Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Now That's A Bargain

At the end of every season some folks like to make a list of the most overpaid players in a given league. When it comes to Major League Baseball my favorite team, the Dodgers, usually has half of the starting 9 so it makes me happy to note that the most overpaid player is not a member of the Dodgers. You'd think the Red Sox paying J.D. Drew to be a 5-tool player only to find out that he hits like a pitcher would be the worst investment of the year but it is not. This year it is a legend that runs away with the award. The worst investment in MLB this year was none other than Roger Clemens. On so many levels his season was an utter failure and may go down as one the worst signings in history.

First, let's review what exactly Clemens was being paid. For his part-time work Clemens was rewarded with a pro-rated salary valued at $18,500,000. With luxury taxes added to that the Yankees spent $26,000,000 to have Clemens wear the pinstripes. Additionally, Clemens publicly admitted that he came back for no other reason than to win a World Series. That didn't exactly work out very well as they were unable to win anything this year except the Wild Card. Since the Yankees and Clemens failed so miserably to attain their goal it is likely Clemens is distraught over his performance. After all, he would have come back to the Yankees for free because he so desperately wanted to win.

Given his performance let's look at just how good of a teammate Clemens really was. All of these numbers are based on the $18.5M salary Clemens reportedly received and stats from the regular season and postseason. Even as a Yankees hater I cannot stomach having to run these numbers over the $26M he cost the team overall.

6 wins = $3.08M/win
69 strikeouts = $268,116/strikeout
101.1 IP = $182,571/IP
1646 pitches = $11,239/pitch
137.17 minutes worked* = $134,869/minute worked

*This was based on it taking 5 seconds for Clemens to wind up for every pitch. This is admittedly low for the amount of time Clemens worked since it doesn't count watching Posada flash his fingers between his legs and whatever else Clemens did.

After looking at the numbers one must conclude that his only value to the team cannot be measured by on-field performance. Perhaps he was a great DJ on the clubhouse sound system, I can't say for sure. All in all, Clemens' wife should be thankful Roger's cell phone reception died out on the golf course.

(Photo from Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.)

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