Diamondbacks: The Most Overpaid and Underpaid Player for 2023

GM Mike Hazen
GM Mike Hazen / Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/GettyImages

Arizona currently sits 20th in the league in team payroll ($94,196,904). Thankfully they aren’t as poor as the Oakland A’s ($40,925,000), but they are certainly not as rich as the New York Mets ($329,118,332). With this in mind, bad contracts could really kill a team like the Diamondbacks. But getting players or retaining players for a bargain could be the key to this team's success…

Madison Bumgarner
Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Most Overpaid: Madison Bumgarner is set to make $18,000,000 in 2023

In December of 2019, the Diamondbacks shocked the world by signing star pitcher Madison Bumgarner to a 5-year deal.  In Bumgarner’s last 3 seasons with the Giants (2017-2019), he pitched 448 innings, averaged a 3.49 ERA, and averaged a 1.15 WHIP.  Bumgarner was considered one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball at the time of the deal and he was a vital piece of the puzzle for the 3 world series the giants won in 2010, 2012, and 2014.  Without him, it is reasonable to say the Giants would not have won all 3 of those world series, as he started games in those postseason runs and even came out of the bullpen when they really needed him…

It makes you wonder what happened to that Madison Bumgarner.  Age, change of scenery, an ego.  Whatever the case may be, Bumgarner has been anything but reliable for the D-Backs.  In his first season with the club (Covid-19 season), Bumgarner finished the season with a 1-4 record, a 6.48 ERA, and a 1.44 WHIP over 9 starts.  Yikes! The following season Bumgarner settled down a little but still struggled.  In the 21’ season, he finished with a 7-10 record, a 4.67 ERA, and a 1.18 WHIP over 26 starts.  Not bad, but not great either!  Sadly, this story doesn’t get any happier.  Last season, Bumgarner regressed; he went 7-15, with a 4.88 ERA, and a 1.44 WHIP.  

Hopefully, 2023 is the year Madison Bumgarner finds his mojo again; if not, this is a terrible financial hit for Arizona…

Zac Gallen
Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Most Underpaid: Zac Gallen is set to make $5,600,000 in 2023

If you read my articles often you will realize how much I love Gallen.  I believe he is one of the most underrated pitchers in all of baseball.  In the 2022 season, here is where Gallen ranked among NL pitchers; 4th in ERA (2.54), 1st in WHIP (0.91), 1st in batting average against (.186), 8th in strikeouts (192), and 8th in BB/9 (2.09).  You could make an argument that with the lowest WHIP and AVG against, Gallen was the most dominant NL pitcher a season ago… 

Before inflation, you could go to taco bell and get a delicious meal for around or less than $5.  In a similar way, the D-Backs front office has to be relishing over the contract they have with Gallen.  Quite the bang for their buck!  

Allow me to compare what other pitchers are making that have similar numbers to Gallen.  These numbers will actually blow your mind, and if they don’t well I guess they blew my mind.  Last year, Zac Gallen and Justin Verlander tied for the lowest BAA in the league.  Gallen will make less than $6 million this upcoming season, while Verlander will make more than $43 million this upcoming season.  Zac Gallen finished the season with a 2.54 ERA and Carlos Rodon finished the season with a 2.88 ERA.  Gallen will make less than $6 million this upcoming season, while Rodon is set to make almost $23 million.  I told you they were mind-blowing numbers; Gallen is underpaid isn’t he?  But hey, as long as he’s in a Diamondbacks uniform, I am not complaining!