When talking about the worst contracts in the history of sports, a lot of names are brought up.
Guys like Albert Haynesworth, Chandler Parsons, Ilya Kovalchuk, Josh Hamilton, Jamarcus Russell, Carl Crawford, Barry Zito, Rick DiPietro, Eddy Curry, DeAngelo Hall, Mike Hampton have all competed for the title of worst contract of all time, and each probably have a solid case for why their deals have gone down in infamy.
But, one player has very quickly and dramatically built a rock solid resume for the status of the absolute WORST contract of all time.
Enter Chris Davis and his .000 batting average. We’ll come back to that number in a little bit.
Let’s take a trip back to the innocent days of 2015. The Orioles were a finally a consistently ~okay~ baseball team, they were just coming off of a season where they finished third in the AL East and only had one priority: Re-sign first baseman, Chris Davis.
Davis had just led the majors in home runs for the second time in 3 years and had slugged well over .500 since arriving in Baltimore in 2012. He seemed to only be getting better with the O’s, and the team knew they couldn’t compete without him. So, Dan Duquette did a very non-Dan Duquette thing and paid the man. The Orioles gave into Scott Boras’ demands and gave Davis a 7 year, $161 Million contract.
It seemed like a steep cost, as Davis was about to be entering his thirties, but Power totally lasts with age right? I bet this will go down in history as a bargain for the team, and they will have unparalleled success and rule the AL East for years to come.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
Chris Davis, in 2018, had one of the worst offensive seasons in MLB history. Davis had a .168/.243/.296 slash line with an OPS+ of 50. In fact, it was the worst season by a major league hitter since the deadball era. It had been over 100 years since someone had been almost as god awful as poor Bill Bergen way back in 1909, who slashed .139/.163/.156 and had an OPS + of 1. Literally, he had an OPS+ of ONE. Why is that not the most talked about stat in the history of anything, it’s hilarious. The fact that Davis, who just a few years before had finished third in the AL MVP voting, had his named linked to maybe the worst season in all of the sports, just proved how far he had fallen. It was a historically terrible season for a historically terrible team.
And now, here we are. It’s April 8th, 2019, and Chris Davis has yet to hit a baseball this year. He is currently 0-28 this season and is hitless over his last 49 at-bats, setting a new record for the worst hitless streak in MLB history. He has a .148 OPS, which only comes from managing to pick up 4 walks, and has struck out in nearly 50 percent of his at-bats to start the year. Those numbers alone may make you cringe, but then you remember that Davis is still owed more than $90 million over the next four years and just have to feel for the Orioles organization at this point. It’s like buying an elephant that has ALS; the investment looked bad when it first happened, but it’s literally only going to get worse.
You might be thinking “Well, why don’t the Orioles just release Davis and eat the money?” Sure, it sucks to literally burn all that money (see Pablo Sandoval and Josh Hamilton), but at least the on-field product will improve. Well, it doesn’t matter if Davis gets cut because, due to a very smart man by the name of Scott Boras, Davis will be receiving deferred payments until 2037. Yes, the Orioles saw how much the Mets looked like idiots after the whole Bobby Bonilla situation and thought to themselves, “You know what? We can be stupider.” Davis will receive more than $42 million over 14 years AFTER his original deal has run out in 2023.
Who wins in this whole situation? The Orioles sure as hell don’t because they’re horrible and now have to pay a player, who could probably be replaced by a bank teller and have similar production, $161 million. You might think that Davis wins because he got all that money, but he is only going to be remembered as having one of the worst stretches in the history of sports. I guess we, the fans, are the true winners because fuck the Orioles and FUCK Robert Andino.
I’ll never forget 2011, you dicks, I hope you suck forever.
Photo by Eric Habeeb/ USA Today Sports