Pujols

The 25 Most OVERPAID Players in the MLB: 14-10

The MLB trade deadline has arrived as we continue our look at the 25 most overpaid players in baseball for 2014. Yesterday, we shared players #19-15. We’ll be releasing our list of the most overpaid (and underpaid) players all week long on the ScoreBlog. Check back tomorrow to see players 9-5.

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.)

14. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals – Third Baseman/Outfielder

Salary: $14 million

WAR: 0.5

Current Market Value: -$8.6 million

Player salaries should be more like insurance policies. The Washington Nationals have one of the greatest gamers in the National League in Ryan Zimmerman — but playing tons of games equals a 10-year career plagued by injuries (including arthroscopic shoulder surgery prior to last season). With the Nats struggling defensively in 2014, they’ve sent Zimmerman to the outfield. Let’s hope he steers clear of those outfield walls.

13. Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels – First Baseman

Salary: $23 million

WAR: 2.4

Current Market Value: -$10.0 million

Los Angeles Angels fans have been waiting with bated breath for the old Albert Pujols to show up in town. For three years. And while he did become a permanent member of the 500 Home Run Club this season as an Angel, it’s hard to see him having another one of his trio of MVP seasons (all of which he had with the St. Louis Cardinals). Of late, he’s started to show signs of past glory at the plate — and with a young stud like Mike Trout in the lineup, too, he could start turning those frowns in Los Angeles upside down.

12. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals – Left Fielder

Salary: $16.2 million

WAR: 1.1

Current Market Value: -$10.3 million

The St. Louis Cardinals have rocketed back into contention in 2014, but left fielder Matt Holliday, who was likely signed for his immense power, has been in the middle of a major outage this year (he’s hit just 7 HRs and 50 RBIs through the All-Star Break). While he’s been hot of late, it’s going to take a lot more than just a short streak to regain his worth on the diamond.

11. Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers – Third Baseman

Salary: $15.1 million

WAR: 0.8

Current Market Value: -$10.8 million

At one point in his career, Ramirez was a powerful performer, most of the time logging 25+ HRs and having seven years of RBIs in the 100s. But stints with teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs can wear on one’s sense of worth — and though his Brewers sit atop the NL Central and he’s just off an All-Star Game appearance, you’re likely not seeing the return of the franchise man (even though he’s getting paid that way).

10. Ervin Santana – Atlanta Braves – Starting Pitcher

Salary: $14.1 million

WAR: 0.6

Current Market Value: -$10.9 million

At the beginning of the season, everybody was hailing Ervin Santana as the savior for the depleted Atlanta Braves pitching staff, winning his first quartet of games and posting a sub-2.00 ERA. But knowing Santana’s downside, that was all but short-lived, and he’s now found himself the winner of a 4.03 ERA, losing four out of five games in the month of June. Welcome back, Old Santana — and to our Most Overpaid list.

We’ll be counting down the most overpaid and underpaid players in the MLB all week on the ScoreBlog. Check back tomorrow to see players 9-5.

By Will Levith for the ScoreBlog

Sources: Salary data: Yahoo Sports; WAR data: Baseball Reference; Formula: FanGraphs.com

Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison

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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.