Highest-Paid MLB Benchwarmers - Where MLB Teams are Wasting the Most Money in 2017
This article will make you angry.
When you learn how much some of these ballplayers are getting paid, and how poorly their performing, you'll blood will boil. If we were doing our jobs as bad as these Boys of Summer, we'd be fired.
Below, we've listed each team's salary, where their salary ranks, and their highest paid player for 2017. We've also listed their most overpaid batter (everyday player) and overpaid pitcher (starter or reliever) as well as each team's best-paid benchwarmer (position players only).
There are many ways to judge batters and pitchers. We choose batting average and earned run average.
We believe that if you're making seven or eight figures, your batting average should be above .260 and your ERA below 4.50.
For example, Anthony Rizzo leads the Chicago Cubs in home runs but his batting average is .227. When you're making more than $7 million you shouldn't be that close to the Mendoza Line.
We also believe you need to play. Some batters and pitchers were selected because they're getting paid a fortune but are stuck on the disabled list.
For example, New York Mets slugger David Wright is getting paid $20 million and hasn't played in over a year.
The “best-paid benchwarmer” category isn't necessarily highlighting an underperforming position player. It is, however, highlighting players who aren't normally in the lineup, but do receive a lot of money.
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta sits more than he plays. Despite that, he'll still take home $10 million this season.
There's not much science or number crunching behind our selection. We just looked at statistics and salaries (and sometimes the disabled list) and picked a player we think is grossly overcharging his employers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have the league's highest team salary at $245,982,272. The Dodgers also have the league's highest paid player. Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw will make $35,571,428 this season.
The top candidate for overpaid batter is Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon. He's making $16 million and batting .175.
Finalist for overpaid pitcher is the Philadelphia Phillies Clay Buchholz. He's earning $13.5 million, has a 12.27 ERA, and is on the 60-day disabled list.
Did we miss an overpaid player? Sure. Will you disagree with some of our selections? Probably.
Unfortunately, for every Aaron Judge (.326 and 17 homers making $544,500) and Brad Peacock (2.13 ERA and 0.987 WHIP making $541,500) there are half-a-dozen players cashing checks they're not earning.
Team Salary: $94,711,556 (26th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Zack Greinke, $34 million
Batting average .181
Team Salary: $116,382,273 (16th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Matt Kemp, $21.5 million
Batting average .201
Team Salary: $164,111,753 (10th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Chris Davis, $21,118,782
Batting average .217
Hyun Soo Kim
Boston Red Sox
Team Salary: $201,819,709 (3rd highest)
Highest Paid Player: David Price, $30 million
Batting average .207
Team Salary: $172,190,146 (8th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Jason Heyward, $28,166,666
Batting average .227
Chicago White Sox
Team Salary: $101,779,516 (23rd highest)
Highest Paid Player: James Shields, $21 million
Batting average .184
Team Salary: $95,643,686 (25th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Joey Votto, $22 million
Batting average .255
Pitched 34 innings over the past two seasons.
Team Salary: $125,469,171 (17th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Edwin Encarnacion, $14,666,666
Batting average .232
Team Salary: $131,791,871 (16th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Carlos Gonzalez, $20,428,571
Batting average .237
Team Salary: $201,496,375 (4th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Miguel Cabrera, $28 million
Batting average .239
Team Salary: $125,305,524 (18th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Brian McCann, $17 million
Batting average .247
Kansas City Royals
Team Salary: $143,338,455 (15th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Alex Gordon, $16 million
Batting average .175
5.12 ERA (no wins and five loses in first nine starts)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Team Salary: $162,720,946 (11th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Albert Pujols, $26 million
Batting average .254
Los Angeles Dodgers
Team Salary: $245,982,272 (Highest)
Highest Paid Player: Clayton Kershaw, $35,571,428
Out with injury, has not played all season
Out with injury, has not pitched all season
Team Salary: $113,558,273 (20th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Giancarlo Stanton, $14.5 million
Batting average .219
4.44 ERA (7 losses in first 10 starts)
Team Salary: $61,080,781 (30th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Ryan Braun, $20 million
Batting average .211
Team Salary: $108,535,718 (22nd highest)
Highest Paid Player: Joe Mauer, $23 million
Batting average .214
New York Mets
Team Salary: $155,844,229 (13th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Yoenis Cespedes, $22.5 million
Hasn't played in more than a year.
New York Yankees
Team Salary: $202,388,255 (2nd highest)
Highest Paid Player: C.C. Sabathia, $25 million
Batting average .228
Team Salary: $83,127,267 (27th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Ryan Madson, $7,666,666
Batting average .191
Team Salary: $112,857,371 (21st highest)
Highest Paid Player: Jeremy Hellickson, $17.2 million
Batting average .226
Team Salary: $99,904,304 (21st highest)
Highest Paid Player: Andrew McCutchen, $14,208,333
Batting average .223
San Diego Padres
Team Salary: $73,362,096 (28th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Wil Myers, $4.5 million
Batting average .196
San Francisco Giants
Team Salary: $177,798,775 (7th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Johnny Cueto, $23.5 million
Batting average .243
Team Salary: $155,661,162 (13th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Felix Hernandez, $26,857,142
Batting average .217
St. Louis Cardinals
Team Salary: $147,630,295 (14th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Adam Wainwright, $19.5 million
Batting average .228
Tampa Bay Rays
Team Salary: $71,323,045 (29th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Evan Longoria, $13.167 million
Batting average .205
Team Salary: $178,751,712 (6th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Cole Hamels, $22.5 million
Batting average .197
Toronto Blue Jays
Team Salary: $182,107,186 (5th highest)
Highest Paid Players: Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin, $20 million
Batting average .218
Team Salary: $170,465,059 (9th highest)
Highest Paid Player: Max Scherzer, $22,142,857
Batting average .256