Opinion: Are MLB stars worth all the money?

Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons | Former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado signed a record-breaking 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. The team finished in fifth place in the National League West last year.

Manny Machado broke headlines yesterday, inking a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres — the single biggest contract in the history of American sports. Machado, 26, will have a chance to opt out of his contract at the age of 31.

Machado had been linked to the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies, among other teams.

He joins the Padres, a team that has struggled in recent years but touts an infield with Eric Hosmer and Luis Urias along with the soon-to-be arrival of Fernando Tatis, Jr., the team’s top prospect.

Each day it seemed that a new team was linked to these free agents.

Now that the Padres have their man, they could be considered contenders for the NL West, a division dominated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in recent seasons.

Spring training has begun in Arizona and Florida, and 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper remains unsigned. Other major free agents that are still unsigned include 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Kuechel and World Series champion relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel.

Free agent rumors have included Harper resigning with the Washington Nationals, signing with division rival Philadelphia Phillies, signing with the New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants, a “mystery team” or joining the Alliance of American Football. Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, have yet to strike a deal worth more than $300 million.

I love watching both players. I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and have loved rooting for Bryce Harper through the years. The 26-year-old might be one of the most exciting players in baseball, but no one is really worth anything north of $300 million. Not Harper. Not Machado.

The Nationals reportedly offered Harper a 10-year, $300 million contract at the end of last season, which was his original asking price.

He declined that offer, seeking more money. Harper is the type of player who can have an MVP season every few years, but he is probably disappointed that more offers were not brought to the table.

Let’s face it, Harper only hit .249 last season — the second worst of his career — and had a WAR of 1.3, which was also second worst of his career.

His defensive decline has scared off teams like the New York Yankees, and the free agent market had gone cold for those who thought he would have signed by Christmas.

Justin Verlander, the former MVP, Cy Young Award winner and Rookie of the Year, had some thoughts on the current free agent system and wrote on Twitter that the “System is broken” when referring to the debacle that is MLB Free Agency.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said, “Unless something changes, there’s going to be a strike, 100 percent. I’m just worried people are going to walk out midseason … Thirty owners need to be answering that because you have one of the best players in the game that needs a job, and no one is signing him. You’ve got 30 owners who have a sabermetric box that will sign players when they were in that box. They don’t take any intangibles or anything else into play and that’s a sad thing.”

On one hand, these free agents owe it to other players to work for these big contracts.

On the other hand, no one is worth the stupid amount of money that teams are willing to throw around.

By: Michael Rauber | Staff Writer