3) Worst contracts in the AL West: Evan White of the Seattle Mariners
In the 2019 offseason, the Mariners took a risk. They gave Evan White a six-year deal worth $24 million before the first baseman even played a single MLB inning. The deal bought out all of his pre-arbitration and arbitration years and included club options for each of his first three free-agent years.
The thinking behind a deal like that is if White turns into the good player Seattle expected him to, they'd have him on bargain money through arbitration and very cheap money in free agent years. Imagine if they had signed a guy like George Kirby to the same deal, it'd be a slam dunk. The downside to this kind of deal can be seen by simply looking at how this situation has played out.
White signed his deal and immediately became Seattle's first baseman for the 2020 season. He played in 54 of the 60 games in the shortened year, but slashed .176/.252/.346 with eight home runs and 26 RBI. He had a .599 OPS and a 66 OPS+. Not great. He did win a Gold Glove, but you can't be a starter with a .599 OPS. Just ask Andrew Velazquez.
White began the 2021 season as Seattle's first baseman as well, but after slashing .144/.202/.237 with just two home runs in 30 games, he was sent back down to the minors. He hasn't been back up since.
He played in just two games this season in the minors before landing on the IL. White is set to make $7 million in 2024 and $8 million in 2025 before the three club options appear. It feels very unlikely that the 27-year-old will play another MLB game for the Mariners.