed to Barry Zito over the next four years. That amount could become $94MM over five years.
  • Indians: The Tribe is still on the hook for $40.25MM over three years for DH Travis Hafner.  It might be a while before we see a DH get a $50MM deal again.
  • Mariners: Milton Bradley and has $21MM over two years would be on the chopping block, though taking on that deal allowed the Ms to move Carlos Silva.  If we exclude Bradley it might be Ian Snell at $4.25MM.
  • Marlins: They're not paying Nate Robertson's contract, so there's really no fat to trim.
  • Mets: How would you play this one?  You probably don't remove your ace Johan Santana, though he'll make $98.5MM over four years (not including deferrals).  Similar story for the $26.5MM owed to Francisco Rodriguez over two years.  Carlos Beltran is looking at $37MM over two years, and he still may be worth that.  The easy choices don't result in maximum savings: Oliver Perez at two years and $24MM and Luis Castillo at two years, $12MM.
  • Nationals: They'd probably choose Cristian Guzman's $8MM.
  • Orioles: I'll assume the Orioles would not remove a contract they brought on during the offseason.  Instead maybe they'd ditch Koji Uehara's $5MM or Ty Wigginton's $3.5MM.
  • Padres: No obvious candidate.  Chris Young at $6.25MM would be a possiblity, though not if they feel he's primed for a solid, healthy year.
  • Phillies: They'd be likely to erase Brad Lidge's two years and $24.5MM.
  • Pirates: Ramon Vazquez, owed $2MM, has already been designated for assignment.
  • Rangers: Michael Young will make $64MM over the next four years, though money is deferred.  Would the Rangers let this contract stand?
  • Rays: They'd free up the $9MM owed to Pat Burrell.
  • Reds: Closer Francisco Cordero is owed $25MM over the next two years.
  • Red Sox: Would they get rid of the $12.5MM owed to David Ortiz or $12MM to Mike Lowell?
  • Rockies: Even with the reworked deal, would the Rockies remove Todd Helton's contract?  Do they have regrets over Huston Street's three-year, $22.5MM extension, given his injury?  The $5.75MM owed to Jeff Francis?  The $7MM Manny Corpas gets over the next two years?
  • Royals: They've got Jose Guillen at $12MM, or a more useful player in Gil Meche at two years, $24MM.
  • Tigers: Miguel Cabrera's $126MM over six years is steep, but he'd be impossible to replace.  Magglio Ordonez gets $18MM this year and possibly $15MM in '11, but the Tigers passed on a chance to let him go.  Carlos Guillen would be a good choice at two years, $26MM; that would be more beneficial than removing a $12MM contract with Jeremy Bonderman or Dontrelle Willis.
  • Twins: The reality is that they've have to consider Joe Nathan's $24.5MM over two years, especially if it's not insured.
  • White Sox: Would they wipe out Alex Rios at $59.7MM over five years, or Scott Linebrink at $10.5MM over two?
  • Yankees: They could remove a big commitment, like A.J. Burnett's $66MM over four years.  That'd make more sense than Jorge Posada at $26.2MM over two or Damaso Marte at $8.25MM over two.

Full Story | 62 Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

62 Responses to One Contract Mulligan Per Team Leave a Reply

  1. Rashomon 5 years ago

    For the Twins, I’d nominate Punto’s contract (8mil/2), if Nathan can come back next year.

    • cman 5 years ago

      I agree. Punto’s contract is awful. I still can’t believe Gardy is playing him full-time over a vastly superior Brendan Harris. Reminds me of little leagues. Coaches favorite always plays even if he sucks.

      • Thats_What_She_Said 5 years ago

        This is a definition of “vastly superior” that I am not familiar wiht.

  2. melonis_rex 5 years ago

    I think K-Rod is the most blatant “remove” contract on the Mets.

    That type of money for a closer who really put up a bad walk rate last year… yeah, you want that gone.

    • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

      I’m a little surprised every single Mets fan on the site isn’t voting for the 4-year extension for Omar Minaya.

      • icedrake523 5 years ago

        The sad thing is that extension just started.

