No. 4: Mike Moustakas, $34M remaining
After signing back-to-back one-year deals with the Royals and Brewers, respectively, Moustakas finally parlayed his career-long solid performances into a multi-year pact, coming to agreement with the Reds on a four-year, $64M contract.
Just to make things fun – okay, actually in deference to Eugenio Suarez at third base – Cincinnati installed Moose as their regular second baseman. He played there for the first time professional the season before with Milwaukee, but going into a season knowing the keystone would be his primary position was a new experience for Moustakas. His defense certainly wasn’t going to win any awards, but a second sacker with an above-average bat is a nice thing.
The problem is, Moustakas was just barely above average at the dish in 2020, and he’s been below average ever since. Additionally, he’s missed about half the Reds’ game since signing due to a mixture of maladies hampering various parts of his body. That’s not something a small-market team like Cincinnati can endure well, though Moustakas’ contract is far from justification for the teardown the Reds have undergone the last two years.
However, the overall circumstances of each team have to be considered in an evaluation of what makes a bad contract, and from the Reds’ point of view, this has been, and will continue to be, a regrettable signing.