5) Bad NY Mets contract: Robinson Cano was the last example of the Wilpons overpaying a veteran past his prime
In December 2018, Brodie Van Wagenen made the defining move of his tumultuous two-year reign as general manager less than six weeks after he was hired to the position. He acquired Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in a big trade with the Seattle Mariners in exchange for a package that featured prized prospect Jarred Kelenic.
Cano was 36 years old and had 5 years and $120 million left from the 10 year deal he signed with Seattle before 2014 and his power numbers were already on the decline when he was traded to the Mets, but the Mets needed depth in their lineup and the Mets believed Cano would add just that.
But Cano struggled with performance and injuries in 2019, hitting just 13 home runs and batted .256.
After a bounceback 2020 season, Cano was then suspended for the 2021 season for his second failed drug test, and was eventually released in 2022 due to poor performance on the field. The Mets owe Cano over $24 million in 2023 (with Seattle paying $3.75 million of it) and the Mets will see that money freed up for 2024. As for future contracts from other teams, Cano's time in Major League Baseball is likely in the rearview mirror.