    • icedrake523 5 years ago

      Take away the 6 IBB and his BB/9 is 4.2 which is closer to his career average.

      Besides, there’s no way you dump K-Rod over Perez. K-Rod is at least useful and harder to be replaced.

  3. ieblue 5 years ago

    As a Dodgers fan it’s nice to finally see Jason Schmidt not on lists like these any more.

    • dianagram 5 years ago

      Or Darren Dreifort …

    • Weebled 5 years ago

      Since the payments were deferred, can’t we pick Andruw Jones since we’re still paying him?

      To be honest, if I had to pick one player on the roster now, I would pick Carroll, so that we could have signed Felipe Lopez instead.

  4. Shoeless_Joe 5 years ago

    It find it amusing the Jays basically used a ‘mulligan’ last season on Alex Rios and now he appears on the White Sox list.

    • The thing is the White Sox didn’t have to give up anything to get him. He by all means has value and is looking strong already in the season and had a great spring.

      Is he overpaid? Yes. If he bounces back to a .275 20hr 20SB type season with plus defense in CF. Which is what he was on pace for before the trade in August, he is worth around 8mm. For being picked up for nothing that is worth a $1MM a year. So he is overpaid by $3MM a year, I can live with that.

      • Shoeless_Joe 5 years ago

        You could say all those things about Vernon Wells too, but I do realistically see either bouncing back good enough to earn their contract? Not a chance!

        Rios games has been on a steady decline for the past few seasons, and even if he regains some value (-0.1 WAR last season) that contract will be a heavy burden moving forward. Especially in the closing years of the deal.

  5. hunteralan 5 years ago

    If the Dodgers could purge one contract they’re still paying, I’m betting it would be for the Hindenberg, Andruw Jones. What a complete waste he was.

  6. basemonkey 5 years ago

    ORIOLES: I don’t think the Os see Wiggington as a liability at all. His final numbers aren’t that great but he’s actually been a great bat off the bench and a good UT man who plays nearly all of the infield positions except C and P. His bad numbers are probably more due to his sporadic play, which is linked to the emergence of the younger players on the team.

    Koji on the otherhand is a good mention. He’s past the halfway point on a short contract. It was priced as a pretty cheap SP, but at this point he’s a pricey RP, esp. since he’s been brittle. Not as bad as previously bad contracts the Os have had under previous regimes. Not good either though.

    I think Tejada could be in there. Maybe Atkins? Maybe Roberts eventually? It’s actually hard to find a “bad” contract on the Orioles because the only ones that are longer than 1 yr are Roberts, Markakis, Koji and Wiggington. Koji and Wiggi are 2 yr deals, both expiring this season. Roberts and Markakis are clearly quality players.

    • Andrew_EC 5 years ago

      I think it’s obviously Brian Roberts. There is zero chance that he’s a $10MM player by age 34-35 for the last two years of his ill-conceived extension.

      • BrancasBombers 5 years ago

        I have a feeling it might be Albert Belle’s 345 year/$800 Billion contract. Or at least he could give them back the key to the city.

      • basemonkey 5 years ago

        This is a pretty valid point. I think you could have made a decent argument that Roberts is the kind of player who can maximize his talent with his excellent work ethic and year round training..buut, after this Spring’s preseason back issues, you have to think about it a little differently.

        Even at it’s best, I think we were imagining Roberts to be an Omar Vizquel-esque type of player toward the tail end of this deal. A quality middle infielder who had more bat, strong glove, and speed at the start of his career. Toward the tail end he loses the speed and bat to remove him from the top of the lineup but perhaps manages the rest of the game to be a decent bottom of the order hitter by age 35? What works in his favor is that he’s never been a power hitter so the back issues isn’t as damaging to his game in the worst case. At the same time, he’s likely not worth 10M by age 35 either.

        That being said I think the Os are positioned pretty well financially. That is pretty much the most expensive contract, right? On any other team the high paid player is going to be in the 15M+ range.

