Almost all of this was reasonable at the time. That’s how any bad decision usually starts, right?This Washington Wizards Disagree with giving John Wall more than $150 million to wear streetwear. They did it because he was unquestionably their best player and he had a great season.
So when Stephen Strasburg signed him to a seven-year, $245 million deal in December 2019, “Stephen! Stephen!” Nationals‘The championship parade is still relatively new. After all, he was the MVP of the World Series. For a man nicknamed “Strathmas” on his debut, the contract was the biggest gift ever given to the ace pitcher. The trade was largely celebrated as a win, even as slugger Anthony Rendon entered free agency.
However, like Wall, Strasbourg’s contract hasn’t aged well – to say the least.
Another injury last week saw Strasbourg suspended indefinitely — meaning he has pitched a total of 311/3 innings in eight games since signing the contract more than three years ago. The deal — $35 million a year on the books — promises to end up being the worst deal in Washington sports history, along with Wall, Albert Haynesworth and a few others whose deals now have fans cringe when grown up.
Investing in Strasbourg also has many warning signs. Even before his latest bout of illness – stemming from thoracic outlet syndrome, a neurological disorder – Strasbourg’s injury history was extensive. Strains, soreness and surgery seem to be on the injured list every year. The three-time All-Star 2019 — where he led the National League in pitching percentage with 209 innings — was an outlier, not the norm.
Still, fans want Strasbourg to stay. Nationals Bryce Harper had already lost free agency the year before, and Rendon didn’t continue to perform at a high level with the Los Angeles Angels. The slugger was also hit hard. “For me, he deserves the contract,” Nationals coach Dave Martinez told reporters last week of Strasbourg. “He really did. You see what he did, if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have won the world championship. No one could have predicted what would happen.”
The same can be said for other terrible contracts, though. Haynesworth played back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2010 when he signed a seven-year, $100 million deal. He is considered one of the best defensive linebackers in football.
Nonetheless, Haynesworth soon clashed with the coach. He was underwhelming, appearing in just 20 games over two seasons with 6 ½ sacks. The tenure was so bad that the NFL Network called the signing the worst in a decade. Haynesworth wrote on the Players Forum that if he had to do it all over again, he would never leave the Tennessee Titans.
wall? His career changed forever when he slipped out of the shower and tore his Achilles tendon.Injuries eventually lead to Wizards Parted ways with the guard, swapping him with former MVP Russell Westbrook. Wall’s career has yet to recover. He reportedly missed the entire season last season as he and the Houston Rockets failed to agree on a role. He has played a total of 40 games since he signed a four-year, $170 million contract at the start of the 2019-20 season.
This Wizards Burgundy and gold have a long history of unfortunate trades. Forget Wall and Haynesworth. In hindsight, there were plenty of other terrible deals. For the commanders, Deion Sanders (seven years, $56 million), Adam Archuleta (seven years, $35 million) and Jeremiah Trotter (seven years, $36 million) all fit the fascination of boss Dan Snyder’s early years Attention-grabbing signings are completely counterproductive.
This Wizards‘The list is just as ugly: Juwan Howard (7 years, $105 million), Gilbert Arenas (7 years, $122 million) and Ian Mahinmi (4 years, $64 million). The latter was immediately seen as an inexplicable decision, despite Mahinmi’s reputation for protecting the rim.
Make no mistake, the Washington Capitals aren’t entirely out of the woods in the bad trade either. Jaromir Jagr did help the Capitals make the playoffs, but he didn’t honor the seven-year, $77 million contract Washington gave him when they bought him from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nicklas Backstrom signed a five-year, $46 million deal and could be on his roster soon, depending on the status of his hip injury.
As for Strasbourg, there is no man-made injury root cause.There are many in the area – including in Nationals‘ Clubhouse – Hope the pitcher (ribs) is fully recovered. They also hope the 33-year-old will remain healthy after that.
But if Strasbourg’s season is over, maybe it’s best not to look at his innings.