In light of the discussions that the Yankees will attempt (and likely fail) to void the remaining five years and $119 million left on Alex Rodriguez's contract, that got us thinking: what contracts would teams love to just completely wipe off their books? We did something similar to this in November of 2011, when we examined a potential amnesty clause in MLB and what teams would love to take advantage of it. But in the last 13 months, a lot has changed around the league, and there sure are a lot of ugly contracts across the game. Which contracts would each team love to void if they had an opportunity to?
Arizona Diamondbacks: Is it too late for the Diamondbacks to pretend that the Cody Ross contract never happened? Three years and $26 million, and the team still has too many outfielders. Heath Bell's contract might end poorly for the team too, but at least the Marlins are covering $8 million of the $21 million remaining on his contract over the next two seasons.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves only have one contract that goes beyond 2013 aside from their pair of Uptons, and that's second baseman Dan Uggla, who is owed $36.6 million over the next three seasons. Considering that his decline phase has already begun, I'm sure the Braves would love to gain a little payroll flexibility to lock up young players like Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman for the long-term.
Baltimore Orioles: Brian Roberts is making $10 million in 2013, but that's all for his contract. Still, that's a hefty chunk of Baltimore's payroll that I'm sure they'd love to have back to spend elsewhere. Nick Markakis is also owed a hefty chunk of money over the next three seasons ($32.7 million, assuming his 2015 option isn't exercised), and while he's still a solid player, he hasn't come close to touching his 2008 form that resulted in him getting the contract extension.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox did a good job at getting rid of a lot of their ugly contracts last summer, but they still owe John Lackey $31.9 million over the next two seasons, more than anyone on the club in 2013 and 2014.
Chicago Cubs: Yeah, Alfonso Soriano had a good season in 2012, but he's still owed $38 million over the next two seasons. There's a reason that the Cubs were going to have to eat a significant chunk of his salary to trade him this winter.
Chicago White Sox: I know John Danks' extension just went into effect last season, but he threw just 53 2/3 innings in 2012, might not be ready for Opening Day this season, and is owed $63 million over the next four seasons. The $27 million owed to Alex Rios over the next two seasons (at minimum) gets an honorable mention due to just how erratic his performance can be.
Cincinnati Reds: Jonathan Broxton's three-year, $21 million contract hasn't even begun yet, and it's looking like a bit of an overpay. Jay Bruce will make roughly $42 million over the next four seasons, and that's probably the next worst contract on their team. It's not even really a bad contract.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians are good with contracts, really. Nick Swisher's four-year, $56 million deal signed this winter is getting some criticism, but I think it's fine for now. Asdrubal Cabrera is owed $16.5 million over the next two seasons, but that's not a bad deal at all.
Colorado Rockies: Michael Cuddyer is owed $21 million over the next two years, will be 34 in March, and missed 61 games last season. Their ony other long-term contracts belong to Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, and the $144 million Tulo is owed over eight years could be a burden if he continues to deal with the injury issues he did in 2012.
Detroit Tigers: $25 million over the next two seasons for Victor Martinez and $26 million over the next two seasons for Torii Hunter are their worst deals, but neither will cripple the financially sound Tigers in the short or long term. Prince Fielder is still owed $191 million over the next eight seasons, but he earned his contract last year.
Houston Astros: Heh. I'm sure the Astros wish they weren't paying Wandy Rodriguez $10.5 million over the next two years to pitch for the Pirates, but they have no guaranteed contracts past 2013 aside from that and a couple of options.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals would love to be able to shed the $6.5 million they owe Jeff Francoeur in 2013. Jeremy Guthrie's three-year, $25 million deal could end up being a kick in the teeth down the road, especially if the team isn't able to retain James Shields and/or Felipe Paulino after 2014.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Vernon Wells. $49 million. Two seasons. Kill it with fire. But how about the nine years and $228 million still owed to Albert Pujols, especially if his knee keeps acting up?
Los Angeles Dodgers: Pick one. $85 million to Andre Ethier over the next five years? Roughly $100 million owed to Carl Crawford over the next five years? Hell, maybe even the $13.5 million they'll be paying Ted Lilly this season, the $22.5 million they're giving Brandon League over the next three seasons, or $26 million they're paying Chad Billingsley (who might need Tommy John surgery) over the next three seasons. The Dodgers are loaded with terrible contracts right now, but you knew that already. The Dodgers are also paying Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones $11.5 million to *not* play for them this year, and still owe Jones another $3.2 million in 2014.
