Prince Fielder agreed to a $214 million contract with the Tigers, Albert Pujols a $254 million deal with the Angels and Matt Kemp a $160 million extension with the Dodgers. Shrewd or dumb? Here's a look at how some rich contracts have panned out.
* * *
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
10 years, $275 million in 2008
In the four years of the deal so far, the Yankees did win a World Series, but A-Rod has hit below .290 and has averaged fewer than 30 homers and 100 RBIs. Last year, he played only 99 games because of a knee injury. You get the feeling Rodriguez, 36, will see his career continue to go a little further south with each passing year.
Alex Rodriguez, Rangers
10 years, $252 million in 2001
The results were complicated. A-Rod was a dominant player in three full seasons with the Rangers. He played all but one game and won an MVP award and two Gold Gloves at shortstop. His average season: .305, 52 homers and 132 RBIs. That's spectacular. But the Rangers finished last in the AL West in each of his three years before A-Rod was traded to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (Joaquin Arias).
Derek Jeter, Yankees
10 years, $189 million in 2001
During the 10 years of the deal, the Yankees made the playoffs nine times and reached the World Series three times but won it all only once (2009). However, Jeter continued his legendary career in pinstripes. In the 10 seasons, he made eight All-Star teams, batted .310 and won five Gold Gloves.
Joe Mauer, Twins
Eight years, $184 million in 2011
When healthy, Mauer is the best catcher in baseball. But health has been an issue. He is only 28 and has seven years left on the deal, but the first year was ominous. Mauer hit .287 with only three homers and 30 RBIs in 82 games.
Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Eight years, $180 million in 2009 - The first year of the deal was a smashing success as Teixeira hit .292 and led the American League in homers (39) and RBIs (122) as the Yankees won the World Series. He continued to put up good numbers in 2010 and 2011, but it should be noted that he is a .207 career hitter in 121 postseason at-bats.
CC Sabathia, Yankees
Seven years, $161 million in 2009
Overall, this has been a great deal for the Yankees. In three years, Sabathia has won 19, 21 and 19 games and averaged 235 innings. He has gone 5-1 in the playoffs with the Yankees, including the 2009 World Series run when he went 3-1.
Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
Eight years, $160 million in 2001 - This was a sensational deal. Not only did Ramirez put up fabulous numbers (he averaged .313 with 36 homers and 114 RBIs), he led the Red Sox to their first world championship in 86 years in 2004. Then, it took Boston just three years to win its next title, again in large part thanks to Ramirez. Sure he flaked out at the end of his time in Boston, but he was an All-Star every season and had among the best seven-year stretches of anyone in history.
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
10 years, $157.75 million in 2011 - The Rockies are treating Tulowitzki as a franchise player, and he delivered like one in the first year of the deal in an All-Star 2011 season. He hit .302 with 30 homers and 105 RBIs while winning a Gold Glove at shortstop.
* * *
The rest of the story
In baseball history, there have been 31 contracts worth at least $100 million. That includes the Pujols, Fielder and Kemp deals, as well as Jose Reyes' new deal with the Marlins and Ryan Howard's extension with the Phillies, which kicks in this upcoming season. That leaves 26 contracts where the players have played at least one season. Of those, only seven have won a World Series and only one (Ramirez) has won two. Among the worst of the deals? The Rockies signed pitcher Mike Hampton to an eight-year, $121 million contract in December 2000, and he lasted only two seasons in Colorado, going 21-28 before being shipped to Atlanta, where he won 35 games over the next four seasons. Meantime, Red Sox fans are waiting to find out if Carl Crawford's $142 million deal was worth it. So far, so not good.
* * *
Check it out
Much of todayÕs SportsCenter on ESPN will be dedicated to coverage of the public memorial for Joe Paterno, the former Penn State coach who died Sunday. Anchor Bob Ley and reporters Tom Rinaldi and George Smith are in State College, Pa.