The 25 Most OVERPAID Players in the MLB: 9-5

We’re nearing the end of our countdown of the 25 most overpaid players in baseball for 2014. We’ve already shared players 25-20, 19-15 and 14-10. Check back tomorrow to see the final four.

A quick note about process, we used a variation of a FanGraphs’ formula – which guestimates the dollar value of $5.4 million for every win a player brings about. (Obviously, this is not an exact science.) That amount is then multiplied by the player’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which in this case, is for the 2014 season so far. That total is then subtracted from the player’s 2014 salary. The solution? The player’s market value. (Unlike FanGraphs, we’ve included hitters and pitchers on the list.)

9. James Shields – Kansas City Royals – Starting Pitcher

Salary: $13.5 million

WAR: 0.4

Current Market Value: -$11.3 million

Anywhere else in the American League, James Shields would be a perfect fit for a contender — but because he’s been relegated to a season-plus stint on the lackluster Kansas City Royals team, which is part of a competitive division, his value diminishes greatly. He’s not even worth a half a game above replacement. Rumor has it that he might ship elsewhere before the season is over, so that could help turn around that ugly market value. For now, he’s a waste of a talented arm.

8. Alex Rios – Texas Rangers – Right Fielder

Salary: $13.5 million

WAR: 0.4

Current Market Value: -$11.3 million

Part of the reason why Rios’ WAR is so low is because his team, riddled with unfortunate injuries, has been bottom-feeding in the AL West, well out of contention. It would take a miracle for a turnaround to take place. Although his HR power is way down, he’s eclipsed his 2013 RBIs and equaled his SB total. It’s also rumored that he may be on the move before the trade deadline, so upon a team upgrade, we could see his value rise. Just not deep in the heart of Texas.

7. Dan Haren – Los Angeles Dodgers – Starting Pitcher

Salary: $10 million

WAR: -0.4

Current Market Value: -$12.2 million

Dan Haren is another one of those pitchers like C.J. Wilson (a former teammate of his, by the way) that has shown some signs of brilliance, but in recent years, has shown an incredibly ugly side. The Dodgers overpaid for his 4-plus ERA over the last three years — so it’s not at all surprising that he made our list.

6. C.J. Wilson – Los Angeles Angels – Starting Pitcher

Salary: $16.5 million

WAR: 0.1

Current Market Value: -$16 million

About the only thing C.J. Wilson seems to be good at these days is Twitter. You can’t be even close to a staff ace with a 4.33 ERA. He’s also been highly hittable (107). The only thing positive about Wilson’s stat line is his win-loss ratio, which is 8-6; because well, he’s got guys like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to give him run support. That pitiful 0.1 WAR isn’t going to help your team do anything.

5. Torii Hunter – Detroit Tigers – Right Fielder

Salary: $14 million

WAR: -0.5

Current Market Value: -$16.7 million

Torii Hunter’s best years are probably behind him at this point in his career — yet the Detroit Tigers took a gamble with him, probably more for his defensive prowess than his waning power numbers. The Tigers, however, sit atop the AL East standings — and Hunter’s career WAR is pretty darn good: 48.9. He may be overpaid by our parameters, but he’s certainly not valueless.

By Will Levith for the ScoreBlog

Sources: Salary data: Yahoo Sports; WAR data: Baseball Reference; Formula:

Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison

Share this post

Will Levith

Will Levith is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist, whose work has recently been published in print and online by Men's Health, Men's Fitness, AskMen, Made Man, Beckett, and the Food Network. Follow him on Twitter @Mediawill.