It's a sign of the ridiculous money being thrown around baseball that "worst contracts ever" lists are perennial mainstays of sports columnists. And that the Dodgers are always well represented on such lists? Hey, you can't make an omelet without wasting hundreds of millions of dollars.
So imagine my surprise upon seeing that ESPN.com's latest list of contract debacles awards the Dodgers only two of the top ten positions. We're better than that! Furthermore, we didn't even merit our own "Memorial Division." Darn East Coast bias!
8. Juan Pierre, Dodgers, 2007
The background: A singles-hitting center fielder who had compiled an OPS better than league average just once in his career, due to an inability to draw walks or hit for power. But he had led the NL five times in caught stealing.
The contract: Five years, $44 million.
The result: Though Pierre is known as one of the good guys in baseball, the Dodgers nonetheless admitted their own mistake after just one season, as they signed Andruw Jones to play center field in 2008. Oops. [...]
5. Darren Dreifort, Dodgers, 2001
The background: Had three good months for the Dodgers at the end of the 2000 season.
The contract: Five years, $55 million.
The result: Despite only 39 career wins and Dreifort's coming off a season in which he allowed 31 home runs, the Dodgers re-signed him to a megabucks deal in the crazy 2000-01 offseason. He won nine games.
The column gives Kevin Brown an honorable mention, but where's Andruw Jones? Jason Schmidt? Hello? We'll accept Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis too! I'm telling you, the day the Dodgers cease being synonymous with regrettable trades and exorbitantly wasteful contracts is the day a proud piece of baseball history dies, my friends.