Dead Money: Paying Players To Play Elsewhere

Eating money in trades or by releasing players is far from an ideal business practice, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. The Mets believe they are better off paying Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo a combined $18MM not to be on their team this year, and released the two just last month. David Wharton of The Los Angeles Times wrote about the concept of "dead money" today, speaking to Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, sports economist J.C. Bradbury, and Scott Boras.

With some help from Cot's Baseball Contracts, let's look at the teams that are paying players to be anywhere but on their roster this season…

This doesn't include money the Braves owe Kenshin Kawakami ($7.4MM) or the Yankees owe Kei Igawa ($4MM). Both Japanese imports remain in the organization, but they've since been banished to the minor leagues. It also doesn't include all the money the Mets famously owe Bobby Bonilla for the next two decades.

Yuniesky Betancourt is the only player collecting paychecks from three different big league teams at the moment, but Carlos Silva could join him if he's called up by the Yankees. Gary Matthews Jr. could also be in that mix if he catches on somewhere this summer.


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51 Comments on "Dead Money: Paying Players To Play Elsewhere"


MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

Pretty glad to finally not see the Red Sox on a list like this.

4 years 4 months ago

Aren’t the Red Sox also still paying Manny? In fact, as I recall, payments by both the Dodgers and Red Sox are deferred salary. That’s not quite the same as payments to Oliver Perez and even to players who were traded.

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

Deferred payments are completely different than cutting a player and paying the remainder of his contract to play for another team. When there are deferred payments it is known in the beginning that they are going to be paying him after he leaves the team. What this is talking about is like when the Sox paid Lugo/Renteria to play for other teams.

twenty1thirteen
4 years 4 months ago

With record unemployment rates, Yuniesky Betancourt collects three paychecks. Something just doesn’t seem right about this one.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

it makes perfect sense when you realize that every team he’s ever played for until now has paid to get rid of him

Jeff Weissbuch
4 years 4 months ago

This is sports page not a political page. Yuniesky doesn’t have one damn thing to do with the record unemployment rate.

bonestock94
4 years 4 months ago

Wow, who crapped in your cheerios it’s clearly a joke…

twenty1thirteen
4 years 4 months ago

Someone doesn’t get the joke.

John McFadin
4 years 4 months ago

Sounds like you might be on unemployment.

TapDancingTeddy
4 years 4 months ago

YB beats out Gary Matthews, Jr. who can’t get a job in Baseball – but still gets 2 paychecks totaling 12.4MM. I think that’s the highest one-year “dead money” payout.

Whole_New_World
4 years 4 months ago

Gary Matthews Jr. is the most amazing career year contract I’ve ever seen. A decade of mediocrity, finally one half-way decent season, $50 million. What????

What the hell were they putting in the water in 2006?

mdv1959
4 years 4 months ago

On the plus side the Wells contract will soon make the Angels forget about how bad the GMJ contract was.

4 years 4 months ago

I thought Red Sox were still paying Manny too. I seem to recall something about them owing him deferred payments into the middle of next decade.

Dogo Hess
4 years 4 months ago

i would rather pay 3.5 than have scott lineSTINK

4 years 4 months ago

The Mets. Giving Phillies fans something to laugh about outside of their terrible on the field play. $1.2M/yr for 25 years is hilarious! So they owe him more than the entire record contract they gave him years ago. All so they could defer $5.9M. Talk about a terrible decision.

I seriously cannot stop laughing!

tacko
4 years 4 months ago

The Mets haven’t been relevant for four years, were in 4th in their division last year, are in last this year, and are in rebuilding mode this year.

Yet, you and a greater portion of Phillie fans still feel it necessary to bash on the Mets, despite the fact that your team has been fighting the for the division this and last year with the Braves and Marlins.

Do you think the Braves, Marlins, or Mets ever talked about the Phillies when they were making the playoffs in the 90’s and early 00’s? They only cared about their competing division rivals. Yet here you are, bashing an irrelevant team (not understanding a thing about net present value).

