Alex Rodriguez will make more money than all the Houston Astros combined.
That's crazy. One player is going to earn more than an entire team, and considering that baseball teams field 25-man rosters, that is quite impressive.
A-Rod is no longer a superstar, but he still gets paid like one. He's set to collect $29 million in 2013, making him the sport's highest paid player for the 13th straight season. The lowly Astros, by comparison, have trimmed their payroll to $25 million, equal to Cliff Lee's salary and easily the lowest in baseball. They've lost more than 100 games in each of the past two seasons and aren't expected to do much better after moving to the American League West.
Rodriguez's outlook isn't much brighter. He's expected to miss the entire first half as he works his way back from offseason hip surgery, and Brian Cashman acknowledged it's possible that the three-time MVP won't play at all this year.
A-Rod isn't the only pricey player opening the season on the Disabled List, though. Teammate Mark Teixeira (price tag: $23.1 million) is on the mend until May with a strained wrist. Johan Santana ($24.6 million) might never pitch ago after going under the knife for a second shoulder surgery. Rodriguez's injury is serious, but the Yankees and their fans should be thankful (or not) that at least it isn't career-threatening.
But even if he comes roaring back with a monster second half, he still won't do enough to earn his paycheck. The market rate for a win above replacement is about $5 million these days, meaning Rodriguez would have to be worth six wins to justify his earnings. He hasn't had a season that good since 2008 and has averaged 3.6 bWAR per year since. Given his age (37), eroding skills and inability to stay healthy, it's safe to say he will be grossly overpaid until the day he retires.