  7. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    If this actually happened, the MLBPA would declare war on Major League Baseball

  8. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    “Red Sox: Would they get rid of the $12.5MM owed to David Ortiz or $12MM to Mike Lowell? ”

    Why is that even a question? Lowell can still hit (And let me tell you, I am livid STILL angry that Tito didn’t PH for Ortiz against Marte the other night), Ortiz is more of a question mark. Lowell as the starting DH with Drew in there to give him days off and Hermida playing time would be pretty nice.

    I’m at least pleased that was the question. I half expected it to be either Drew or Matsuzaka, neither of which is a contract I would even consider voiding.

    • Actually I think Dice-K is worth a mention…$28 mil over three isn’t great. If the posting fee was spread over the life of the contract I’d go with him.

      • ELPinchy 5 years ago

        what about Lugo,they are still paying for that abortion.

      • 0bsessions 5 years ago

        It isn’t great, but it’s also not team crippling, especially considering the potential to bounce back he has. Ortiz has a chance to bounce back in the sense that Brett Favre may never play another NFL game. Sure, it’s statistically possible, but I wouldn’t put money on either.

        In terms of the Sox’ payroll limitations, they’re more in a position to eat eight million a year on an extra arm that could, at worst, come out for mopup duty every few days than to carry a guy who can’t field any position particularly competently and also may or may not actually be a better option in a hitting situation than anyone else on their roster.

        Not to mention the fact that taking a mulligan on Matsuzaka would really damage the Sox’ presence in Asia.

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      Kind of makes you wonder how long ortiz and his oh so awful slow bat is going to be allowed to not only stay in the lineup, but hit at around the 5 spot and leave the base paths clogged up like he has done in the 1st 3 games does it not?

      What Boston needs right now is for Francona to act like former Sox manager Joe Morgan did towards another aging slugger Jim Rice who could no longer hit and just flat out bench him, or preferable give him his outright release and let Lowell hit who can still get around on a MLB average fastball these days.

      • ELPinchy 5 years ago

        I feel like Theo has been slowly weaning Francona off off the aging players year by year. Ortiz is like his freaking binky and he is just not inclined to do anything but play him over and over until he finally hits….in August. If you remember he played Millar much the same way,the guy couldn’t field to save his live and hit .230 for half the season.

        So,I’m hoping Theo has given him a deadline of about a month before they pull the plug on the old guy.

      • NomarGarciaparra 5 years ago

        He didn’t clog the basepath at all…can’t clog the basepath when you don’t get on base.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Wouldn’t they sooner drop Lugo’s contract?

      • philpbarnes 5 years ago

        Lugo is ‘only’ owed $8m for this year and thats it. So probably not.

        Id definitely void Matsuzaka.

        • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

          Matsuzaka, like Lowell and Ortiz, has value. Overpaid as they are, they can produce. Lugo is strictly a liability, producing nothing. Actually, whatever he produced HURTS the Red Sox.

          At $8m, it’s a no-brainer to me.

        • ELPinchy 5 years ago

          include the posting fee and that is a no brainer.

  9. j6takish 5 years ago

    I still cringe every time I’m reminded of the Vernon Wells contract.

  10. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Bet the Angels would be more likely to move Hunter and his $18m/year for the next 3 years. Sure, he is a great presence on the club but that $18m is a lot of scratch. For what it’s worth – I really doubt the Angels let Fuentes vest unless he has a lights out year.

    • cman 5 years ago

      I remember what he was asking for from the Twins and it was a god awful sum for a guy his age. Hunter is not worth 18 m / year, no way!

  11. mattinglyfan 5 years ago

    Even though he’s in AAA, I’m sure the Yankees would like to get rid of Kei Igawa’s deal.

    • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

      Especially if that included the posting fee. Man, what a waste.

    • BWOzar 5 years ago

      I’m quite sure they’d rather drop the $220 mil remaining on A-Rod’s contract than the $4 mil left on Igawa’s… Not to mention the 30 mil in performance incentives and 10 mil signing bonus spread across the contract.

      Not saying Rodriguez is a bad player or anything ridiculous like that but a pre-incentive AAV of 27.5 mil when he is 43 is absurd.

