Baseball's 100 Million Dollar Pitchers
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Baseball's 100 Million Dollar Pitchers

And how much it costs for them to win...

Only 4 active Starting Pitchers have signed their name to $100+ million contracts. One of them, Barry Zito, will take the mound tonight for the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series - despite being labeled for years as one of the worst contract signings in MLB, possibly major sports history. Our MLB Research team takes an in-depth look at each of these four pitchers and just how well they’ve panned out statistically, and in winning.
C.C. Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees
Price Per Win: $1,256,756
Player
Contract:8 years $186,000,000
Signed:2009
Average Salary:$23,250,000
Wins/Year Losses/Year Innings/Year E.R.A WHIP
18.5 7.25 226 3.23 1.17
The Yankees' ace has maintained all elements of his free agent resume prior to signing in 2009. He's the team workhorse, the most consistent winner, annually durable, and has been worth every penny of his massive contract to date.


Barry Zito, SP, San Francisco Giants
Price Per Win: $1,565,217
Player
Contract:7 years $126,000,000
Signed:2007
Average Salary:$18,000,000
Wins/Year Losses/Year Innings/Year E.R.A WHIP
11.5 11.5 167.4 4.65 1.405
He may lose as much as he wins, and giving up nearly 5 runs per start - but the logistics of this contract don't seem to be as terrifying as they make look on paper. He may not be the "ace" the Giants were looking for - nor is he a consistent member of the rotation every week, but he's also not holding back the franchise financially to any major degree. That being said, this contract is of elite parameters, and a .500 record, with a baserunner and a half per inning hardly stands up.


Johan Santana, SP, New York Mets
Price Per Win: $1,992,753
Player
Contract:6 years $137,500,000
Signed:2008
Average Salary:$22,916,667
Wins/Year Losses/Year Innings/Year E.R.A WHIP
11.5 8.5 179 3.37 1.21
The Mets' signed Johan in a time when they were playing with house money (story), and reality has set in financially both for the overall franchise and with the Johan deal individually. His 2008 numbers to start this contract were elite (16-7, 2.53) - but injuries, loss of velocity, and bad teams behind him have sent the one-time all star spiralling downward. He's costing the Mets nearly $2 million to get a win out of him, and although he put many butts in seats, and many jerseys on backs, the franchise will walk away from this contract wishing they had gotten better.


Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Price Per Win: $2,086,956
Player
Contract:5 years $120,000,000
Signed:2011
Average Salary:$24,000,000
Wins/Year Losses/Year Innings/Year E.R.A WHIP
11.5 8.5 221.6 2.78 1.07
The decision to sign with Philadelphia amidst many offers looked like a grand slam in 2011 (17-8, 2.40). But a miserable 2012 season for both the Phillies and Lee have GMs and experts raising eyebrows in regards to how pitchers can and should be paid in this era of baseball. While he managed to keep the earned run average respectable (3.16), he was no longer a dominating presence who could provide wins on his own (6-9 record in 2012). The Phillies will be in rebuilding mode for the next few seasons, and certainly can't afford to be $2.1 milion per Cliff Lee victory in doing so.

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