Free Agent Contracts Gone Sour

Tons of research goes into any free agent signing, given the amount of money at stake.  Still, one year later many have already gone sour.  A look at some of the regrettable $10MM+ contracts from the 2009-10 offseason…

  • It feels too early to throw John Lackey into this discussion, as he ended up giving the Red Sox 215 decent innings last year.  But he does have a 4.83 ERA over the life of the contract.  The deal was frontloaded, so Lackey will be paid $61MM over 2011-14.
  • If new Mets GM Sandy Alderson could reverse Omar Minaya's Jason Bay contract, I'm sure he would.  Bay is owed $48MM over the 2011-13 seasons, with the possibility of a $17MM club option vesting for 2014.  A concussion ended his '10 season on July 25th, and he began the '11 season on the DL for a strained ribcage.  Bay's Mets line still stands at .259/.347/.402.
  • Chone Figgins' four-year, $36MM deal with the Mariners looked like a mild bargain at the time.  2010 was ugly, marked by an ill-advised position switch, a Don Wakamatsu altercation, and a batting average dip.  Only nine games in this year, Figgins has time to turn the contract around.
  • Randy Wolf provided the Brewers with 215 2/3 innings of 4.17 ball last year, but as with Lackey more was expected.  Wolf's 5.9 K/9 was his worst since '04.  The Brewers are probably glad to have the rotation depth at this point, so maybe the $20.5MM owed to Wolf over 2011-12 doesn't bother them.
  • At $7.25MM this year, Mike Cameron is an expensive fourth outfielder for the Red Sox.  They've got the payroll to tolerate the contract, and Cameron might be used more than most fourth outfielders.
  • Fernando Rodney's two-year, $11MM pact with the Angels was panned at the time.  You can't blame Rodney for this one turning ugly; his 2010 numbers were pretty similar to his '09 contract year.
  • The contracts for Jason Marquis, Mark DeRosa, and Mike Gonzalez also went sour in year one due to injuries.

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