It’s amazing when you go back and look at the expectations everyone had for the 2013 season, and then to see how everything actually panned out. Many picked the Washington Nationals to win the World Series and they were hardly even contenders for a wildcard spot. A lot of people speculated that, with all of their offseason acquisitions, the Toronto Blue Jays would make noise in the AL East and potentially even win the division, but that couldn’t have been any further from the truth. There are guys every year that are overpaid and overrated, but you don’t expect them to perform quite so poorly. Let’s take a look at this year’s biggest disappointments around the majors:
Pitcher: R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays. When you compare the expectations we all had for Dickey to how he actually performed in 2013, you start to feel for the Blue Jays a little bit. Dickey went from 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA with the Mets in 2012 to 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA with the Blue Jays in 2013. Ouch. Especially, when you’re paying the guy $5 million.
Catcher: Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks looked to be one of the contenders for the NL West division title early on, but their struggles let any postseason hopes slip away. Montero signed a five-year $60 million contract with the D-Backs prior to the season, but Arizona only saw his numbers decrease in 2013. He hit a disappointing 230/.318/.344 with 11 homers and 42 RBI.
First Base: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels. Maybe it was the transition from the NL to AL, but Pujols hasn’t been the same guy since he put on an Angels uniform. His average was the lowest it’s been in his 13-year career and his strikeouts just about matched his last year in St. Louis even though he had half as many at-bats. Ten years and $240 million is starting to look like a decision the Angels will regret.
Second Base: Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves. First off, Uggla has never been a guy that is going to hit for a high average. He’s got a lot of pop and can single-handedly win games. That’s still the case for Uggla, but the Braves didn’t know exactly how bad his downside could be. After a career-worst .179 average and 171 strikeouts, Atlanta is counting down the years until his contract is up.
Third Base: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals. Zimmerman didn’t have a disappointing season offensively as much as he did defensively. With 21 errors on the season and a career-low fielding percentage of .945 his future as a third baseman is in question.
Shortstop: Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs. One of the biggest disappointments of the entire season was Castro. He was supposed to be a cornerstone and important building block for Chicago, but instead took a giant step backwards. He hit .245/.284/.347 on the year and stole only nine bases. Instead of being an everyday player, he was more of a fill-in.
Outfield: Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays. After a career year last year with the Giants, Melky looked poised to be an MVP candidate and powerhouse for the Blue Jays in 2013. Unfortunately, Cabrera looked more like the guy that was in Atlanta in 2010. $8 million down the drain.
Outfield: B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves. The Braves signed Upton to their largest contract in franchise history worth $75.25 million over five years. After year one, it’s looking like one of the biggest contract busts in MLB history. B.J. hit just .184 with 9 homers and 26 RBI for Atlanta this year. He’s one expensive bench player.
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels. Like the Braves, the Angels have more than one player on this list. Hamilton hit 45 points below his career average and knocked in a disappointing 79 runs on the season. Despite all of that, he still gets paid the $17.4 million he is owed.