Worst contracts in sports history

SabresRule

SabresRule

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SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 15, 2008
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This should make for some lively debate.

What are the worst contracts in sports history you can recall?

Here are the criteria I'm looking for:

-Splashy signing

-Big bucks

-Team doesn' do well/underachieves

-Player doesn't perform well

Alex Rodriguez's 10 year, 252 million deal with Texas won't count- he didn't exactly hit below the Mendoza Line with the Rangers...
 
HD MM

HD MM

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 2, 2006
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That's funny you brought this subject up Sabres, because Mike and Mike were talking about this very subject on their radio show this morning!

They said that Buster Olney considered the Tigers/Marlins trade of Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera for a package of 6 prospects quite possibly the worst trade ever! At the time, this was considered a huge trade that would put the Tigers in position to be one of the favorites to contend for a World Series.

Just last month, Cabrera signed an eight-year, $153.3 million contract extension. Cabrera is batting .278 with 8 home runs so far with the Tigers. A far cry from the .320, .339 and .323 batting average and 34, 26 and 33 home runs in which he had for the Marlins the previous 3 years. Considering Cabrera's now one of the richest guys in baseball, I would think a lot more is expected of him.

Willis is signed through 2010 and will earn between $29-$30 million. Willis never had any resemblance of success so far with the Tigers. He's pitched in 4 games for the Tigers this year and walked 21 batters in 11 1/3 innings, while compiling a lofty 10.32 ERA. To his defense, the bad start may partially be due to his stint on the DL, but this lack of production recently got Willis sent down to the Minors. Detroit's single A affiliate to be exact!

We will find out more in the future (obviously) as to which team benefited or got hurt more. But in shear money spent and performance in return, at this point, I may actually have to agree with Olney.
 
Skyhi

Skyhi

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Wow. Theres such a huge pool to choose from....

I'm not sure about the exact $$$ and years on these, but:

Barry Zito with the Giants
Mike Hampton with the Rockies
Darren Dreifort with the Dodgers
Jason Giambi with the Yankees

....to name a few
 
cosmo_kramer

cosmo_kramer

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Carl Pavano - NYY

4 year, $37M contract with only 19 games started and 5 wins.
 
HD MM

HD MM

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 2, 2006
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Wow. Theres such a huge pool to choose from....

I'm not sure about the exact $$$ and years on these, but:

Barry Zito with the Giants
Mike Hampton with the Rockies
Darren Dreifort with the Dodgers
Jason Giambi with the Yankees

....to name a few

Zito signed a 7 year $126 million contract.

Just two days ago, Zito earned his 2nd win after starting 0-8 this season.
 
RandallA

RandallA

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Barry Zito with the Giants
Mike Hampton with the Rockies

These two come to mind. I was happy when the Giants signed Zito but I thought it was too much money. The signing has been a complete disaster.
 
Skyhi

Skyhi

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Barry Zito with the Giants
Mike Hampton with the Rockies

These two come to mind. I was happy when the Giants signed Zito but I thought it was too much money. The signing has been a complete disaster.

Yep. I would never ever ever ever ever ever sign ANY pitcher to a long term contract for mega $$$$. Pitchers just do not perform at elite levels for long periods of time. Sure, there are exceptions (HOFers), but its just a huge risk. This is why I hope the Indians do not sign CC.
 
HD MM

HD MM

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 2, 2006
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Ok, I got a good one....

In 2005, Ron Mexico... err Michael Vick signed a 10 year, $130 million contract including a $37 up-front signing bonus! Vick's currently in jail and may never play again in the NFL.
 
HD MM

HD MM

SatelliteGuys Master
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Barry Zito with the Giants
Mike Hampton with the Rockies

These two come to mind. I was happy when the Giants signed Zito but I thought it was too much money. The signing has been a complete disaster.

Yeah, Hampton signed an 8 year, $121 million contract. The Rockies even ditched him in 2002, but are still on the hook for his $6 million buyout in 2009!
 
mdonnelly

mdonnelly

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Ryan Leaf - $16 million signing bonus with the Chargers. Total bust.
 
S

SandraC

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Apr 10, 2008
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Wow. Theres such a huge pool to choose from....

I'm not sure about the exact $$$ and years on these, but:

Barry Zito with the Giants
Mike Hampton with the Rockies
Darren Dreifort with the Dodgers
Jason Giambi with the Yankees

....to name a few

Well I disagree about Giambi. But if you want bad Yankee contracts, see Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, and Randy Johnson (OK that was a trade).


Sandra
 
billymac

billymac

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Dean Palmer. I think the Tigers might still be paying him.
 
Hart5150

Hart5150

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Until ARod proves he is not a total playoff choke artist, his contract is one of the worst.
 
BillD1984

BillD1984

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I have an offseason of signings for the Red Sox that I look back at in horror. In the 1990-91 offseason the Red Sox went out and spent big money (sorry I forget about the contract details, but trust me it was BIG money). In that offseason the Sox signed, first baseman Jack Clark, and pitchers Danny Darwin and Matt (I can't even throw to first base) Young. All three were relative busts.
 
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rcbridge

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Roger Clemens NYY 2007 season!!

Prorated at about $20mil for the part of the season he played !!
 
satjay

satjay

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Dontrell Willis 29 million over three years. In Single A right now trying to get his stuff together.
 
Neutron

Neutron

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A-Rod in 2001 - Signed a 10-year contract with Texas Rangers for $252 million.
 
db2

db2

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Here's an obscure one:

Minnesota Timberwolves - Ndudi Ebi

Other than that:

Green Bay Packers - Tony Mandarich
San Francisco Giants - Barry Zito
Washington Redskins - Coach Steve Spurrier
Cincinnati Bengals & Washington Redskins - Dan Wilkinson
 
brainfry

brainfry

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Apr 5, 2008
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This won't seem big now because of the different scale of salaries, but when free agency first started in baseball, the Indians' signing of Wayne Garland in 1977 turned out to be the first huge bust signing in free agent history. The perennial bottom-feeders were trying to make a big splash, but it backfired.

From Wikipedia:

"Garland's best season came in 1976 when he posted a won-loss record of 20-7 [with Baltimore]. He signed a 10-year, $2.3 million contract with the Indians as a free agent prior to the 1977 season (which was the first season of large-scale free agency in Major League Baseball). However, he failed to reach the heights of his 1976 season, going on to record a 28-48 win-loss record with Cleveland, being waived five years into the deal after the 1981 season. He later served as a minor league manager."
 
hancox

hancox

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Allan Houston, NY Knicks.


The contract was so bad they wrote a rule for it :)
 

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