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10 most overpaid players in the Majors in 2023

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In recent years, bad contracts have become a part of the baseball landscape, but who owns the worst MLB contracts in 2023?

Granted, the season is still in its infancy, but it’s not too early to identify the most overpaid baseball players in the majors this year. We’re talking about the players who have almost no chance of living up to their 2023 salary.

Worst MLB contracts 2023

The funny thing is that many of the richest MLB owners don’t have a problem eating the salary of the worst MLB contracts in 2023.

To be fair, some of these players were once worth the huge salaries they’re earning, just not anymore. On the other hand, we might run into one or two players who have one of the worst contracts in baseball history. Let’s take a look at the 10 most overpaid baseball players in 2023.

Josh Donaldson – $21 million

In a way, it’s fitting for Josh Donaldson to be with the Yankees at the end of his contract. The Yankees have never had a problem with aging, overpriced stars at the back end of their career who are making way too much money.


Donaldson certainly fits that description after hitting .222 with an OPS of .682 last year.

He picked up where he left off early in the 2023 season and looks likes he could easily get relegated to the bench at some point. Of course, it was the Twins who signed him to a four-year, $92 million deal in 2020. But even on the heels of being National League Comeback Player of the Year, it should have been obvious that Donaldson was never going to be a top-tier player late in the contract.

Giancarlo Stanton – $32 million

In his defense, Giancarlo Stanton is far from a useless player. But he’s also not the player who got a 13-year, $325 million extension from the Marlins after the 2014 season.

Remember, that deal was the biggest in North American sports at the time.

Obviously, he had to be traded to the Yankees, who are still stuck with him for five more seasons. Again, Stanton is a serviceable power hitter. He’s combined for 66 home runs over the last two seasons. But he rarely plays defense and hit just .211 last year, so Stanton does nothing but hit home runs. With a $32 million salary this year, the Yankees are essentially paying $1 million per home run and getting nothing else from Stanton.


Chris Sale – $27.5 million

Injuries have turned the five-year, $145 million extension the Red Sox gave Chris Sale before the 2019 season into a terrible decision.

He made just 11 total starts between the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Sale has also gotten roughed up a couple of times early in the 2023 season. Of course, the Red Sox will be happy just to see Sale healthy enough to take the mound and eat up some innings for them, even if he’s no longer an ace.

Joey Votto – $25 million

Surely, the Reds knew that Joey Votto wasn’t going to be an all-star throughout his entire 10-year, $225 million deal. They just wanted to get their money’s worth during the middle years, which they did.

Compared to some of the contracts signed in recent years, Votto was a bargain during his prime. However, in the penultimate year of his contract, Votto is getting $25 million despite being well past his prime. He hit just .205 with 11 home runs and a .689 OPS in 2022. He then started the 2023 season on the IL, which doesn’t bode well for Votto improving upon last year’s numbers.

Christian Yelich – $22 million

To their credit, the Brewers are holding out hope that Christian Yelich can still get his act together. However, he’s never come close to matching what he did in 2018 when he won MVP. More importantly, back problems have hindered Yelich ever since he signed a nine-year, $215 million deal to stay in Milwaukee in 2020.

At times, he’s been a solid player, but since 2020, he’s never had an OPS of .800 or better. He went from a 1.100 OPS in 2019 to .786 in 2020, and it’s only gotten worse from there. The power in his bat is completely gone, as Yelich hit 44 home runs in 2019 and still hasn’t hit 44 home runs since that season. At a salary of $22 million, the Brewers are surely getting ripped off.

Trevor Story – $20 million

With Trevor Story set to miss a huge chunk of the 2023 season, it’s safe to say that he has one of the worst MLB contracts in 2023. Even if he were healthy, there would be a strong argument for that.

It appears that Story benefited from playing at Coors Field more than people realized. When he left Colorado and signed with the Red Sox, he hit just .238 with 16 home runs. For comparison, Story had 11 home runs in the shortened 2020 season while still with the Rockies. Based on that, it doesn’t look like he’s going to come close to living up to his six-year, $140 million deal with Boston.

Anthony Rendon – $38.6 million

In his defense, injuries are the reason why Anthony Rendon hasn’t lived up to his massive contract with the Angels. He played just 58 games in 2021 and 47 games last year. But even when he’s healthy, he hasn’t produced, posting an OPS of .711 or less in each of those two seasons.

Of course, Rendon has a massive salary as part of his seven-year, $245 million contract. If he can stay healthy, Rendon should be capable of producing the way he did early in his career while he was with the Nationals. But after getting himself suspended for an incident with a fan early in the 2023 season, it looks like the Angels are about to waste another $38.6 million on him this year.

Miguel Cabrera – $32 million

The Tigers must have known that giving Miguel Cabrera an extension that guaranteed him a contract until he turned 40 was a bad idea.

But he was the best hitter in baseball at the time.

Keep in mind Cabrera’s resume includes two MVPs and a Triple Crown. The downside is that Cabrera had a .622 OPS in 2022 and the Tigers are still paying him $32 million during his farewell tour in 2023.

Patrick Corbin – $24.4 million

Keep in mind that Patrick Corbin helped the Nationals win the World Series, so in that sense, he’s already earned his six-year, $140 million contract. But if you just look at his $24.4 million salary for this season, the Nationals are flushing cash down the toilet.

The southpaw made 31 starts last year, going 6-19 with a 6.31 ERA. He had a -2.5 WAR, meaning a replacement-level player would have been better, not to mention cheaper. Corbin has shown no signs of being any better early in 2023, making it another lost year for him and the Nats.

Stephen Strasburg – $35 million

The Nationals have only themselves to blame for re-signing Stephen Strasburg to a disastrous contract. To be fair, Strasburg opted out of his contract and became a free agent on the heels of winning World Series MVP. But the Nationals got sentimental and quickly gave him a new seven-year, $245 million contract.

World Series MVP or not, Strasburg was still a pitcher with a long injury history who was going to be a massive injury risk moving forward. To nobody’s surprise, Strasburg has continued to deal with injuries. In the three years after signing that deal, he’s made a total of eight starts and hasn’t even pitched well in those starts. Of course, Strasburg started the 2023 season on the IL, so the Nats may get nothing out of him for $35 million again this year.

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