Miami Marlins: They're paying Ricky Nolasco $11.5 million this year and have no one aside from Jeff Mathis signed past this season, so Ricky is your guy here. Thanks for playing, Mr Loria!
Milwaukee Brewers: Rickie Weeks is owed $23 million over the next two years, and he was a horror show in 2012. Aramis Ramirez is owed $30 million over the next three seasons, but was actually good in 2012 despite getting up there in age. Aside from those two, Milwaukee looks good for the future.
Minnesota Twins: Despite by and large having a healthy 2012, Justin Morneau was a shadow of himself, and will make $15 million this year, the final season of his six year contract extension. Joe Mauer is still owed $138 million over the next six seasons, but while he'll slow down at the end of the deal, he rebounded nicely this past season. Outside of those two, I think the $10 million the Twins are paying Kevin Correia over the next two seasons is a disaster that should have never happened.
New York Mets: They're paying Jason Bay $21 million over the next two years to not even play on the east coast, let alone with the Mets. Johan Santana is owed $31 million over the next two years, and he's not the same guy he was when he signed that extension years ago.
New York Yankees: A-Rod. Of course. Don't sleep on the $92.5 million that Mark Teixeira will make over the next four seasons, though.
Oakland Athletics: Chris Young will make $10.2 million and Coco Crisp will make $8 million over the next two seasons, and both are going to fight for playing time. Either sum would be a lot for the A's to pay for a bench player.
Philadelphia Phillies: Ryan Howard is still owed $105 million over the next five seasons. He missed half of 2012 recovering from a torn Achilles, and contributed a negative fWAR to the team when he was on the field. This is still the worst contract in baseball, to the shock of no one.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates owe Wandy Rodriguez $16 million over the next two seasons, which isn't awful but is a bit rich for Pittsburgh's tastes. But the roughly $13.5 million owed to Jose Tabata over the next five years is probably the one the Pirates would want to void, especially considering he's not even a starter anymore.
St Louis Cardinals: Jaime Garcia is owed $23.6 million over the next four seasons, and considering the issues that arose with his shoulder last fall, there has to be some concern there. That's probably about it for the Cardinals, considering how well the Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina contracts have worked out so far.
San Diego Padres: The $7 million owed to Nick Hundley over the next two years looked like a disaster…until Yasmani Grandal got suspended for the first 50 games of 2013. Cameron Maybin will make $24.4 million over the next five seasons, and might be a little much for what he is…or maybe not. The $27 million owed to Carlos Quentin over the next three seasons is the next worst contract the team has, and it's not egregious. The Padres aren't in bad shape.
San Francisco Giants: $27 million for Barry Zito over the next two years is awful. The plethora of multi-year relief contracts handed out by Brian Sabean probably won't end well, but no single one has the ability to destroy the franchise. $22.25 million to Tim Lincecum in 2013 is a huge sum too, considering his 2012 season, but his potential is still tantalizing.
Seattle Mariners: Chone Figgins has been excised from their roster, but his $8.5 million salary remains. Frankin Gutierrez will make $7.8 million over the next two years, and he's not even guaranteed a starting spot anymore after injuries have started to kill his career. Seattle is good in the long-term, though.
Tampa Bay Rays: Let's be honest, it's the Rays. Evan Longoria is the only player making any money on this team in the long-term. This isn't the Devil Rays team of old that handed out bad contracts like candy.
Texas Rangers: Well, they're still paying Michael Young $10 million, but that's less than the $16 million he was owed originally this year, plus he's not on the roster anymore. Derek Holland is owed $27.5 million over the next five years, and after he took a huge step back in 2012, that one could look ugly soon. The Rangers also still owe Leonys Martin $11.75 million over the next three seasons, and he's logged a total of just 60 major league plate appearances. If he doesn't spend all of 2013 in the majors, that contract is going to start looking like an overpay.
Toronto Blue Jays: Mark Buerhle is owed $51 million over the next three seasons, and while Toronto desperately needed starting pitching, that might be a little rich for their blood. Jose Reyes is owed $92 million over the next five seasons, and the turf at Rogers Centre might make that look like a disaster in a short time. Ricky Romero is making a hair under $24 million over the next four years, and his disastrous 2012 has done nothing to instill confidence in him as a long-term ace.
Washington Nationals: Jayson Werth is owed over $101 million over the next five seasons. Yeah, I bet Mike Rizzo wishes he could hit the reset button on that deal. Gio Gonzalez is owed $38 million over the next five years, and if his links to Biogenesis prove to be true, that could be something the team regrets.