Throughout the 2012 postseason, with prominent appearances by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and San Francisco Giants left-hander Barry Zito, contracts and the value of them has been a much talked-about topic. With five years and at least $114 million left on his deal, Rodriguez' contract is considered among the worst in baseball, much like Zito's enormous seven-year deal.
But where do they rank on the all-time list among inexplicable agreements? Well, NESN has you covered, as we've compiled a list of the top 10 worst contracts of all-time, plus four "dishonorable mentions."
First, a word on our criteria. In putting together this list, the player's performance since wasn't considered, we're strictly looking at how much sense it made at the time it was signed. For instance, Gil Meche's five-year deal with Kansas City struck before the 2007 season made no sense at the time — which is why it's on our list — even though it actually worked out pretty well. On the flip side of the coin, Jason Bay's deal with the Mets has turned out to be a disaster, but he had a good track record coming in, and his dropoff was hard to predict, which is why he's spared from the ignominy.
Likewise, by pure numbers and baseball sense Albert Pujols' ten-year deal should probably be included, but realistically that signing was as much a business decision by the Angels as it was a baseball one. So we're happy to take other factors into account. Ditto for Carl Crawford — if a player doesn't have an extensive injury history, you can't fault the team for unpredictable bumps and bruises.
So who has the worst contract in baseball history? Who's spared the shame?