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  1. Of course they can move it. Tony Reagins is intrigued.

    Comment by Jay — July 22, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  2. Jim: Hello, Tony…Jim Hendry.
    Tony: Sorry, Alex A beat you to it.
    Jim: Dammit!!

    Comment by chuckb — July 22, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  3. Soriano’s contract was not “historically bad”. Atleast not in the sense that it is even the worst of any 100m+ contract. I’m not even sure its in the bottom few based on any analysis.

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  4. Can you name 5 worse contracts in baseball right now?

    There’s Zito, Wells — and Zito’s a maybe. Maybe ARod…

    It’s really, really bad. Hell, Carlos Lee’s is better and that one was really bad.

    Comment by chuckb — July 22, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  5. We’ll see where it lies in Cameron’s other trade-value series. 4 that will/should be on there:


    Comment by Anthony — July 22, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  6. Why are you talking about the present value of a contract? I guess if you wanna view contracts at arbitrary endpoints to determine the “goodness” of something in totality that is weird. (I guess the first A-rod contract sucked then.)

    I view contracts in totality. I think his contract was the best of the three that was signed that winter. Useless metrics like “WAR” seem to agree with me. Whatever makes you happy though.

    lol at chuckb. That Lee comment is fucking retarded. Please defend your insanity.

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  7. Werth.

    Comment by Mike — July 22, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  8. Okay. Almost all large, long term contracts are terrible. Can we differentiate between levels of terribleness?

    PS: Why are we calling Werth’s contract worse than Crawford’s? One is larger and Crawford is substantially the inferior player.

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  9. Alfonso Soriano is one of the premier players in the league. Any team lucky enough to receive his services will immediately be put into playoff contention. The guy is a proven winner and an asset to any ballclub savvy enough to pick him up. Why the Cubs want to get rid of this talent is beyond me.

    I would really like to see Soriano land with the Rays…they could use a bona fide DH and Soriano fits the bill perfectly. The man is still an offensive force and will make a great addition to any team serious about competing.

    Comment by Carlmart — July 22, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  10. A 3/54 for Soriano (not counting this year) is not a top 10 bad contract. Zito, Wells, ARod, Howard, Werth, Crawford, Lackey, Dunn, Jeter, and Braun are all worse (Okay maybe it’s 10th or so). Plus, Soriano provided 11 war for two division title winners at the beginning of his contract. While that alone doesn’t justify $136 million, for a team like the Cubs, it makes the contract more or less “worth it.”

    Comment by Jay — July 22, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  11. What are you even talking about? It’s insane to say that the Soriano contract is/was worse than Carlos Lee’s? We’ll just have to agree to disagree about that then.

    Soriano’s been worth about 15 “useless” wins since he signed w/ the Cubs. He had 1 great year and has been either terrible or slightly above average the rest. He’s set to make $54 million over the next 3 years and probably projects as a 2-2.5 win player at best each season. Needless to say, 2 win left fielders are fairly easy to find on the free agent market. You don’t need to pay them $18 M in order to secure their services. Those guys are eminently fungible. He’s Chris Heisey at about 36 times the price.

    Now, all of this was foreseeable because he was 31 when he was signed by the Cubs. LOL!

    Comment by chuckb — July 22, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  12. Like you, I forgot Howard. That’s definitely going to be there.

    Comment by chuckb — July 22, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  13. What extremely concise analysis. So concise you left out anything about Carlos Lee’s career. Perhaps you can share with us some facts:

    1) Lee’s total WAR over his contract
    2) Projected WAR for the rest of the contract
    3) $/WAR
    4) $/WAR + projected WAR

    Then compare these metrics to Soriano’s. Or don’t. You’ll clown yourself by actually doing this. So you’ll probably just write some more inane bullshit about “useless” wins.

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  14. “Crawford is substantially the inferior player.”

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….oh man…Crawford is two years younger and has 13 more career WAR.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 22, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  15. I’m not saying this contract isn’t “bad”. I’m just saying it is not one of the top 5 worst contracts (there are like 26 100m+ contracts?) at either the time of signing or with the best information we have now. I’m not really interested in snipping off portions of a contract and evaluating them as independent decisions since its dishonest in evaluating the contract. If Soriano has put up 3 10+ WAR seasons and then lost a leg to a knee surgery gone bad, do we rank this as “WORST CONTRACT EVER” since clearly he’s a 0 WAR player with no possibility of return yet owed a vast sum of money?!?

