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 /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
22 of 25
Next
Kris Bryant. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Kris Bryant. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Kris Bryant, right fielder, Colorado Rockies

Generally it’s the pitchers whose value is cropped by recurring injuries. But it also happens occasionally to position players. Kris Bryant is one of those.

In four of the six seasons since 2018, injuries have claimed large chunks out of Bryant’s availability, and hence his value. He missed 60 games in 2018, 26 in 2020, 120 last season and he’s missed close to 40 already in 2023.

When the Rockies signed Bryant as a free agent prior to the 2022 season, they knew his track record. They signed him anyway for $182 million through 2028. Only they can say whether they’re already regretting doing so.

The 2015 Rookie of the Year and 2016  MVP hasn’t been the same since his health concerns arose. A heel bruise sent him to the injury list on June 1, he was activated at the end of that month, but broke a finger this week and is now on the 60-day list.

It would surprise nobody if his 2023 season is over and his stats frozen at the current level. That level is lukewarm: a .251 average, eight homers and a .717 OPS. WAR views him as a -0.5 player.

WAR’s perception is in stark contrast with the perception of accountants in the Rockies’ front office, who see Bryant as a $28 million player. Anyway that’s what they’re paying him to produce that -0.5 WAR between injuries.

Among qualified right fielders, only Aaron Judge ($40 million) earns more than Bryant. Judge also has been injured, but that is where the Judge-Bryant comparisons end.

That -0.5 WAR Bryant has to live with works out to just under -$4.3 million based on the salary and production averages for all right fielders. Throw that atop his salary and the data says Bryant is overpaid by $31.972 million.