Compare and Contrast: Cutting Dead Weight

The Mets continue to carry the albatross known as Oliver Perez on their roster, as he refuses to be demoted to the minors and the Wilpons refuse to pay between $12M – $24M for someone who is not employed by their organization.

It simply wouldn’t be “good business” to release Perez outright, considering the amount of money left on his egregious 3-year deal. Better to continue to drag him along on the team bus, and take up a precious spot on the 25-man roster.

Or is it?

The following teams had similarly bad contracts recently (within the last year and a half), and chose to cut bait. Interestingly, few of these teams can as easily “afford” to give up on high-salaried player — but they did, anyway, for the good of the team.

Most of these players were released outright, though a few were traded away on the condition that their salary would be absorbed by the team shedding the player. It is in no particular order.

Shedding Salary

Team Player Salary
Rays Pat Burrell $9M
Royals Jose Guillen $12M
Tigers Dontrelle Willis $11.7M
Tigers Nate Robertson $9.6M
Tigers Gary Sheffield $13.3M
Angels Gary Matthews, Jr. $21.5M
Blue Jays B.J. Ryan $10M
Dodgers Andruw Jones $27.5M
Dodgers Juan Pierre $10.5M
Brewers Jeff Suppan $14.5M
Brewers Billy Hall $7.15M
Red Sox Julio Lugo $9M
Yankees Kei Igawa $8M

Interestingly, the Yankees don’t have much in the way of owed money to players no longer on their roster — despite the fact that many pundits regularly point to their riches as a security blanket for when they make mistakes. Other than Igawa, the Yankees owe a grand total of about $2.4M to players no longer on their roster.

After looking at what other teams have done in the way of dropping dead weight, how do you feel about the Mets’ insistence on keeping Oliver Perez and other bad contracts? One would think that if a “small market” team such as the Detroit Tigers can bite the bullet on so much money in bad contracts, that the big-city Mets would be able to act similarly.

Opinion and Analysis

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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