Inferiority complex much?

Blue387
4 years 4 months ago

I never understood the Philly fixation on the Mets. How petty must Philly fans be to beat up the Mets who will be lucky to win 83 games this season. Why not hate the Yankees? Some people think they’re pretty good.

700Level
4 years 4 months ago

And here you are not understanding a thing about the history of the rivalry between New York and Philadelphia in every sport going back to the days when the Dodgers still played at Ebbets Field. The Braves and Marlins are not considered traditional rivals by the fans in Philly. The Braves weren’t even in the Phils division until the 90’s.

New York and Philadelphia have been division opponents in every single major sport for decades. It has nothing to do with net present value; it has to do with history and tradition – something you obviously have no clue about.

jimboslice9
4 years 4 months ago

The fact being ignored here is that the Braves Met rivalry is a more major and long-lived rivalry for the Mets and Mets fans that the one with the Phillies, yet you don’t see Braves fans beating up on the Mets when they suck, and yet Phillies fans don’t think twice about doing it.

If it had to do with history and tradition, the Braves fans (and some more old school Cardinals fans) would be right with the Phillies fans.

700Level
4 years 4 months ago

What are you talking about? The Mets and the Braves weren’t even in the same division from 1969 to 1993. Furthermore, by 1962 the Braves had moved to Milwaukee from Boston, so they weren’t even in close proximity to each other. Finally, apparently you ignored or simply weren’t able to comprehend the part about how it’s not just about baseball, but about a NY sports vs. Philly sports rivalry in general.

Talk about ignoring facts.

jimboslice9
4 years 4 months ago

The thing is, the was specifically a Phillies and Mets thing, so in no way was it a NY vs. Philly in general thing. And if you ask any Mets fan who has been around a while, the Cardinals were the main rival back when there when the Braves were in the NL West, but once they were in the NL East the main Mets rivalry was with the Braves.

The OP was laughing at the Mets as a Phillies fan, not at NY as a Philadelphia fan, and the Mets and Phillies have only been rivals since the Phillies starting getting good a few years ago.

And as tacko pointed out Mets fans did not make fun of the Phillies when they were finishing terribly in the late ’90s and early ’00s, so if that really was a strong rivalry, it would be a two way rivalry, and Mets fans would have loved taking digs at Phillies fans in the ’99 and ’00 seasons, but the Phillies were just ignored those years, while Mets fans taunted the Braves for losing to them.

Blue387
4 years 4 months ago

The biggest rival of the 1951 Giants were the 73-89 1951 Phillies?

700Level
4 years 4 months ago

Um, no…That’s not what I’m saying. I was responding to a statement made about how Philadelphia fans view New York. Because NY teams have always been in the same league/division as Philly teams, Philly fans always see NY teams as rivals and get a warm sense of schadenfreude when NY teams fail miserably. The history of NY and Philly fans actions in each others sports arenas add to all of this.

I don’t know what possessed you to mention 1951 specifically, but if you ask Phillies fans who are old enough to remember, most of them would probably tell you that they hated the Dodgers more than the Giants.

monroe_says
monroe_says
4 years 4 months ago

Deferred money (Manny, A. Jones) and dead money should probably not be in the same conversation.

baycommuter
4 years 4 months ago

Perez and Castillo– the lede says the Mets are paying them $18M this year, but the bullet point only adds up to $10M for the two of them. Which is it?

4 years 4 months ago

It’s 18 Million. 6 million for Castillo, 12M for Perez, theres probably a typo

4 years 4 months ago

It’s got to be more than $10 million. Perez’s contract average annual value was $12 million, I can’t imagine that it was frontloaded so that they’d only be paying him $4 million this year. Add in another $8 million for Perez and you get the $18 million figure.

4 years 4 months ago

Isn’t Scott Proctor at least playing in AAA Gwinett with Atlanta ?

guest_54
4 years 4 months ago

That’s exactly what I was going to say. The Braves didn’t pay him to go away. They cut him from the contract they signed him to so they wouldn’t have to pay the whole $750,000 or whatever it was; then, almost immediately, they re-signed him to a minor league deal.

