Listing the 25 most overpaid MLB players in 2023, from future Hall of Famers to surprise names

Jul 25, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Los Angeles Angles center fielder Mike Trout (27) sits in dugout in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 25, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Los Angeles Angles center fielder Mike Trout (27) sits in dugout in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Luis Severino. John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Luis Severino. John Jones-USA TODAY Sports /

16. Luis Severino, starting pitcher, New York Yankees

In the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract, Severino was supposed to anchor a staff that would be a key to Yankee hopes to contend in the challenging AL East. The first three seasons had been injury-plagued, Severino making just 19 starts and winning just eight games.

The 2023 season started off just as ominously, with a lat strain that prompted another trip to the injury list just as spring training was concluding. He did not make an appearance until mid-May.

And since arriving, Severino has shown none of the ability that prompted the signing of that four-year contract. In 11 starts to date, he’s 2-4 with a 6.46 ERA, allowing 72 hits in just 54 innings. That currently translates to a -0.9 WAA. Severino, in short, has been worse than replacement-level.

His 1.73 WHIP is among the worst for regularly used pitchers, and certainly for $15 million arms. That’s what the Yankees are paying Severino in this final season of that contract.

As noted earlier, when a player registers a negative WAR, he’s not only wasting his entire salary, he’s also running a performance debt to his team. In the case of Severino, that ‘debt’ runs to $8.687 million. Adding that to the $15 million he is actually receiving, we can calculate that he is being overpaid by $23.867 million.