I decided to take a look at the biggest bargain contracts in the game. As you can imagine, most of these players have not signed free agent contracts. That said, I think that it’s an interesting look at how many players are severely underpaid in their early years. I will use rWAR in this article. Keep in mind that the average player makes $8 million per year and accumulates 2 WAR.
SP Luis Severino has produced 4.4 WAR with a 3.32 ERA and 3.06 FIP. The New York Yankees are paying him $604,975 for this production.
RF Aaron Judge has produced 5.1 WAR along with a .285/.398/.548 slash line. The New York Yankees are paying him $622,300 for this production.
LF Ronald Acuna Jr. has produced 3.8 WAR and a .289/.355/.563 batting line. Atlanta is paying him $545,000.
1B Max Muncy has produced 3.4 WAR and a batting line of .254/.378/.582. The Los Angeles Dodgers are paying him what appears to be around the league minimum.
CP Edwin Diaz is receiving $545,000 for 2.9 WAR and 52 saves from Seattle.
Diaz’s teammate RF Mitch Haniger is receiving $538,000 for 4.6 WAR and a .279/.365/.486 batting line.
3B Alex Bregman is receiving $599,000 from Houston for 6.7 WAR and a .296/.395/.549 batting line.
1B Jesus Aguilar is receiving $557,200 from Milwaukee for 3.1 WAR and a .274/.356./.553 batting line.
The Chicago Cubs are paying SS Javier Baez $657,000 for 5.3 WAR and a .297/.328/.575 batting line.
Cleveland is paying SS Francisco Lindor $623,200 for 7.1 WAR and a .285/.361/.526 batting line. They’re also paying now 2B Jose Ramirez $2,828,600 for 7.9 WAR and a batting line of .287/.402/.590. Their teammate SP Trevor Bauer is making $6,525,000 for 5.5 WAR and a 2.22 ERA and a 2.37 FIP.
Tampa Bay is paying SP Blake Snell $545,000 for 5.9 WAR and a 2.02 ERA and 3.11 FIP.
Minnesota is paying LF Eddie Rosario $602,500 for 3.7 WAR and a .292/.329/.484 batting line.
Colorado SS Trevor Story is making $555,000 for 5.0 WAR and a .298/.354/.566 batting line.
These players are incredible bargains for their teams and are heavily overpaid. From the player’s point of view this is very unfair and requires a change to the arbitration system. From the team’s point of view this is great and an ideal situation.
What do you think about this? Let me know on Twitter at @NeilfromNYC and in the comments.