Cardinals: Ranking the 10 worst contracts in the National League Central Division

The NL Central, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, generally doesn't have a ton of bad contracts, however, no organization is immune to mistakes. Today, we'll sift through the worst deals in the division!
Steven Matz faces the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium
Steven Matz faces the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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8) Ke'Bryan Hayes

Ke'Bryan Hayes is not the kind of name you want to see on a list like this. He's a truly otherworldly defender who could someday win platinum gloves. In fact, he could start doing that immediately, and seems like a solid bet to usurp Nolan Arenado as the sport's premium defensive third basemen at some point. It's his offensive profile that's full of question marks. After setting the world on fire in a 2020 cameo, Hayes has been a disappointing hitter to say the least.

This is probably his best full season offensively, and he currently carries an on-base percentage of .291. He draws very few walks and rarely taps into what some believed could be a solid power tool. Hayes signed an eight-year extension worth $70MM prior to the 2023 season. It'll keep him under club control through the 2030 season. While that deal is only in its first year, it's difficult to argue that Hayes has been anything other than disappointing.

It should also be noted that Hayes has had some injury concerns. This season alone has involved two separate IL stints, both related to back issues. Even if Hayes remains at this level of offensive production for the rest of his career, it won't be a terrible deal. His defense is that good. But, it will be a disappointing contract, and in the extremely conservative NL Central, that qualifies as a bad contract.