Thanks to the MLB Lockout, Venom Strikes has lots of times on our hands to do some lookbacks at the Diamondbacks past, future, players, and our prospects. With that said, this is all about what are the WORST Contracts ever given out by the Diamondbacks. Surprisingly, there are not too many although I'm sure you have some thoughts. If you disagree with any of these, let me know in the comments! Fun fact, the team has handed out 837 million dollars in free agency. That's across 107 signings and is 18th in the MLB since 1998. Without further ado, our #1 worst contract belongs to...
Yasmany Tomas: 6 years/68.5 million dollars
Yasmany was signed in 2014 under the horrendous duo of Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart. Feeling left out of the Cuban signing spree of players, they vastly overspent thinking that Tomas was going to be the next great Cuban superstar Ala Yoenis Cespedes. Tomas debuted in 2015, playing in 118 games, hitting .273 with a pathetic .305 OBP. Over 426 plate appearances, he only had 19 doubles, a measly 9 HRs, 48 RBI's, 5 SBs, and striking out a whopping 110 times to only 17 walks. His OPS+ was 88 and had a -1.0 WAR.
His best year was 2016 when he was worth -0.9 WAR and hit 31 HRs. His 83 RBIs, 30 doubles, and .508 slugging were nice. However, he still struck out 136 times to only 31 walks. In fact, his offensive WAR was 1.2, but he was worth an ugly -2.7 WAR in the field. His defense is horrible. I'd rather have had Albert Pujols in left field. In 2017, he was injured for most of the year. In 2018, he was demoted to the minor leagues where he would stay aside from a 4 game stint in 2019 where he struck out 3 times in 6 at-bats. Basically, the team paid him 55 million from 2017-19 to be injured and play in the minors. Due to his massive contract, it was a big reason the team traded Goldy, Greinke, and others. In 2021, he signed a MILB contract with the Nationals and never reached the majors.
Yoan Lopez: Signed to 8.25 million dollar signing bonus out of Cuba with a 100% tax
Yoan Lopez was yet another massive failure by Dave Stewart. During that time, teams were given a budget to sign players too. If they went over that budget, they had to pay a 100% tax and lose their signing ability for two years. So, Dave signed Yoan to a massively over-budget deal that severely limited our ability to compete for international free agents. If only Yoan had capitalized on that rumored frontline starter potential.
Instead, he struggled in the minors for years, twice leaving the team for various reasons that were rumored to be him wanting to retire. In 2018, he finally reached the majors and it was a messy road since. Over his 101.2 innings pitched in the bigs, he has a 4.25 ERA, 5.12 FIP, 105 ERA+, with a 2-8 record. In those innings, he struck out a sad 82 batters while walking a wildly high 33 batters. Plus, he gave up 98 hits and was worth only 0.2 WAR over 4 years.
I think his worst issue was believing that hitters can't hit high fastballs as they clobbered 20 HRs off him in that short amount of innings. In 2021, he was eventually dealt to the Braves in what was a roster-clearing move. After the season, the Braves dealt him to the Phillies. Fun fact, he was the only Dbacks player ever to allow an earned run in his final 6 consecutive pitching appearances. What a fail of a contract.
Russ Ortiz: Signed to 4 years/33 million in 2005
Talk about another massive failure. Russ only lasted until midway into the 2006 season before being released. The Diamondbacks released him with 22 million still owed to him. Yes, he was that bad. Over his 28 starts, he went 5-16 in 137.2 innings. Across those innings, he gave up 174 hits, 87 walks, struck out 67, and had a 6.06 FIP and nearly a 7.00 ERA. OUCH. He struggled so bad that he never recovered. He only spent a few more years bouncing around the league. Over his time with the team, he was worth -2.3 WAR. Now, he runs a charity business in Mesa called 2nd Guy Golf using the money the team paid him to not play for them.
Troy Glaus: Signed to 4 year, 45 Million in 2005
Apparently, after the team struggled so badly in 2004 achieving what is still the worst record in team history, management thought spending lots of money would fix it. Sadly, their two biggest signings didn't work out. Troy only spent one year with the team before they traded him to the Blue Jays for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista. His base stats were really good. He hit.256, .363, .522, with a 126 OPS+, 37 HRs, 97 RBIs, and 29 doubles. However, he struggled mightily with hitting with runners in scoring position and with his defense. Overall, he was worth 3.4 WAR but on defense, he cost the team a -0.8 WAR. Plus, he had 24 errors. As such, the team cut their losses and got the O-Dog!
Cody Ross, 3 years, 26 million
Signed prior to the 2013 season, Ross was coming off multiple seasons of reasonable success. He was a dependable left-handed bat that would give you a solid season. Unfortunately, this contract became bad when he dislocated his hip in August 2013. Alas, he only ended up playing in 83 games the next season before the team released him. In 2015, he appeared with the A's very briefly before retiring. Obviously, this contract wasn't bad aside from the injury. However, it was still money lost. Overall, he hit 10 HRs, 53 RBIs, 25 doubles, 40/94 walks/Ks, and was worth 1.4 WAR. That would've been an average season prior to his injury.
Bronson Arroyo: 2years /23 million in 2014
Yet another massive failure by Dave Stewart. He signed the longtime innings eater Bronson from the Reds. It wasn't an overpay at the time, but the guy was 37. Unfortunately, he suffered tommy john surgery after only 14 games. In those 14 games, he went 7-4 and pitched well for his contract. He had a 4.08 ERA, 4.32 FIP, with 19 walks and 47 K's in 86 innings of work. However, to make matters worse, Stewart decided to trade Bronson and one of our top prospects at the time, Touki Toussaint, to the Braves in what was clearly a salary dump as they got minor league utility player Phil Gosselin.
I'm sure this was painful for some of you to read so here are some honorable mentions: Nick Ahmed, Miguel Montero, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon McCarthy, Matt Mantei, and Greg Holland.
Be on the lookout for our upcoming article on the best articles ever in Dbacks history!