How many teams wish they could get out of a contract in America's pastime? Just look at my team the New York Yankees. You only need to know one name, Carl Pavano. Everyone knows the story, but I will break it down like this, Pavano ended up making $272,251.02 for every inning he pitched. He made more in one inning than most average people make in ten years. Do you think the Yankees would have wanted something, anything, to get them out of that deal? They would have killed to be able to receive a "get out of jail free" card.
Now this would have to be a little bit different seeing how the NBA would be doing this for strictly salary cap reasons. It would be a little more complicated. They would have to find a system in which it would be able to shed some of the money of the contract, but they would not ever let them get out of the contract without their compensation. So I have an idea of how this can work.
What we can do is have a team that wants to get rid of a contract. Like in basketball, once a team puts the clause on a player any other team can put a bid on said player. The loophole is the team doesn't have to accept the offer if they believe it is too small, but at some point later they can always accept the offer as the bidding team cannot take it off the table, unless the player goes on the disabled list then they must wait until they get off. Also the team taking bids MUST accept the highest bid. So if the Red Sox bid on a player on the Yankees, the Yankees cannot accept a bid from the Angels just to keep the player off Boston, either eat the contract or watch them go to your rival.
I feel like this will add thirty extra crazy drama moments for the 2012 season. Who is going to take a chance on AJ Burnett? Who thinks they have the magic on their staff to turn a player around? Will a team put the face of their franchise on the market? It is like a crazy year long trade deadline, but there are no questions or rumors about whether the team wants you gone, because it is extremely cut and dry. Is there anything bad about this plan?
Now I will share who under this plan would be put up for auction by their current teams.
Baltimore Orioles- Mark Reynolds
Baltimore doesn't have many players with high payroll, but Reynolds stands out with over five million this year and his league leading 31 errors and not so league leading .221 batting average.
Boston Red Sox- Daisuke Matsuzaka
If John Lackey wasn't on the DL all year he would have been an obvious choice, but unfortunately for the Sawks he is out for the year with Tommy John. Now Matsuzaka has been a total bust since coming to Boston. I'm sure New Englanders won't be sorry to see his 5.30 2011 ERA come off the books.
New York Yankees- AJ Burnett
Did you really think it could be anyone else? I mean I definitely thought for a minute about putting Alex Rodriguez down here, but that is just a pipe dream to be able to get rid of that headache. Yet at the same time I will be more than happy to see the abomination of AJ Burnett's contract off the books forever.
Tampa Bay Rays- BJ Upton
Honestly, the Rays don't have any huge contracts they desperately need to cease themselves of. Well at least they don't have to worry about the wildly inconsistent Upton with the games on the line.
Toronto Blue Jays- Kelly Johnson
To make more than five million dollars you need to hit better than .222 with only 58 RBIs to make it make any sense. Enough said.
Chicago White Sox- Adam Dunn
I'm sorry, you hit what? 159?? Okay well he is Adam Dunn, at least he hit home runs. No? Oh. Well I guess paying over a million dollars for every home run makes sense.
Cleveland Indians- Kosuke Fukudome
How does paying $414,285.71 for every RBI you get feel? It feels like last place to me. The Indians would be idiotic not to pick this guy to give them some salary relief.
Detroit Tigers- Magglio Ordonez
Just too old to be a factor anymore. Definitely too old to be making eight digits a year. Sorry Mags, you've done a lot, but it is time for you to go.
Kansas City Royals- Yuniesky Betancourt
I mean, it's the Royals. Basically this is the only one that made remote sense for them. He wasn't terrible, but not good enough to have one of the biggest contracts on the team.
Minnesota Twins- Jason Doumit
How can you lock up over 28 million dollars of your payroll on one position? I understand the injury history of Joe Mauer, but backup catchers can come at a much cheaper price than over five million. Is it bad that I seriously considered Mauer here?
Los Angelas Angels- Torii Hunter
Here is where feelings start to get hurt. Torii is a great guy and he has decent numbers. You need to have star player numbers to make it worth over eighteen million a year. Sorry Torii, I'm sure you'll find a nice home, but with two more big paychecks to give out yours is too big to keep.