      • 100% correct. If Cashman had it his way, ARod and his contract gets dumped. I’m a huge Yankee fan, and a HUGE ARod fan, but that deal wasn’t smart. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but they Yankees basically bid against themselves after swearing they wouldn’t. The Igawa money is nothing compared to ARod. If they voided the deal, they could probably sign him to half the amount and still be the top bidder.

  12. Koby2 5 years ago

    Can we get a mulligan on Dayton Moore’s contract?

  13. Guest 5 years ago

    My last name is Mulligan :)

  14. dianagram 5 years ago

    How about the Mets paying Bobby Bonilla $1.19M per year, until 2035!
    link to

  15. BWOzar 5 years ago

    Yankees wouldn’t drop Burnett. If they (and by they I mean Cashman and Co, not the Steinbrenners) were going to eliminate a contract it’d be the outlandish deal given to Rodriguez and it isn’t even remotely close.

  16. TimotheusATL 5 years ago

    I think I’d take Pavano for the Twins over Nathan. Nathan’s an absolute stud, and Pavano is just “meh” at 1yr/7MM.

    • cman 5 years ago

      Knaw. Pavano is fine. He is going to have a good year, just like last year was decent considering it was his first full season since 2004. He is going to be alright. Nathan’s contract on the other hand is very expensive. And insurance only covers a half of it. When he finally is effective again he’s a free agent. To bad. Halfway through that 4 year extension and he’s out a whole year.

  17. crunchy1 5 years ago

    Whenever I play my dad in golf, I give him about 3 or 4 mulligans. I think it’d be nice if we could do the same for the Cubs.

    • basemonkey 5 years ago

      Hey crunchy, I remember debating you a few yrs ago about different scenarios of a Brian Roberts trade. Good to see you pop up. 😉

      I was wondering how you felt about those players we were talking about at the time. I think the ones in question were Cedeno, Ceda, Matt Murton, Veal, Tony Thomas, and Sean Gallagher. I think I recall you were really high on Gallagher and Ceda and you were pretty civil and smart about the way you preferred to talk about baseball. It’s just interesting how things turn out in just a few years. 😉

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        Thanks basemonkey, I think if you and I were the GMs of our respective teams we could have gotten the deal done!…I’m not sure if Roberts would have made a difference during our pathetic playoff performances in 07 and 08, but if I could go back, I would trade any one of those guys for him…heck I’d trade all of them! I really did like Gallagher and Ceda, both have had injuries since being traded so we may never know if they were ever any good to begin with 😉 But I believe I was okay with giving them up (as if I had any say in it!) I remember being particularly stubborn about Felix Pie — and you guys wound up getting him for Greg Olson anyway (who we then converted into Aaron Heilman…what a drag!). If the Cubs could only go back in time!

        • basemonkey 5 years ago

          Hahaha. Yeh srsly. I’ve wanted my team to go back in time on some deals a lot of times. I personally think it ended up working out fine for the Orioles side of things. During those rumors I just always got the impression that Cubs fans generally thought Roberts was just a notch or two removed from being any other mediocre player. I kept hearing fans who only wanted to package up their role and/or bench players, or, their second tier prospects. I don’t blame them for that though, since Roberts’ game doesn’t have any thing like 20+ HRs/YR that screams out consistent quality player. His value is clearly there but it’s either in more esoteric nuanced stuff like OBP, hits, contact rates, doubles, etc…the stuff that doesn’t get a lot of hype. Anyways I figured you were the most objective Cubs fan I could find at the time.

