Alex Trautwig - Getty Images
A pair of 2012 Mets were among the Majors' least economically valuable. Can you guess who they are? (You probably can)
Over the last month, there has been a lot of conversation about the Most Valuable Player awards around baseball, especially with regards to the tight American League race between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. In contrast, not much ever gets made of the Least Valuable Players in the league because there is no award for it (and really, that would just be cruel). Of course, that doesn't mean that those players who robbed their team of value should get off scot-free.
In that vein, Beyond The Boxscore released a list of the Least Valuable Players in MLB and there are some familiar faces in there. The Net Value of a player is found by taking Fangraphs WAR, multiplying that by $4.5 million (the price for 1 WAR) and then subtracting the player's salary.
It shouldn't be a shock to Mets fans but Jason Bay landed fourth on the list, as he managed to cost the Mets nearly $20 million worth of value compared to his contract thanks to a woeful 2012 campaign that saw him hit .165/.237/.299 in just 215 plate appearances. Combined with his average to below average defense, you get an albatross and one that happens to be on the Mets' payroll for another season.
A few spots below Bay was old friend Jeff Francoeur, who managed an impressive -1.2 WAR over 561 plate appearances with the Royals (and an even worse -2.7 by Baseball Reference's standards). Of course, we all know that Frenchy's smile is worth millions of dollars on its own and his ability to tell his teammates when to shave is invaluable!
That's right. The man who tossed the Mets' first no-hitter just four months ago had the largest discrepancy between his 2012 value and his contract, among pitchers. The first two months of the season, which saw Johan pitch like it was 2006 again, were capped off by his June 1st no-hitter. Unfortunately, the season raveled apart for him soon after and in his last five starts, he allowed a whopping 33 runs over just 19 innings.
Sneaking in at the bottom of the pitcher's list is former Mets' closer Francisco Rodriguez, who had an up and down season as the Brewers' set-up man. Just think: he could've put up that season while making $17.5 million for the Mets.