Oakland Athletics- Brian Fuentes
Grant Balfour had good enough numbers to take over the closer's role. This just is a product of unnecessary weight on a bad team.
Seattle Mariners- Chone Figgins
Ouch. Figgins was supposed to come to the rival Mariners over from the Angels and bring some pop into an otherwise dull Seattle lineup. Well apparently the hitless disease caught up to Figgins too, with his .188 batting average in 81 games last year.
Texas Rangers- Michael Young
This is really a shame, but with Adrian Beltre present Young just seems like the obvious choice. The longest tenured Ranger is not going to feel any home town love when he gets booted out the door.
Atlanta Braves- Scott Linebrink
Honestly, I don't think the Braves will use this on anyone, but I made it a point to pick every team so here is my best possible answer. Linebrink was very good out of the bullpen, but five and a half million is a lot for a non closer.
Miami Marlins- Carlos Zambrano
THIS IS A BAD IDEA! GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!
New York Mets- Jason Bay
I was seriously thinking about putting Johan's stranglehold of a contract up here, but he has too much talent even if the likelyhood he is the same is faint. Jason Bay just clearly needs to get the hell out of Citi Field and start off new.
Philadelphia Phillies- Joe Blanton
The Phillies already have roughly 60 million tied up in three starting pitchers. No reason to add another ten just for a fifth starter. Especially someone who pitches as inconsistent as Blanton.
Washington Nationals- Jason Werth
Just not worth the money they gave him. Good player, just not the kind of player that can carry an entire offense. Werth just wasn't worth it. (See what I did there?)
Chicago Cubs- Alfonso Soriano
He is still a great player, he is just holding up too much of that salary. The Cubs need alot, and what they are paying Soriano could be put into 3 or 4 players.
Cincinatti Reds- Bronson Arroyo
Too much money. The little skills he had are fading. His ERA is ballooning. Last year was his lowest strikeout rate since he joined the Reds. Maybe it was just a bad year, but it is time to cut the cord.
Houston Astros- Carlos Lee
Just not the team Lee thought he was gonna be a part of when he joined the Astros back in 2007. Lee is stuck on a sinking ship and I think he would want to leave as much as the 'stros wanna get rid of that nineteen million dollars on their payroll.
Milwalkee Brewers- Ryan Braun
Would you get rid of a media headache all season you you have more money to bring back your star player? I understand the outcry this would cause if it turns out it was a falty test like he is saying it was, but how often has that worked out?
Pittsburgh Pirates- Robert Nutting
No, seriously get out. You beat Donald Sterling as the worst owner in sports. You're an atrocity to the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. That is all.
St Louis Cardinals- Jake Westbrook
I don't want to sound mean, but I just feel like Westbrook is just not worth keeping. Nothing personal, but as you all know this is just business.
Arizona Diamondbacks- Stephen Drew
Just isn't producing like he was in Arizona. All his numbers have dropped significantly since he signed the contract that he did. Just time for a new start.
Colorado Rockies- Todd Helton
This one would hurt. Helton kept this team relevant for so long and he was very loyal to the organization. However, he is not producing over twenty million dollars a year numbers anymore. This one will probably hurt the most feelings of any of them.
Los Angelas Dodgers- Juan Uribe
It is funny how from one year to the next a player's stock can rise and fall so quickly. After a couple good years with the Giants, Uribe stunk up the joint at Dodger Stadium. With the ownership situation in flux, the Dodgers would love to cut this payroll off their already over their head books.
San Diego Padres- Jason Bartlett
When you are on the Padres, you need to produce big if you have a contract over a million dollars, because with that you completely stand out anyway.
San Fransisco Giants- Barry Zito
Really who else could it be? The biggest bust contract of all time (in my opinion) will be like taking five tons of weight off the shoulders of the Giants organization and their general manager especially. If this ever came into effect, this one would be a lock.