Also, isn’t Perez making $12 million instead of the $4 million listed in the article? Or did I miss something?

TapDancingTeddy
4 years 4 months ago

It’s unfortunate that the Dodgers, facing all their financial troubles, have heavy future commitments to Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones.

Manny had to decline and bust because of age, but I still can’t believe how quickly and how far Andruw Jones fell.

$7562574
4 years 4 months ago

it was all about the ped’s.

jimboslice9
4 years 4 months ago

Actually for Jones, it wasn’t. If you follow his career path there is a somewhat correlating trend between his BA, and his weight. I also once saw somewhere a picture of one of his first years on the Braves, his last year on the Braves, and his year on the Dodgers, and it was pointed out his swing became less level, probably because he was fighting more body weight.

So Jones’s decline can be summed up in three letters, not ped’s, fat.

4 years 4 months ago

Yeah, the Dodgers have had some pretty bad contract recently. Jason Schmidt, Jones, Pierre, Manny. With all the stuff coming out about McCourt’s finances and bad decisions it makes you wonder if Colletti signed those contracts because he wanted those players or if McCourt ordered him to sign them because he wanted to make a splash. I know that if I were the owner and my GM was making those kinds of decisions on his own he wouldn’t be my GM any more.

mdv1959
4 years 4 months ago

I have it on good authority that McCourt pushed the Jones deal. The one I could never understand was Colletti signing Schmidt– if anyone ought to have known about Schmidt’s health it was Colletti.

4 years 4 months ago

Rays have rebounded since Manny is gone..It’s all good..

4 years 4 months ago

Great article.

grant77
4 years 4 months ago

The Jays are NOT paying 5 million of Wells’ salary according to both GM’s and any reputable source. The perpetuation of this myth on MLBTR is absurd.

guest_54
4 years 4 months ago

Cot’s has it as a commitment on their 2011-2016 payroll obligations spreadsheet. Don’t know if you consider them reputable or not.

grant77
4 years 4 months ago

Not anymore. I consider the teams reputable and they both insisted that no money changed hands. This rumour started from a Jon Heyman (lol) tweet and nothing more was added to it, but it unfortunately spread. AA was questioned about it and said the deal was as it said in the press release (no money).

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 4 months ago

seriously, why do you care? We got out from paying frigging $80M. I don’t care if we give or take a few million.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 4 months ago

we as in the jays’ management

grant77
4 years 4 months ago

I wouldn’t care if they actually paid 5 million, it’s just that MLBTR has put blatantly false information on their website and I figure that’s something they would like to fix.

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 4 months ago

I agree with you, it is silly that MLBTR continue to post the 5M as fact when it has been repeatedly denied by the teams. It shows up almost once a week. Maybe Rivera’s 5.25M contract was what confused Heyman and led to his tweet.

4 years 4 months ago

Is this list comprehensive? I cannot believe my Pirates didn’t show up here.

Heliosphan
4 years 4 months ago

I think Detroit owes Sheffield 1.1 M deferred for the next 6 years. Or something obnoxious like that.

alphabet_soup5
4 years 4 months ago

Glad this list wasn’t made last season, when Detroit paid D-train and Robertson a TON of money to play in farm systems.

smokinjays
4 years 4 months ago

Manny still gets his money despite the drugs and retirement? Seriously?

4 years 4 months ago

cry me a river.

TapDancingTeddy
4 years 4 months ago

If it’s deferred money for seasons already played, yes, Manny can retire and still get paid.

jayrig5
4 years 3 months ago

I’m fairly sure the Mariners are on the hook for Silva’s buyout. I’m not sure if that’s on Cot’s, but it’s been reported elsewhere.

4 years 4 months ago

I think that would fall into the Bonilla category. They aren’t technically paying him to play somewhere else so much as they are just honoring his contract. Or at least they didn’t trade him to get rid of him for performance or behavioral reasons.