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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Patrick Corbin. Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Corbin. Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /

19. Patrick Corbin, starting pitcher, Washington Nationals

The Nationals extended Corbin for $127 million through 2024 in the hot flush of the team’s 2019 World Series victory. Corbin wasn’t exactly a key to winning that Series – he was 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA that post-season – but he’d gone 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA during the regular season and the champs were feeling generous.

Precisely what went wrong after 2019 is hard to pin down but this much is on the record; Corbin led the NL in losses in 2021, again in 2022, and at 6-11 he’s on pace to make it three years running in 2023. Since getting his World Series ring, he’s 23-53 with a 5.63 ERA.

And it’s not like Corbin can blame injuries. He made a full complement of 11 starts in the Covid-shortened 2020 season, 31 in each of the last two years, and he’s on pace to get close to 31 again by October.

His 0.0 WAR is actually reasonable by the standards of his recent seasons; Corbin has been negative in WAR in both 2021 and 2022. But of course for the money the Nats are paying Corbin they should expect him to rack up some big WAR numbers, certainly better than the 1.032 average for the position.

Instead Corbin’s zero WAR works out to $0 value to the Nats. Against his $23.46 million salary for this season, it’s pretty easy to calculate how much he’s being overpaid…$23.46 million.