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  16. @David, Why doesn’t he have less than half the WAR of Jayson Werth then?

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  17. red sox, blue jays, yankees, and orioles fans would love soriano to go to the rays too!

    Comment by juan pierre's mustache — July 22, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  18. “That ranks 107th out of 135 qualified hitters, just a tick behind Melky Cabrera”

    Holy Shit.

    Comment by Ryan — July 22, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  19. I don’t remember a “carlmart” on seinfeld….

    Comment by slugger27 — July 22, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  20. lol

    Comment by Eminor3rd — July 22, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  21. Hasn’t it been said that ARod actually earned his contract in the ten years since he signed it?

    Comment by thegeniusking — July 22, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  22. And Bobby Abreu is a free agent after the season. Gotta get that old outfielder fix somehow.

    Comment by BX — July 22, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  23. You could be a different “Garrett” but I’ve seen several posts by you and you literally have insulted someone in every single one of your posts.

    Dude, I’m sorry I did not realize you were Omnipotent and so much better than everyone else. Please teach me to not be so retarded.

    Tell me, what is it like to think you are literally better than every human being on this earth? Must be nice

    Comment by Snoth — July 22, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

  24. I can’t see the Cubs getting anything resembling a good prospect, no matter how much of his salary they end up eating. For them, the sole incentive has to be saving money, because if there just isn’t a taker for him–and there very well may not be– they’ll be forced to eat all of the ~$60MM he’s still owed. Wiping their hands of any of that remaining salary would have to be seen as a small victory.

    Comment by Jack Nugent — July 22, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  25. what do you all think about an Adam Dunn / Alfonso Soriano trade?

    Soriano [35] has about $63M remaining on his contract through 2014.

    Dunn [31] has about$48M remaining on his contract through 2014

    Comment by Rob — July 22, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  26. How were Soriano’s 15 wins useless? Listen, two things:

    1. The Cubs signed Soriano when they had a team that was a legitimate contender. They won the division twice and shit the bed in the playoffs both times.

    2. Everyone knew at the time of the signing (at least I did) that it was for that brief period when their core was going to be together and still effective (Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Z, etc) and that the back end would be pretty ugly. It was the price to pay to try to shoot for that window. They went for it.

    As a Cubs fan I did not (and still don’t) really have a problem with the signing. You have to view it for what it was. They signed one of the best FAs that year to a princely sum in order to have a few really good shots at a WS. Didn’t happen, which sucks, but you can’t ignore that part of it because they’re paying the price now.

    Comment by Jack Weiland — July 22, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  27. I don’t see any good reason why the Cubs shouldn’t cover at least 75% of Soriano’s contract if someone else (Sabean? Cashman?) wants to pay the other 25%. Take a PTBNL, save ~$15 million, open a roster spot for a player with some long-term value. Win-win-win.

    Comment by Jamie — July 22, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  28. @ Jack —

    Garrett made the comment that WAR was a “useless metric” so my comment about Soriano’s wins being “useless” was directed sarcastically at that remark.

    I don’t think any win is “useless.” Sorry for not being clear. That’s the nature of sarcasm on the internet, though.

    Comment by chuckb — July 22, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  29. I hope the cubs keep Sori, it will keep them from signing another big player until they are ready.

    Just ride it out, maybe trade him in the last year if you can. I think he’s worth more than the 25% of his contract the Cubs would save. He has the upside of being worth half his remaining contract.

    Comment by Joe — July 22, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

  30. I’m not sure why the White Sox would make that deal, even if the Cubs picked up the difference, since they could probably (still) get a much more valuable player than Soriano if they’re willing to eat Dunn’s contract.

    Comment by Jamie — July 22, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  31. Here’s a list of completed 100mm contracts:

    Here’s the newest ones:

    Comment by DD — July 22, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  32. No he’s not. Abreu has a vesting option for 2012 that will become guaranteed in a matter of weeks

    Comment by Ryan — July 22, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  33. Bahahaha. ZING!!

