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ESPN Insider: D-backs have two of MLB’s worst contracts

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke watches a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t expected to be in World Series contention in 2017, as a Nevada sports book has their win total at 78.5 wins.

To make matters worse, Arizona players Zack Greinke and Yasmany Tomas have some of the worst contracts in MLB, according to an ESPN Insider article written by Dan Szymborski.

Szymborski writes about Greinke, who he ranked as having the seventh-worst contract in MLB:

Greinke wasn’t terrible in 2016, but given that he’s making more than $30 million a year, even after pricing down the deferrals, that just isn’t good enough. Greinke doesn’t have to replicate his 2015 over-and-over again to be worth his deal, but he has to at least pitch on the level of his 2014 season (17-8, 2.71 ERA). ZiPS projects a decent bounce back to near-star levels for Greinke, but this deal needs more than that to work out for Arizona — or, more realistically, to fetch anything in a trade.

Greinke’s numbers dipped in his first season in Arizona, as he struggled his way to a 4.37 ERA, which was his highest in a season since 2005, and his second highest in his career. The 33-year-old did lead the D-backs in wins, however, with a 13-7 record.

His excellent 2015 performance with the Los Angeles Dodgers, when he posted a 1.66 ERA, 200 strikeouts, a 9.3 WAR and a 19-3 record, prompted the D-backs to break the bank by offering him a six-year contract worth $206.5 million.

Next came Tomas, who was deemed to have the 14th-worst contract. Tomas is entering the third year of a six-year, $68.5 million deal with Arizona.

A career .272 hitter, Tomas’ offensive game took a big step up in 2016, as he clubbed 31 home runs and 83 RBI, opposed to nine homers and 48 RBI in 2015.

However, it’s clear his game still needs to mature. Tomas has struggled to draw walks, with an on base percentage of .309 through his two MLB seasons. Furthermore, Tomas had a fielding WAR of -2.4 and a hitting WAR of -0.4 in 2016.

Szymborski said each contract is ranked based on the difference between the wins the team is paying for and the wins the team is projected to get, as predicted by the ZiPS projection system. ZiPS gave Greinke -6.6 wins and gave Tomas -5.0 wins.

Topping the list with the worst contract in baseball is Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels, who is in the midst of a 10-year, $240 million deal that he signed in 2012.

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