9) Worst contracts in the AL West: Eugenio Suarez
If I made this list before the season started, Eugenio Suarez would be higher up. He was coming off of two abysmal seasons with the Reds before being traded to Seattle in a salary dump. Suarez was thought of as a negative asset by Cincinnati.
After the trade, Suarez showed flashes of the player he was in 2019 when he hit 49 home runs. He wasn't quite that good, but he was much better than he had been since that MVP-caliber season.
Suarez slashed .236/.332/.459 with 31 home runs and 79 RBI. His 129 OPS+ was very solid for Seattle. The problem with Suarez is and always has been the strikeouts. He struck out 196 times which led the American League.
Suarez's contract pays him $22 million dollars for the next two seasons with a $15 million dollar club option in 2025.
The home runs will always be there. Even with his awful 2021 campaign he did hit 31 home runs. The issue is if he will get on base enough. Last season he hit .198 with a .286 OBP. This season he hit .236 with a .332 OBP. That's respectable at least.
Suarez is not a good defender as he ranked in the 39th percentile in outs above average according to baseball savant. In 2021 he was in the 2nd percentile. His bat has to be there for him to be a productive player.
The 31 year old isn't on the worst contract ever, I just don't fully trust him to get on base enough to make him an above average hitter like he was this past season. Maybe he can prove me wrong.
8) Worst contracts in the AL West: David Fletcher
David Fletcher's contract isn't so horrible but isn't looking like the steal it once did after the season he just had.
Just before Opening Day in 2021, Fletcher inked a five-year extension with the Angels for $26 million dollars with two club options to follow that could bring the total value of the deal to $41 million dollars.
Fletcher was coming off of a very good 2020 campaign where he had a 120 OPS+. In 2019, the last full season before signing the extension, he hit almost .300 in 154 games with a .734 OPS and a respectable 95 OPS+. The Angels can live with him being a slightly below-average hitter because of his elite defense.
The problem is, since signing the extension Fletcher hasn't been close to league average. Last season he had a .622 OPS and a 70 OPS+. He hit just two home runs and drew only 31 walks in 626 at-bats.
His struggles at the plate carried into this past season where he had a .621 OPS and a 77 OPS+. He also played in only 61 games as he missed substantial time with injury.
Fletcher has remained an elite glove and has value, but to make him startable every day he has to produce numbers that are closer to league average.
We know who Fletcher is. He won't hit home runs but should be able to hit enough singles to stay on the field every day because of his defense. It's good that he doesn't strike out, but a 77 OPS+ is unacceptable for a guy who should be playing every day.
Fletcher has competition now in the middle infield thanks to the breakout of Luis Rengifo and the strong debut of Livan Soto. Fletcher will have to produce to keep a starting job. Three years at $18.5 million dollars isn't horrible, he just has to stay on the field and be the player he was in 2019 and 2020 to make it worth it.