    Comment by Jason B — July 22, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  34. No question Soriano is a huge overpriced contract, but he is not worthless. He is probably worth 2-3 WAR a season. Teams do a fair amount of work finding 2-3 WAR reliable outfielders. I doubt the Cubs can eat enough salary to get a prospect that will generate them 2-3 WAR a year in return, so I would not trade him if I was the CUBS unless they had a sure thing top tier prospect he was preventing from playing everyday. (I do not know if they do)

    Plus, hasn’t their been some articles lately about how the NL is being pushed by realignment into adopting the DH? If that happens a year or so from now the CUBS will be happy to have Soriano around to plug into that hole.

    lastly, I think Soriano’s ptofile better fits in a hitters park like Wrigley. he need to be in a homerun hitters park to have value. Most AL teams looking for more offense are in pitchers parks (Oak, Seattle, etc.). I am fairly sure a guy who rarely walks and gets all his value from hitting home runs is a worse fit in those parks.

    Comment by Kick me in the GO NATS — July 22, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  35. This has replaced “#6 Org” as the default/mandatory joke at FG.

    It’s amazing how many Angels/TR jokes there are given LAA’s success and the amount of young talent they keep coming up with.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 22, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  36. That’s just it…the cubs do have a top 20 prospect who could be playing at the major league level tomorrow in Brett Jackson…Soriano has been batting 6 or 7th for the cubs most of the season with some success…but fact remains he is being paid 18 mil per season to be a 6 or 7th hitter on a bad offensive team. Cut the rope and be done with it

    Comment by Shepp_uno — July 22, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  37. [1] I love how folks seem to think that league average to slightly above average players are all over the place, ready to be had for market value. That’s laughable. (I agree with the point you’re making).

    [2] The problem with Soriano is the same old thing, he’s hacktastic as evident by his .298 OBP. He hits homers, which is good … but that’s pretty much it.

    Beyond the Box Score: best LF from 2006-2010 …

    [1] Matt Holliday (29.4 WAR)
    [2] Carl Crawford (22.6)
    [3] Alfonso Soriano (19.8)
    [4] Ryan Braun (16.4)

    The problem with the Soriano performance is that about 60% of that WAR came in 2006-07.

    At the time they signed him he was one of the best LF in the game. He was signed, along with Pinella, to increase the excitement and financial worth of the organization to raise the asking price for the sell of the team.

    AS was worth 4 WAR in 2008 and 3 WAR in 2010. He’s probably not going to earn the full value of the contract, but he’s not going to be grossly overpayed if we use the standard 4-5M per WAR figure. He’s earned 14 fWAR as a Cub, so that’s anywhere between 48-70M, meaning he’s probably going to earn about 100M of the 136M paid to him.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 22, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  38. Jason Bay

    Comment by MP — July 22, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  39. Ryan Howard will make a whopping $25 mil/year from 2013 through 2017, $125 mil total. His production this season is comparable to Carlos Pena’s. My vote for worst contract in baseball is Howard’s. There was and is simply no excuse for handing out that kind of money to Howard, especially since he was under contract already through 2012.

    Comment by Robbie G. — July 22, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  40. I keep forgetting when Howard’s deal goes into effect. Last year I thought it went into effect this year and then I was thinking it goes into effect next year, and now I see it starts in 2013 and I laugh and I laugh and I laugh.

    Comment by TK — July 22, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

  41. David apparently believes the past Crawford’s UZR #’s are real

    UZR/150 at the Trop: 22.5
    UZR/150 away from the Trop 7.5
    (8 year sample size)

    Knock Crawford down to a 7.5 defender as opposed to the 15 people think he is and his value changes significantly.

    He’s still a great defender, but that value was overstated by the Trop… not only range but he actually had a significant plus arm when at the Trop (and obviously anyone who’s seen him throw would not be surprised that it’s negative on the road)

    Unless he gets a bug offensive bump from Fenway… I think the contract will not look pretty in a couple of years (not that it looks all that great now)

    Comment by Hank — July 22, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  42. *big (not “bug”)

    Comment by Hank — July 22, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  43. Also, Dunn being much younger and having been a decent player every year before this one, it’s not hard to imagine him returning to form and getting 3-4.5 WAR per year going forward.

    Comment by TK — July 22, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  44. If I’m the Cubs, I probably would give very little weight to some articles about the NL adopting the DH.

    Comment by TK — July 22, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  45. Great Trade:
    Giants get Soriano
    Cubs get Zito and Aaron Rowand + 7 mil (for Zitos buyout in 2014)

    Comment by will — July 22, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

  46. A-Rod was worth his FIRST $100+MM contract, just not the lastest

    Comment by Jeffrey Gross — July 22, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

  47. Well here’s a better question — how many $100+ MM contracts actually DO work out???

    Comment by Jeffrey Gross — July 22, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

  48. What?

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  49. @Snoth, its only compared to the other posters on this website. In reality I’m an of merely above average intelligence, but next to these simpletons I’m basically the Christ.

