BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two of MLB’s biggest superstars signed max contracts this offseason.
Manny Machado went cross country from Baltimore to San Diego to join the Padres; 10-years, $300 million.
Bryce Harper made a quick trip up I-95 from the nation’s capital to the City of Brotherly Love to join the Philadelphia Phillies; 13-years, $330 million.
The Phillies and Padres have made significant improvements in the standings this season; the Phillies are at the top of the NL East and the Padres are already halfway to the number of wins they accumulated last year.
But let’s be honest, baseball is a team game, and neither Machado or Harper are pulling their weight for the amount of money they are receiving.
Machado is batting .241 this year with 10 home runs and 33 RBI’s. Harper isn’t doing much better; a .251 average, 11 home runs and 44 RBI’s.
Certainly, Machado and Harper are great in the field, but both the Padres and Phillies paid these superstars to produce at the plate.
The bottom line: Max contracts in baseball do not pan out.
Baltimore is all too familiar with offering max contracts and seeing little production. Does the name Chris Davis ring a bell? Davis signed a seven-year, $161 million contract and has not produced since.
Every baseball fan knows about the hitless streak record that Davis set this year.
Davis isn’t the only player who declined since signing a max deal. Remember Albert Pujols? Pujols left St. Louis and went to Anaheim where he has been all but silent and usually on the disabled list.
As long as MLB remains without a salary cap, teams will continue to offer superstars the moon, and those teams will see those superstars come down to earth; just like the Padres and Phillies have seen with Machado and Harper.