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Albert Pujols is crowned Worst Contract In Baseball by ESPN

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball writer Dan Szymborkski just published an article for ESPN Insider that names the MLB's Top 25 biggest albatrosses aka Worst Contract Ever Award. Now, you've probably already seen the headline of the article you're currently reading, and you're also probably a big Angels fan, so the fact that Albert Pujols comes out as the biggest contract loser of them all should be no surprise whatsoever. The only REALLY surprising thing is that the Angels had only one player on the list, but we've known for awhile that the Pujols deal is terrible and we're still feeling its morale-destroying reverberations.

First, take a look at Szymborski's methodology:

Essentially, I'm asking this: Who are the least valuable assets in baseball from a business perspective?

To answer this question, I started out with the ZiPS projections and calculated the difference between the projected long-term performance and how much a team is projected to pay for that performance for every player in baseball, whether from a signed contract or from predicting arbitration-year salaries. That difference, known as surplus value, is expressed in wins rather than dollars; raw dollars can be misleading given that a dollar committed for 2030 (see: Chris Davis contract breakdown) and a dollar committed for 2016 are two very different things.

Now, a computer is good at sifting through large data sets, but it can't know everything about a particular team's situation or how a player is perceived around the league, things that affect a player's ultimate value. A hammer is a good tool for inserting nails, but a poor one for baking a cake. So this list isn't ordered simply by computer readout. There's some personal judgment blended in here as well, which is included in each player's write up.

1. Albert Pujols, 1B

10 years, $240M (2012-21)

Guaranteed left: $165M

Surplus value: minus-15.7 wins

Woohoo! We're #1. We're #1. Oh, wait...

Personally, I don't really need to see ANY methodology or look at any list to know just how much of an epic faceplant Pujols' deal is. But the proof is in rancid pudding, and if we could have gotten a few years out of Albert, then awesome. There was a time when we were hoping he'd come to the Angels and get back to his pre-2011 status as a premier slugger in the MLB. 2011 was a down year for Pujols, you see, when he ONLY provided a little over 5 WAR. Then there was the period where we hoped he could just replicate that "down" year of 2011, only for the Angels. Now we find ourselves in a headspace where we hope he can just play baseball competently and hit some dingers. Oh, remember when the Angels were already thinking of what to do when Albert chases down the home run record? Can they even bank on that public relations boon at this point?

Maybe. But probably not, judging by his health and decline in the game. I was on a Coachella Valley radio station last week for an interview about the Angels, and I tried to push this fact into the listener's brains: the Angels will be paying Pujols $30 million in 2021. Let that sink in. I'll wait.

It's seriously one of the craziest, but totally real, Angels-related sentences a fan can say out loud; when it leaves your lips you automatically think "no, that can't be right". But it's right, he's our Albert-tross, alright.

It was the Day of the Panther around these parts...we were so excited. Arte had made the biggest move of his time as Angels owner...and now it's blowing up in his face. We should be used to it by now, but then lists like this pop up again and our palms rise up from our desks to meet our faces in disgust and shame.

Six more years of Albert Pujols, guys. SIX. MORE. YEARS.

Here's the rest of the list, for your schadenfreude pleasure:

2. Robinson Cano, 2B

10 years, $240M (2014-23)

Guaranteed left: $192M

Surplus value: minus-11.1 wins

3. Prince Fielder, DH/1B

9 years, $214M (2012-20)

Guaranteed left: $90M

Surplus value: minus-9.1 wins

4. Matt Kemp, OF

8 years, $160M (2012-19)

Guaranteed left: $72M

Surplus value: minus-9.0 wins

5. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

8 years, $248M (2016-23)

Guaranteed left: $248M

Surplus value: minus-11.1 wins

6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

5 years, $95M (2015-19)

Guaranteed left: $75M

Surplus value: minus-7.9 wins

7. Joe Mauer, 1B

8 years, $184M (2011-18)

Guaranteed left: $69M

Surplus value: minus-7.5 wins

8. Ian Kennedy, SP

5 years, $70M (2016-20)

Guaranteed left: $70M

Surplus value: minus-7.6 wins

9. Yasmany Tomas, OF/3B

6 years, $68.5M (2015-20)

Guaranteed left: $63M

Surplus value: minus-7.1 wins

10. Hanley Ramirez, 1B

4 years, $88M (2015-18)

Guaranteed left: $66M

Surplus value: minus-5.4 wins

11. Ryan Howard, 1B

5 years, $125M (2012-16)

Guaranteed left: $35M

Surplus value: minus-5.3 wins

12. Shin-Soo Choo, RF

7 years, $130M (2014-20)

Guaranteed left: $102M

Surplus value: minus-9.0 wins

13. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

7 years, $153M (2014-20)

Guaranteed left: $110.7M

Surplus value: minus-7.6 wins

14. Justin Verlander, SP

7 years, $180M (2013-19)

Guaranteed left: $112M

Surplus value: minus-7.0 wins

15. Jose Reyes, SS

6 years, $106M (2012-17)

Guaranteed left: $48M

Surplus value: minus-4.5 wins

16. Elvis Andrus, SS

8 years, $120M (2015-22)

Guaranteed left: $103M

Surplus value: minus-5.6 wins

17. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B

6 years, $100M (2014-19)

Guaranteed left: $62M

Surplus value: minus-7.0 wins

18. Matt Cain, SP

6 years, $127.5M (2012-17)

Guaranteed left: $47.5M

Surplus value: minus-6.6 wins

19. Jayson Werth, OF

7 years, $126M (2011-17)

Guaranteed left: $42M

Surplus value: minus-5.8 wins

20. Victor Martinez, DH

4 years, $68M (2015-18)

Guaranteed left: $54M

Surplus value: minus-5.5 wins

21. Rusney Castillo, OF

7 years, $72.5M (2014-20)

Guaranteed left: $56.5M

Surplus value: minus-6.2 wins

22. Carl Crawford, LF

7 years, $142M (2011-17)

Guaranteed left: $41.75M

Surplus value: minus-5.0 wins

23. Ervin Santana, SP

4 years, $55M (2015-18)

Guaranteed left: $40.5M

Surplus value: minus-3.7 wins

24. David Wright, 3B

8 years, $138M (2013-20)

Guaranteed left: $87M

Surplus value: minus-4.4 wins

25. Homer Bailey, SP