What percentage of baseball players who signed a contract of at least $100 million actually lived up to it?
Take a guess and remember the number you picked.
With J.T. Realmuto’s arbitration hearing in the rearview mirror, the conversation shifts to his next contract. Barring some cataclysmic development, Realmuto’s next deal will exceed $100 million.
Back in September, I predicted five years, $112.5 million.
Realmuto is expected to seek in the neighborhood of $23 million per season, matching Joe Mauer’s record salary for a catcher, over a five- or six-year deal. (Five years at $23 million a pop would be $115 million.)
In general, contracts this large miss more often than they hit. We went back through all the contracts of at least $100 million that were signed through 2017 to put an actual number on it. What is the success rate?
Excluded here are players who signed their contracts in 2018, ’19 or ’20. Too early to judge. You won’t see Bryce Harper or Zack Wheeler below for that reason. The list runs through 2017 and includes 67 players.
A lot of these deals were memorably bad. That’s the reality of a gargantuan contract that, for so long in baseball’s history, went…