7) Worst contracts in the AL West: Lance McCullers Jr. of the Houston Astros
It feels like the Astros haven't done much of anything wrong in the last decade. Their two World Series rings since 2017 back that claim up. However, even the best teams aren't perfect. We're learning the Astros are less than perfect as the Lance McCullers Jr. contract isn't looking so great.
The Astros extended McCullers Jr. prior to the 2021 season expecting him to fit in as a key piece of their rotation for years to come. The deal was for five years and $85 million and was set to begin in the 2022 season.
McCullers Jr. missed most of the 2022 season due to injury, but finished the year on the roster and pitched well. He even pitched decently in two of his three postseason starts. This season, however, has been riddled with more injury issues.
McCullers Jr. was on the shelf to begin the season before he underwent Flexor Tendon surgery to remove a bone spur from his right forearm. This sidelined him for the remainder of this season, and will likely miss part of next season as well.
Since the extension kicked in, the right-hander has made eight regular season starts and three postseason starts over two seasons. That's not what Houston envisioned. These aren't his first injuries, as McCullers has never started more than 28 games in a season, and has gone over 130 innings just once in a single season over the course of his career.
McCullers Jr. is set to make $17 million for each of the next three seasons. Houston will hope he can start to string together a couple of healthy seasons to salvage the contract.