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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Starling Marte. Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Starling Marte. Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /

14. Starling Marte, outfielder, New York Mets

Marte is one of three players on this list from the game’s largest payroll. He signed a four-year, $78 million deal prior to the 2022 season, and had a good first season in New York. Marte batted .292 with 16 home runs and an .814 OPS. His availability was one of the reasons why the Mets were generally viewed as a pre-season favorite in the NL East this year.

But 2023 has seen a loss of both average and power. He’s down to .254 with just five home runs and 28 RBIs, his OPS lingering around .640. Right field is supposed to be a production position. That’s not production.

Marte’s numbers don’t measure up with his peers. The 42 players qualified to be rated as right fielders are averaging 1.007 WAR on an average salary of $7.999 million. Obviously Marte’s $20.75 million compensation is not unusual within this group, whose members also include Kris Bryant ($28 million), Jason Heyward ($22.8 million), Aaron Judge ($40 million) and Mookie Betts ($21.16 million.)

Marte’s production does stick out…negatively. He’s carrying a -0.4 WAR, ranking eighth worst among his peers. That translates to being overpaid by $24.181 million, or about $3.4 million more than the Mets will pay Marte this year.