    C’mon Carlos Lee being a better signing than Soriano? What type of idiocy is this?

    Werth being a worst contract than Howard?

    Comment by Garrett — July 22, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  50. helton, beltran, a-rod #1, sabathia’s is going pretty well, pujols, miguel cabrera’s doing okay, giambi’s started well, then he got clean and collapsed

    Comment by jim — July 23, 2011 @ 2:00 am

  51. i wouldn’t mind seeing Sabean roll the dice at 25% salary the rest of the way.

    Comment by trw — July 23, 2011 @ 2:11 am

  52. I’ve been promoting this idea for weeks. Zito is a durable, capable #4 or #5 starter, which the Cubs desperately need. Soriano is a capable LF (and occasional 2B?) power hitter that the Giants desperately need. Their contracts are nearly identical, and both need a change of scenery where they’re no longer blamed for their ridiculous contracts.

    As a Giants fan, I would add Rowand and a high level pitching prospect (Surkamp?) for Aramis Ramirez, this helps even out the contract differentials. Rowand might thrive in Wrigley, and the Cubs might acquire a future ace, which the Giants don’t need. Ramirez is with SF for the rest of 2011 at $14 Million/yr, with Sandoval moving to Catcher for most games. Posey (C) and Sanchez (2B) are back for 2012; Ramiriez won’t be with the Cubs in 2012 anyway.

    Zito and Soriano are only untradeable if you lack creativity. This trade would give both teams things they need, while also giving players despised for their contracts a fresh start with new teams.

    Comment by mark poppen — July 23, 2011 @ 3:23 am

  53. Not Helton’s. His 2008 and 2010 seasons, and to a lesser degree 2006 season, have really hurt his value. The others, save Giambi, I’d agree with.

    Comment by chuckb — July 23, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  54. With all this talk about “worst contract,” I feel like there is something that people are ignoring (maybe because it is a little bit harder to quantify or compare), but that is the market size and such. Even if A-Rod does nothing for the remainder of his contract, I don’t think that is one of the “worst” contract. Maybe a player getting paid more than he deserves, but his contract does not cripple the team.

    Well’s contract crippled the jays and it can only be black magic that they got rid of it.

    Comment by Aaron K — July 23, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  55. Historically != current contracts

    At least he’s playing, unlike, say Jason Schmidt, Carl Pavano, or Darren Dreifort

    Comment by Blue — July 23, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  56. Todd Helton generated 30 WAR for $141 million. At worst that’s a little bit under hitting his full value.

    Comment by Blue — July 23, 2011 @ 9:48 am

  57. Blue, thank you for noting the difference between history and current events.

    Comment by Garrett — July 23, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  58. Jeter. He’s continually overlooked as an elite player. The Sabathia one is looking decent so far as well. (Already mentioned I see.)

    Comment by Garrett — July 23, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  59. ManRam also threw up 34 WAR for 160M. But WAR/$ is a pretty terrible metric for top top end contracts (it ignores that teams with significantly above average resources will be above the “average”, the limitations on roster spots/playing time, and the cost of marginal wins at fringes). I’d consider this one a solid value as well.

    Interestingly, from a quick peek at Cot’s it appears that almost all the 90m contracts were great.

    Comment by Garrett — July 23, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  60. I agree with this aspect as well. Viewing contracts in context of not just team talent (expected wins) but also with the contract as a portion of their payroll and how it may impact future rebuilding efforts.

    Comment by Garrett — July 23, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  61. Soriano has said he’s willing to allow a trade, but Aramis has zero interest in waiving his no trade clause. The other issue with a trade for Aramis Ramirez is that, with a trade, his $16 million option for 2012 vests. So San Francisco would have to assume that Posey, Belt and Sandoval would all be good between 1B and C, less any IF playing time for Aubrey Huff.

    Really, Ramirez probably would be worth 3-4 WAR in 2012 if he plays at his current level for another year. There really aren’t that many top-flight offensively-oriented 3B in the game (ARod, Zimmerman, Longoria, and a few more), so Ramirez retains value so long as he is more mobile than a statue.. But I’d think an AL team would find him more valuable as a future DH/3B than would an NL team.

