Worst. Contract. Ever.

Posted by Jumbo on February 21, 2009.
Baseball Prospectus had an article up the other day titled "Free-Agency Mistakes" ($). The article is a run-down of what they consider to be the worst signings of the offseason. The list breaks down into 1, 2, 3, and overall worst contracts. While the Cubs didn't "win" any of these "awards," Jimbo Hendry finds his work in two of the categories and is the only GM to make the list of 7 contracts twice. In the spirit of Todd Hundley, here's the details:

Worst 2 Year Contract:
And the award goes to...the Reds signing of Willy Taveras to a $6.25M deal. Hendry's signing of Aaron Miles to a 2 yr. $4.9M deal comes in 2nd. BP thinks this deal is an overreaction by Hendry to last year's right-handed dominated roster. BP says that Miles is little more than a replacement level player and that the Cubs would have been better off keeping Ronny Cedeno who was much cheaper and who has a much better glove and is still young enough to hold on to some upside. I'm no Ronny C fan, but I'm inclined to agree.

Worst 3 Year Contract:
Not what we want to see here, but BP ranks the Cubs signing of Milton Bradley to a 3 yr. $30M deal as the worst 3 yr. deal, behind only the three-er (new word alert) given to Raul Ibanez by the Phillies (also for $30M). Bit ironic that the Cubs were going to sign one of these two guys, got their second choice, and, as a result, get ranked the 2nd and not 1st worst deal. BP does note that Bradely's deal could turn into a 2 yr. if the Cubs exercise a $2M buyout. But their major beef with the deal is that it adds just as much risk and uncertainty, given Bradley's injury history (not to mention his meltdowns), as it does cost. BP again sees this as an overreaction to all the righties on the '08 roster and says that if all the Cubs wanted to do was get a lefty, it would have been much more cost effective to sign Bobby Abreu at 1 yr. for $5M like the Angels were able to do. Maybe so, but the market was what the market was-the Cubs needed to add a bat like Bradley. We'll see if his performance is able to justify the cost of signing the cheaper and less productive Abreu.

If you're interested-the worst 1 year contracts were Trevor Hoffman's $6M deal with the Brewers and Jason Varitek's $5M BoSox signing. Worst contract of the winter?: AJ Burnett. 5 years, $82.5M for an "occasionally healthy and occasionally valuable" player.

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