The next great zombie flick will star the contracts the New York Mets are paying players to wear different uniforms. There is so much dead money going to ex-Mets right now that The Walking Dead producers will need to come up with a twelfth spinoff idea nobody will ever see.
Bad contracts aren’t unusual in Major League Baseball. Because of the guarantee each carries, the ugliness of each tends to linger. What makes a contract bad is up for some debate. The length, the dollars, and the performance are the three biggest. Is the player even necessary? Has the team invested too much in someone they didn’t even need?
To set some parameters for this list, the only eligible players are those currently in the National League East. Blame the Mets for this. How do we really judge the Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and other deals when the team is essentially paying for the prospects they received at the trade deadline for them? You won’t find them on this list.
10) Worst Contract in the NL East: Marcell Ozuna
The Atlanta Braves are masters at securing young players to team-friendly deals with a donation to the club’s charitable organizations. What’s in the water at Truist Park that gets so many young players to sign up for what has constantly become a favorable extension for the Braves? They must just know economics well. Get the money now. Invest it in the stock market. Don’t sweat blowing your arm or knee out in your mid-20s.
One of the exceptions is the Marcell Ozuna contract. Since re-signing with the club after a tremendous shortened 2020 season, Ozuna has been an overpaid power hitter who doesn’t offer much else.
Ozuna is taking home $18 million this year and will have the same direct deposited to him in 2024. It’s not until the 2025 season when the Braves can buy him out for only a million.
Off-field issues have tarnished Ozuna’s reputation further, but two straight years of hitting under .230 and a third ongoing campaign where he might only slightly overtake it give the Braves at least one of the worst contracts in the National League East.
Don’t celebrate too soon, Mets fans. The next guy up is one of ours.