Cubs Can Match Dodgers in Rating Worst Contracts Ever

I’ve written a lot over the years about some of the horrible contracts that the Dodgers have signed with questionable players, primarily pitchers, who were either too old for the length of the contract, who were too injury prone for such a gamble, or were just not good enough to merit the amount of money given them. Going back several years to 1980, big-buck-for-the-day-contracts to the likes of Don Stanhouse and Dave Goltz got the Dodgers all of seven saves and seven wins, respectively. Eight years later, the brinks truck backed up to the house of Mike Davis, and after counting his riches, Davis contributed two home runs and a .196 average to the Dodgers’ cause.

The legendary contracts, of course, were the seven-year, $105 million deal, the first-ever nine-figure baseball contract, given Kevin Brown when he was already 34 years old, and the three-year gift of $47 million to Jason Schmidt, under which he provided the team all

of three wins. Today, the Dodgers are the best team that money can buy, with the biggest payroll in major league baseball history, replete with contracts that pay, for this season, Andre Ethier $15.5 million, Brandon League $8.5 million, and Carl Crawford $21 million, plus contracts that pay producing players $10 million, $20 million, close to $30 million each, for their efforts.
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But in Chicago, there now exists a contract that is paying one specific player, a pitcher, who is still relatively young and who is heathy, an astounding sum, meritorious of a great star, despite the unassailable fact the he is, well, terrible, and all things being even, would have been released long ago.

After the 2012 season, right handed starter Edwin Jackson was 29 years old, and had pitched in the majors for all or part of ten season, compiling a won-lost record slightly


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under .500 and an ERA of four-and-one half. Coming off a representative year of 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA, the rebuilding Chicago Cubs and their genius gm Theo Epstein made one of the worst decisions in the history of baseball management, rivaling the Brown and Schmid decisions made by Dodgers' hierarchy - they decided to give Jackson a four-year free agent contract for
$52 million.

For their $13 million per season, last year Jackson rewarded the Cubbies with an 8-18 record, a 4.98 ERA and a WHIP of 1.46. That is looking like it will end up being the best year he ever has for the Cubs. For 2014, Jackson is 5-11 with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP, and he is getting worse with every outing. In his last seven starts, Jackson is 0-4 with an ERA of 7.39. In his last 18 innings over four games, he has given up 20 earned runs (an ERA of 10.00). He now has the highest ERA of any pitcher in major league baseball (with sufficient innings to qualify). and by a wide margin, more than 2/3 of a run, 5.79 to 5.10.

The good news Dodger’ fans, is that he starts against LA this afternoon.

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