Editor’s note: This is the second half of BallHyped.com’s MLB Postseason Salary Report. For the team breakdown, check out our recent post on Major League Baseball’s team salary figures. Are you interested in guest posting on BallHyped.com? Contact us at ballhyped[at]gmail.com.By Erick D. Smith
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was the 25th highest-paid pitcher in baseball last season.
That puts him two and three spots below Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter, respectively. The latter are two of the best pitchers and from the looks of it severely underpaid if Kuroda is in the same neighborhood as them.
Simply put, Hiroki Kuroda, you’re good, but you’re not THAT good. You’re not $15 million good.
But I don’t think you’re the only over-paid player on this top-25 list. There needs to be some moving and shaking, and some teams need to put their spending in check. (Shameless plug: BallHyped recently published a breakdown of Major League Baseball’s team salary figures, so open that up after I’m done flaming general managers for over-spending on certain players).
Let’s play a game:
Player A: 11-6, 3.33 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, suspended mid-season by his team for insubordination
Player B: 9-14/ 4.15/1.34, benched for the playoffs
Player C: 21-7/3.18/ 1.19
Player D: 11-13/3.39/1.16
A. Carlos Zambro – Third-highest paid pitcher (No. 11 overall) at $18.8 million
B. Barry Zito – Fifth-highest paid pitcher (No. 15 overall) at $18.5 million
C. CC Sabathia – Highest paid pitcher (No. 2 overall) at $24.2 million
D. Hiroki Kuroda – Ninth-highest paid pitcher $15.4 million
It’s hard to dispute that Zito was leading the over-paid category as soon as he signed this massive contract with the San Francisco Giants. He proves that GMs should be a bit more frugal when locking up players long-term.
All it takes is a few good seasons, or in some cases one, and a lucrative long-term deal will be handed out by some general manager who thinks that one player will make a difference. Which brings me back to Kuroda, sure he’s better than most, but he is far from being one of the best pitcher in baseball and his name should not be attached to the kind of money he received in 2010.
While Kuroda and Zito got paid for some inexplicable reason, there are position players on this list who deserved the money, if it’s 2008.
Carlos Lee ($19 million) had an abysmal year and according to reports looked lazy in the outfield. Todd Helton ($17.7 million) is still a great hitter in spurts, but this eventual Hall of Famer is no longer a consistent threat and has had trouble staying on the field. Manny Ramirez ($18.6 million), need I say more?
In the end, it comes down to the decisions being made every winter when the Hot Stove heats up and small-market teams must jettison their free agents because waiting in the shadows are the annual big-spenders who are eagerly ready to dole out the big-money deals.
But buyer beware, because for every impact player like Mark Teixeira ($20.6 million) there is an Alfonso Soriano ($19 million), who has talent but can disappear for long stretches.
If you put all 25 of these guys back in the free-agent market I’m willing to wager there would be a few who wouldn’t make similar money, which brings up my final point: Share your thoughts on the attached top 25 list. Is there somebody you see on there, like Kuroda, who makes you so frustrated you have to write a 550-word blog about it?
|Alex Rodriguez||$33,000,000||New York Yankees|
|CC Sabathia||$24,285,714||New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter||$22,600,000||New York Yankees|
|Mark Teixeira||$20,625,000||New York Yankees|
|Johan Santana||$20,144,707||New York Mets|
|Miguel Cabrera||$20,000,000||Detroit Tigers|
|Carlos Beltran||$19,401,569||New York Mets|
|Ryan Howard||$19,000,000||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Carlos Lee||$19,000,000||Houston Astros|
|Alfonso Soriano||$19,000,000||Chicago Cubs|
|Carlos Zambrano||$18,875,000||Chicago Cubs|
|John Lackey||$18,700,000||Boston Red Sox|
|Manny Ramirez||$18,695,006||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Torri Hunter||$18,500,000||Los Angeles Angels|
|Barry Zito||$18,500,000||San Francisco Giants|
|Ichiro Suzuki||$18,000,000||Seattle Mariners|
|Magglio Ordonez||$17,825,976||Detroit Tigers|
|Todd Helton||$17,775,000||Colorado Rockies|
|Aramis Ramirez||$16,750,000||Chicago Cubs|
|A.J. Burnett||$16,500,000||New York Yankees|
|Matt Holliday||$16,333,327||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Chris Carpenter||$15,840,971||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Roy Halladay||$15,750,000||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Vernon Wells||$15,687,500||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Hiroki Kuroda||$15,433,333||Los Angeles Dodgers|