Joe Posnanski of SI.com recently complied his list of “anti-award” winners for both the American and National Leagues.
The AL Least Valuable Player (LVP) was Toronto Blue Jays’ centerfielder Vernon Wells. Runners-up for this designation included Yuniesky Betancourt, Kansas City Royals; Jhonny Peralta, Cleveland Indians; Alex Rios, Blue Jays/Chicago White Sox; and Jose Guillen, Royals.
Milton Bradley, rightfielder for the Chicago Cubs, was the National League LVP. Other names mentioned for the NL LVP included Emilio Bonifacio, Florida Marlins; Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta Braves/New York Mets; Jason Kendall, Milwaukee Brewers; Russell Martin, Los Angeles Dodgers; Edgar Renteria, San Francisco Giants; and Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs.
Posnanski’s analysis was based mostly on the players production in relation to their salary, which is the main reason Bradley and Wells took home the prize. Both players are perfect examples of what baseball insiders and prognosticators view as “unmovable contracts.” In recent years, many teams were trying to adopt the “Yankees” approach by buying a World Series’ contender. However, some teams such as the Cubs and Blue Jays gave big money to players like Soriano, Bradley, and Wells and are now wishing they could find a trade market for these players.
One obvious omission is Barry Zito (LHP) of the San Francisco Giants. Last year, Zito posted 10 wins and 13 losses, along with an ERA of 4.03. While not terrible numbers, is that really the production the Giants were looking to get for 18.5 million? What do you think of Posnanski’s analysis? Is there anyone else that should be included in this list?