The 25 Most OVERPAID Players in the MLB: 4-1

Moment of truth. It’s time to talk about the four most overpaid players in baseball for 2014. We’ve come to the end of our countdown of the most overpaid players in 2014. Don’t miss out on players 25-2019-1514-10 and 9-5.

To compile our list, 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.)

4. Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees – Center Fielder

Salary: $15 million

WAR: -0.6

Current Market Value: -$18.2 million

The New York Yankees likely signed Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million contract because of his postseason abilities more than his waning seasonal output (he has one more postseason dinger than Yankee great Babe Ruth). There’s still some pop in his bat — and he’s starting to get hot of late — but already battling injuries this year, Beltran could be in for a long second-half of the season, amidst a healthy chorus of Bronx Cheers.

3. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – Starting Pitcher

Salary: $20 million

WAR: 0.1

Current Market Value: -$19.5 million

Justin Verlander may be romantically connected to one of the hottest models in Kate Upton — but his numbers have been some of the coldest among the elite pitchers in baseball. From 2009-12, the Detroit Tigers’ Verlander was virtually unhittable, with his ERA in the 2’s, and a rare Cy Young/MVP sweep in 2011, during which he won 24 games. He’s leading the AL in hits surrendered, earned runs allowed, and sporting an ugly 4.84 ERA, despite winning nine games. Good thing his team’s up top in the AL Central to mask the stink.

2. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers – Left Fielder

Salary: $21.3 million

WAR: -1.4

Current Market Value: -$28.8 million

Matt Kemp, who at one point was living the high-life, dating Rihanna, and arguably, was one of the most highly touted prospects in the National League, has had a tough time staying healthy — and has seen his defensive capabilities decline, too. Top that off with a crowded Dodgers outfield that includes prospect Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, Carl Crawford (on DL), Andre Ethier, and potential late-season call-up Joc Pederson, and it’s only going to get tougher for Kemp to make a comeback. There is a silver-lining, however: Kemp could be trade bait. Who knows? He could turn it completely around. We’re just not buying it.

1. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies – First Baseman

Salary: $25 million

WAR: -0.5

Current Market Value: -$37.5 million

Yep, you read that right. Ryan Howard’s current market value in the MLB is well over thirty-two million negative dollars. Gone is the player who won the 2005 Rookie of the Year, clobbering 22 home runs that season; or the 2006 MVP, going yard a staggering 58 times with 149 RBIs to boot. This year, Howard has a whopping 116 strikeouts — and is not helping the Philadelphia Phillies, who are in dead last in the NL East.

By Will Levith for the ScoreBlog

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

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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.