There have been 28 contracts of $100M or more signed in MLB history with 1 player having accomplished the feat twice. Only 6 of those 28 contracts were signed by pitchers and of the remaining 22 position players 3 were shortstops which is the focus position of this post as the 4th shortstop to join that list of $100M players will most likely soon be Jose Reyes. Below we will mostly look at the other 22 position players to have earned a contract of $100M or more.
From those 28 contracts 17 of them the player was 29 years of age or younger on the Opening Day that they began to honor that contract. Jose Reyes will be 28 on Opening Day of the 2012 season. The 17 players are:
- Miguel Cabrera, 24, Tigers
- Albert Pujols, 24, Cardinals
- Alex Rodriguez, 25, Rangers
- Derek Jeter, 26, Yankees
- Troy Tulowitzki, 26, Rockies
- Joe Mauer, 27, Twins
- Carlos Beltran, 27, Mets
- Mark Teixeira, 28, Yankees
- CC Sabathia, 28, Yankees
- Manny Ramirez, 28, Red Sox
- Barry Zito, 28, Giants
- Mike Hampton, 28, Rockies
- Adrian Gonzalez, 29, Red Sox
- Carl Crawford, 29, Red Sox
- Todd Helton, 29, Rockies
- Johan Santana, 29, Mets
- Vernon Wells, 29, Blue Jays
An item of concern when signing a player to such a contract is will the player be able to remain healthy throughout the life of the contract?
In the chart below the only position player of those to have played out the entirety of their contract and averaged a considerably less amount of games played after signing their contract is Ken Griffey Jr. with a 30 game less differential. Of the players still playing out their contract the position player that has averaged a considerably less amount of games played after signing his contract is Joe Mauer with a 37 game less differential.
Another concern when determining if a player is worthy of a contract that exceeds $100M is obviously if the player will perform to the standard he set prior to signing such a contract? While determining such a thing is often subject to opinion with many have differing views on if a player has or has not fulfilled their obligations let’s take a look at how some of the $100M position players have or are faring.
If you click on this link it will show the “per 162 game avg” of said players before they signed their $100M contract and the “per 162 game avg” starting from the 1st season after signing their $100M contracts. I don’t presume to suggest that viewing these players based on “per 162 game avg” is a validation pro or con of anything. It is just for comparative purposes ONLY and any such determination would require a deeper case by case analysis of said players. Something I don’t want to do but which your free to do at your leisure.
You will probably agree the player with the biggest drop off in the group is the Twins Joe Mauer who has struggled with injuries this year. The player with prob the most consistent “per 162 game avg” before & after I would say is former Met Carlos (El esta aqui) Beltran.
To wrap up I did this post to have something to compare Reyes against as he along with Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols are soon to most likely join the exclusive $100M MLB Players Club. Pujols probably being the 2nd player to do it twice. I hope you bookmark this post as a reference to come back to as new players join the $100M MLB Players Club.
This link shows a more detailed view of the $100M MLB Players Club Hitters.