Mets: Top five worst contracts in New York Mets history
By Tatiana Snedeker
4) Worst Mets Contracts – Kazuo Matsui (2004, two years, $20.1 million)
The Mets were so desperate to take part in the Japanese League signings that they moved Jose Reyes to second base just to make room for Kazuo Matsui. Can you believe that? The greatest shortstop in franchise history had to move positions for this guy. It turned out to be a tragic error in judgment they were fortunate enough to escape from without too many scars.
Matsui proceeded to hit a whopping 11 home runs over two-plus seasons and had 23 errors at shortstop over 110 games in 2004. This equals out to a .956 fielding percentage. According to Fangraphs, he was worth less than 1/5th of the contract that he was paid in the two years.
Amazingly, Matsui does hold some odd distinctions when it comes to the long ball. He hit a home run in his first at-bat with the Mets. He continued to go yard in the first at-bat in each of his three seasons spent in New York.
As a guy without much home run prowess, it’s quite remarkable timing. Sadly, things often went downhill following his first trip to the plate each season.
Matsui managed to slash .256/.308/.363 in his 943 plate appearances as a member of the Mets. It’s not as terrible as some other players. What makes it so horrendous is the amount of money they spent on him while hoping to find the next Ichiro Suzuki.
Matsui was anything but Ichiro-like. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies early on in 2006 and continued on to have an okay yet unremarkable MLB career.