Will Mookie Betts enter the wrong side of MLB history?
Boston Red Sox fans are not having themselves a good Thursday, as they found out the news that their ex has found a new person in their life. Of course, we’re talking about Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a variety of reports throughout the day, ESPN’s Jeff Passan revealed that both parties agreed to terms on a 13-year, $380 million contract.
Betts has solidified himself as the game’s best hitter, alongside Mike Trout. However, these 10-plus year contracts can blow up in the face of the team. Need further proof? Just look at the history of all decade-long contracts in MLB history.
Mike Trout, Angels: 12-year, $430 million
Last year, the Los Angeles Angels made the wise decision to ensure that superstar Mike Trout wasn’t going to “go home” to Philadelphia and sign with the Phillies. So, the front office sent the multi-time AL MVP a 12-year, $430 million contract. Of course, Trout wasn’t hesitant to put his signature on the deal.
It’s hard to evaluate the deal right now, because Trout’s just one year into the deal. So far, it’s working out pretty well. Last year, Trout slashed .291/.438/.645 while hitting 45 home runs and 104 RBI. That helped Trout clinch his third AL MVP award. We’ll have to see how Trout progresses (or declines) throughout the deal.
Bryce Harper, Phillies: 13-years, $330 million
The verdict is still out on the Bryce Harper deal. The Phillies were looking to snatch him away from the rival Washington Nationals, and they did so by handing him $330 million over 13 seasons last year. Philadelphia vastly underperformed in 2019, while watching the Nationals win the World Series. Granted, Harper did put up good numbers last year (35 home runs, 114 RBI). Either way, there’s 12 more years to go before coming up with a final verdict.
Manny Machado, Padres: 10-years, $300 million
Again, we can’t rush to judgement on Manny Machado’s deal. After waiting on the open market for months, the third baseman finally agreed to terms with the bottom dwelling San Diego Padres for $300 million.
Last year, Machado didn’t perform like the player he was with the Baltimore Orioles. However, maybe 2020 will be the year he returns to form. The Padres are hoping he can do so, or that contract is going to look like a gigantic anchor that will send the organization into the abyss.
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins: 13-years, $324 million
Remember when the future was bright for the Miami Marlins? Yeah, those were good times. The team was loaded with talent, and Giancarlo Stanton was the best of the bunch. With his propensity to smash baseballs out of every MLB ballpark, the previous Marlins ownership rewarded him with a record-breaking deal.
However, once Derek Jeter bought the team, he sent Stanton to the New York Yankees in 2018. We’d give the Marlins an “L” for this, but the Yankees could join them if Stanton can’t stay healthy throughout the duration of his deal.
Joey Votto, Reds: 10-years, $225 million
Joey Votto solidified his spot as the game’s best first baseman. Back in 2012, the Cincinnati Reds paid him like one, as they signed him to a $225 million contract. While Votto has been consistently great, the Reds…have not. Ever since signing, Votto and the Reds have never made it to the postseason. Maybe that changes in 2020? But so far, Votto’s impressive play hasn’t led to success in Cincinnati.
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 10-years, $275 million
Alex Rodriguez was a happy camper throughout his playing career. After contentious negotiations, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner caved in and handed A-Rod a $275 million pact in 2007. Rodriguez played a pivotal role in the Yankees winning the World Series in 2009, but his tenure ended on less than ideal terms.
After being suspended for a full season for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, Rodriguez’s production fell off a cliff, resulting in his retirement at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Alex Rodriguez, Rangers: 10-years, $252 million
Yes, A-Rod makes the list again. This time, we talk about the very first ten-year contract Rodriguez signed. After impressing with the Seattle Mariners, Rodriguez moved down to the Lone Star state to put pen to paper on a $252 million deal in 2001.
Even though the shortstop was outstanding, the Rangers couldn’t pay him due to poor attendance. As a result, the Rangers traded Rodriguez to the New York Yankees in 2004.
Albert Pujols, Angels: 10-years, $240 million
Albert Pujols had quite the contract year in 2011. The St. Louis Cardinals had the most impressive comeback in World Series history to snatch the Commissioner’s Trophy out of the grasp of the Texas Rangers.
That winter, Pujols was a hot commodity on the open market, but it was the Los Angels Angels who won the sweepstakes. Yet, we can’t gloss over the fact that the team signed a 32-year-old player to a 10-year contract. Sure enough, Pujol’s production declined over the years, where he accumulated a slash-line of .258/.314/.450 in eight seasons. Yeah, that’s a bad investment.
Robinson Cano, Mariners: 10-years, $240 million
Robinson Cano spent the first nine years of his career with the Yankees. But in 2014, Cano was the best free agent in the entire league. Looking to cash in on a lucrative contract, Cano reached an agreement with the Seattle Mariners on a $240 million deal.
Even though the second baseman played tremendously in Seattle, it didn’t help the Mariners clinch a postseason berth. After being suspended for 80 games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy in 2018, the Mariners traded Cano to the New York Mets. Overall, it’s yet another bad investment for the Mets.
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 10-years, $157.8 million
Back in 2010, Troy Tulowitzki was viewed as the best shortstop in the game, even with Derek Jeter still fielding for the Yankees. The Colorado Rockies ensured to keep him for the long haul with their 10-year offer.
However, the injury bug followed “Tulo” for the remainder of his career. Tulowitzki would last five more years in Colorado until he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015.
Derek Jeter, Yankees: 10-years, $189 million
Derek Jeter was part of the Yankees’ “Core Four” that helped bring the organization four World Series. Luckily for Jeter, he was due for a contract after the 2001 season. It took over a year, but the Yankees finally reached an agreement with their captain on a $189 million deal.
Jeter would earn All-Star nods on a consistent basis and help the Yankee reach the postseason. Most importantly, Jeter gave the Yankees continuity, and that alone was worth the huge price tag.
Dave Winfield, Yankees: 10-years, $23 million
Dave Winfield was the Yankees’ best and most popular player on the roster. As every baseball fan knows, George Steinbrenner was never afraid to flex his checkbook to build a super team. Winfield was solid throughout his tenure with the Yankees. Unfortunately, he was on the Yankees throughout the 1980’s, and he only made one postseason appearance in 1981.
Richie Zisk, Rangers: 10-years, $3 million
The Texas Rangers saw Richie Zisk shine in his lone season with the Chicago White Sox, and threw him a 10-year contract following the 1977 campaign.
While Zisk did make the All Star Game in his first year with the Rangers, he could never replicate the numbers he put up in 1977. Sure enough, Texas traded Zisk to the Seattle Mariners after three seasons with the squad.
Wayne Garland, Indians: 10-years, $2.3 million
When talking about decade-long deals, Wayne Garland is the face of why MLB teams shouldn’t do that. Garland was never impressive and had a history of accumulating injuries. Did you think that stopped the Cleveland Indians? Of course not!
In his very first season, Garland led the entire league in losses (19), and only managed to pick up a total of 28 wins in five seasons in Cleveland. Ultimately, the team waived him in 1981.
In conclusion, 10-year contracts in MLB have led to mixed results. Dodgers fans are certainly hoping that Betts continues to dominate throughout his time in Hollywood.