    Comment by Dann M — July 23, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  62. “Bahahaha. ZING!!” – Internet shorthand for “Hello my name is Insufferable.”

    Comment by ngrimson — July 23, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  63. Did noone else notice this post was sarcastic? He got -14?

    Comment by Chris — July 23, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  64. Yeah, I was thinking about this too. It’s absurd in reality, but it seems kind of sensible too. I can imagine that the change in personality matches would benefit both guys. But I somehow think that the chance of one team looking substantially worse than the other in a shared market would be too much for most administrations.
    Dunn’s defense is just the worst tho. Does Fonzi + 15mil for Dunn seem do-able? I just don’t know where the Cubs would put Dunn. I doubt they’ll give Pena away because he’s going to be a type B, plus they owe him a 5mil cash payment in December that they would surely have to eat.

    Comment by ofMontreal — July 23, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  65. Agreed… these comment feeds are turning into sarcastic ridiculousness. Some of the informed commenters around here are getting just as annoying as the uninformed, sorry. The selfish humor induced banter is going to turn this place into youtube hell.

    Comment by baty — July 23, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

  66. The Cubs owe Pena $5m whether he plays for someone else or not. It’s just the other half of this year’s salary. It’s not something the Cubs have to eat.

    Comment by JamesDaBear — July 23, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  67. Ok, who is the moron trying to put Braun in here? The guy does nothing but hit (serious statement/defensive joke). His isn’t bad until he starts to play like Wells, Soriano, Lackey, Dunn, or Zito, or he gets hurt and gets caught cheating like Rodriguez.

    And you CAN’T stick Werth or Crawford in these groups. Both are in year one in new situations. Werth had to (try to) carry Washington with Zimmerman out, and he doesn’t get the comfort of being surrounded by a winning offense. Crawford has to get used to a high-pressure environment, and he got hurt, which kind of killed the slight bit of momentum he might have had going.

    Let’s actually give them more than 3 months before we start calling those 2 historically bad contracts.

    Comment by Keith — July 24, 2011 @ 12:19 am

  68. You know, I’m not a parent or even a christian, not hardcore moral nor a right wing nut, however can we keep the language to a level of a professional? Damn, ass are fine. I just don’t see it necessary to drop the f-bomb here.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) — July 24, 2011 @ 12:36 am

  69. Sarcasm is a hard form of humor to understand in a text based format, can you blame anyone for not understanding?

    FTR, I think he was 100% serious.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) — July 24, 2011 @ 12:39 am

  70. Nats fans have a better idea than most how hard it is to find a 3 WAR outfielder. We paid $126 million and failed to get one.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 24, 2011 @ 1:44 am

  71. CUBS are not what I would call a bad offensive team. The team wOBA is .315 which ranks 7th in the NL. 7 out of 16 is average to better than average to me.

    they are 9th in runs in the NL. Again about average.

    To me the CUBS are a terrible defensive team, and a terrible team at running the bases, those are what prevents them from winning.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 24, 2011 @ 1:54 am

  72. OK maybe that is unfair, but the problem is maybe not

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 24, 2011 @ 1:58 am

  73. Reagins fired Eddie Bane, the man responsible for drafting all that young talent.

    Comment by RevHF — July 24, 2011 @ 2:30 am

  74. Coming from a Cubs fan here, I really don’t it’s the worst contract in history…but it was terrible. People forget Hendry put all his chips in the middle in order to bring home a championship, gambling with an 8 year contract – the gamble simply did not pay off. Everyone, including Hendry and Soriano, knew his value going to plummet after 2-3 years.

    IMO, the Milton Bradley contract was worse..considering Adam Dunn & Raul Ibanez were out there and cheaper.

    Comment by Brent — July 24, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  75. Soriano has been a bit unlucky with a LD% over 18% and a BABIP of only .288

    Aaron stole my thunder on Vernon Wells. I can’t believe nobody thought of him until then tho. At least no one has mentioned the real albatross around Kenny’s neck, Alexis Rios’ contract has been and always will be a worse contract than Dunn or Soriano.

    If Wells & Rios can be moved, Soriano can too.

    Comment by Oasis — July 25, 2011 @ 2:49 am

  76. The guy is a bum, mike quade is an idiot two peas in a pod. The good one is you have all the speed in the world sitting on the bench a kid that can run from home too first in 3 seconds but what the hell the cubs are so bad they really don’t need any base runners.

    Comment by golfbumm — August 27, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

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