Today, in a companion piece to his 2013 Trade Value series, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs provided his take on the five least trade-able assets in baseball. It comes with little surprise that it’s a list of high-priced position players locked into sweeping contracts that pay them bookoo bucks through their decline years. The other unifying theme is that all of the players are having down seasons in 2013, except for Alex Rodriguez, who simply hasn’t played a game yet this year due to injury — he also makes 89 cents per second and figures to be excommunicated from baseball for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. Kudos to Alex for making the Ryan Howard contract attractive by comparison.
And who was number one on the list, you ask?
Oh, Albert. Say it ain’t so.
Long gone are the days when Cardinal top brass would strut around proud as punch knowing they owned the single most valuable asset in the game. Gone are the days of caviar production on a canned tuna budget. There’ll be no more Ruthian-like 9+ win seasons for a shade over $900k. Gone, gone, gone. From here on out, Pujols is a bloated corpse floating face-down in a pool of excess.
And my motive is not to poke fun or become melancholy remembering what once was. It’s simply fascinating how rapidly things turned upside down. It’s also astonishing to think that, when it’s all said and done, Albert Pujols could be the owner of the best contract ever handed out by a club and the worst. Yin and yang.