In the past two weeks, a pair of MLB players signed contracts that would pay them $25-30 million per season over the next 10 to 13 years.
What baffles me is how teams are not only able, but willing to throw this kind of money around just to win.
Seeing how much money one can make, even coming off a poor year (Bryce Harper) is even more baffling.
A career .279 hitter, Harper is coming off a season in Washington where he hit .249. True, he was still top 10 in MLB in home runs (34) and he knocked in 100 runs, but he struck out 169 times in 550 at bats. That averages three strike outs every 10 at-bats.
Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Phillies last week.
Manny Machado is a much more interesting case. A premiere third basemen, he switched to shortstop last season with the Orioles and vowed he would not move back to the hot corner.
Growing up, I played third base in Little League, and my favorite player was a third basemen (Chipper Jones). Watching Machado snare liners down the third-base line and make that throw across the diamond was a thing of beauty.
It's not his offense that's in question, it's his heart.
The unwillingness to be a team player, not to mention the lack of hustle during the World Series while with the Los Angeles Dodgers does not warrant a record-breaking contract.
It was not an unwanted sight to see Machado strike out to end the 2018 World Series. If I were an owner, I would be hard pressed to pay someone a couple boatloads of money to play a kid's game.
Machado recently signed a 10-year, $300 million dollar contract with the San Diego Padres.
Take note from the Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis. A former teammate of Machado's while in Baltimore, Markakis re-signed with the Braves for $4 million.
Was Markakis unhappy? Goodness no! (Been reading a few too many "Pete the Cat" books with my four-year-old.)
"I'm not mad at all," said Markakis. "I play a kids' game and get paid a lot of money. How can I be disappointed with that?"
Markakis' response is one that a baseball purist loves. To see players like Markakis play their heart out, only to get rewarded with less money, and still have that kind of attitude, is something to admire.
For a player to lollygag a grounder, or think of himself as bigger than the team, that is what is wrong with sports today.
Those of us growing up and playing team sports remember either our parents or coaches drilling this phrase into our head: there is no "I" in team.
Truth be told: there is one player in baseball who is worth that much money. He's a perennial MVP candidate, plays catch with youngsters in the stands, takes the time to sign autographs and is the kind of player I'd love my kids to idolize: Mike Trout.
I know it's far-fetched, but I'd love to see Trout retire as an Angel, wherever they call home when he does.
I don't foresee things changing, but Trout has proven to me, and many other baseball fans around the globe, that he is worth the money a pair of unworthy free agents received this year.