This past offseason, All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano signed a 10-year contract with the Seattle Mariners worth $240 million. Say what you want about the excessive spending across Major League Baseball, but Cano is in his prime and one of the most talented hitters in the game today.
The same can’t be said for the five overpaid players on this short list. Their better years are behind them, yet they are collecting huge sums of money as a result of contracts signed in the past. Here’s a look at the five most overpaid players in baseball in 2014.
Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays ($19,000,000) — I have nothing against Buehrle. Actually, the crafty lefty has won at least 12 games every year since 2001. However, his career earned run average is 3.84 and he allows nearly a hit per inning. Considering that his 2014 salary is nearly equal to those of Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw, I’d say he’s grossly overpaid.
Vernon Wells, Free Agent ($21,000,000) — Wells, who was a free agent at the start of the season, is owed money from the final year of a seven-year, $126-million extension that he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006. As a condition of a 2013 trade, the Los Angeles Angels owe him $18.6 million, the New York Yankees the rest. Ironically, Wells actually could lose money by playing.
Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers ($21,107,142) — Crawford can thank the Boston Red Sox for his current fat contract, which is paying him $142 million over seven years. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, he enjoyed his best seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays (Crawford led the league in stolen bases four times between 2003 and 2007). He’s an average outfielder at best these days.
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies ($25,000,000) — Howard was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball from 2006-09, during which time he averaged 50 home runs and 143 RBIs. However, over the previous two seasons, he missed numerous games and had a total of 25 homers and 99 RBIs. His salary this season is the second-highest in baseball behind Zack Greinke’s $28,000,000.
Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees ($23,125,000) — Teixeira, who spent nearly the entire 2013 season on the disabled list, has seen his production decline over the last few years. However, he’s scheduled to collect the seventh-highest salary in baseball this season and is under contract until 2016. For perspective, he’s making more than Miguel Cabrera ($21,943,026) this season. Let that sink in.
USA Today MLB Salaries.