          Out of that crop I think you ended up being right in a way. I think Pie just might end up being the best of that group. He’s still young and since leaving a playoff contender, he seems to be much more balanced in his swings and has a better eye. Even to me now it’s kind of surreal to me to see him taking a walk or not swinging out of his shoes. I guess he’s mainly what I meant when I said it’s funny how things turn out. Also, I was a little surprised to see Gallagher not represent more to this point. I wasn’t that high on him, but I assumed he would be better than he has shown to this point, based on what I gleaned from Cubs fans. Then again pitching prospects will drive you crazy and no one has the magic touch in predicting success 100% of the time. Ha.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            Yeah, I do remember there was a lot of downplaying of the other guys. I remember people saying the Cubs didn’t have a desperate need for a secondbaseman, because the Cubs did have DeRosa (and his best years in 07, 08,) so they weren’t as hurting at 2b as we are now, but Roberts would have given the Cubs that OBP guy with speed at the top of the order — and DeRosa would have still gotten a lot of ABs moving around the lineup and keeping everyone fresh. He wound up playing a lot in the OF and 3b, anyway. It would have been nice to have both! They should have just gone for it. They had just spent so much money upping their payroll to take a big shot at the WS and then got stingy with their prospects when it came to the final piece of the puzzle. But hindsight is 20/20, I guess!

            I think Pie could have been the starting CF if we would have just let him be and we wouldn’t have had to spend money on Marlon Byrd…or Milton Bradley last year. Gallagher’s career as at a crossroads now. He was hurt much of last season with a knee injury and other people have since passed him up. Remember in 2008, he was still the major piece that landed us Rich Harden from the A’s later that year (Murton and Eric Patterson were also in that deal and I think those guys were discussed with Baltimore too).

  18. Guest 5 years ago

    I’ve got to agree with Tim on my Nats choice of Christian Guzman. Yet another example of why Jim Bowden should be banned from employment in the MLB.

  19. tjvetrone 5 years ago

    Although this is a fun activity, It’d be smart to just say that every team would like to drop their biggest contract regardless of who it is. ie: ARod > Igewa

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Why the hell would the rays drop longoria’s contract??

  20. kishi 5 years ago

    Remove one contract from their payroll? No way do the Diamondbacks touch Young or Snyder- it’d be “so long money we’re paying Eric Byrnes”.

  21. He’s looking good at a whopping 500k for the White Sox :)

  22. BWOzar 5 years ago

    Two problems with that: Cashman never wanted that contract, the Steinbrenners did. And that contract was before the steroid stuff came out, which devalues the potential late contract milestone accomplishments from a marketing stand point and diminishes expectations for later in his career if he is currently clean.

  23. Considering Cashman kept the “we aren’t negotiating if he opts out” motto all year, and Big Hank signed him on his own, I think Cashman wasn’t in agreement. Then you add in the whole comment about “investment in a commodity” or whatever Cash said last year after the steroid news broke, and the point is valid.

    And no, he wouldn’t “have gotten the exact same contract.” No other team was breaking 200 million at the time. After the negative PR hit, the age, and the injuries, and the deal is bad. I think that in four years, it could be one of if not the worst deals in all of baseball.

  24. And one last thing… this is why the CC deal was smart. If he opts out, you let him go and figure someone else is on the hook when he goes wrong. It’s always better to get out one year too early rather then one year too late. This is what makes the Red Sox so smart. They correctly let many of their stars go. The Mets would probably do the same with Johan. Sure, he’s an ace, but it still would be better to have that money liquid, and then decide if you want to resign him when you see the other offers.

  25. dickylarue 5 years ago

    The Yankees would definitely void out Arod’s deal over all the others. They were paying for a clean player who was on the road to becoming the “clean” HR champ of all time. No other team was coming close to that deal.

    I realize Arod’s a great player, but his contract is insane. If the Yankees could get a mulligan on any deal, it would be Arod’s.

  26. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    I see the Sabathia deal as much more risk and much less brilliance. If he has a major injury over the next two season, the Yanks are right back in Pavanotown. If he does phenomenally over the next two years, he’s going to opt unless the economy is still completely in the tank and there’s nothing out there to make me believe that Hank wouldn’t just pull an A-Rod again and sign him to some eight year, $200 million deal.

  27. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    Agreed. I don’t know how you’d go with anybody other than Oliver Perez. That guy is clearly worthless, and is paid a fortune. At least you can get some production out of the other guys…

  28. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    Agreed. I don’t know how you’d go with anybody other than Oliver Perez. That guy is clearly worthless, and is paid a fortune. At least you can get some production out of the other guys…

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