MLB Contracts: The worst contract on every team

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 29: Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out looking for the third out of the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 29: Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out looking for the third out of the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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DUNEDIN, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Jacoby Ellsbury #22 of the New York Yankees wearing Nike batting gloves as he prepares to bat during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on February 27, 2018 in Dunedin, Florida. The Yankees won 9-8. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

15. New York Yankees

Jacoby Ellsbury, 7 years, $153 million, 2014-20. Boras Corp.

The Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury prior to the 2014 season. At the time their lineup lacked punch, featuring only one player (Robinson Cano) who had hit more than 17 home runs or batted above .275. Elslbury didn’t provide power, but he was a .298 hitter and fast enough to lead the American League in steals with 52.

More importantly, he had done so in Boston, meaning that New York’s gain deprived the Red Sox of a player who had been a key asset in their 2013 World Series win.

The deal may have made a lot of sense for a season or two. In New York, Ellsbury‘s average has hovered around .265. He generated a  111 OPS+ in 2014, contributing 39 steals and a 3.6 WAR.  Since 2015, however, Ellsbury has become a fifth wheel, his presence on the roster rendered more redundant by the successive developments/acquisitions of Aaron Hicks, then Aaron Judge, then Giancarlo Stanton, then Andrew McCutchen.

Hip problems that eventually necessitated surgery sidelined him for all of 2018, and make his status for 2019 questionable. On their winter roster, the Yankees – who activated him from the disabled list in October — list him as their backup center fielder.

On a roster as famously rich as New York’s, it is noteworthy that whether he plays or not, Ellsbury at $21.14 million might enter 2019 as the third highest-paid Yankee, behind only Stanton ($26 million) and Masahiro Tanaka ($22 million). Indeed, it’s not out of the question that he still holds that distinction in 2021.