Dead money is a fascinating concept in Major League Baseball. Think back to the scene in Moneyball where Billy Bean explains to a disgruntled David Justice that the Yankees are paying half his salary. To play in Oakland.
That is called dead money; when teams pay players to play somewhere else. Sometimes that money is determined via trade, other times from being released before a contract ends.
The most famous case of dead money is Bobby Bonilla. In 1999, the Mets released Bobby Bonilla with $5.9 million remaining on his contract. Instead of paying the remainder in one lump sum, Bonilla agreed to terms with the Mets for deferred payments, with interest, beginning in 2011 and ending in 2035.
New York now pays Bonilla $1.19 million annually, and will end up paying him $29.8 million dollars in deferred payments. That’s a lot of dead money.
Below you will find a list of the 15 richest dead money salaries in MLB this season.
15. Cameron Maybin – $2.5 million from Braves to Tigers
Just 29-years-old, Maybin has never been a superstar baseball player. It’s no surprise then that after a mediocre season in Atlanta where the speedster hit .267 and scored 65 runs in 141 games, the Braves shipped him out of town. Maybin was traded to Detroit and is hoping to make an impact with the team that originally called him up to the majors in 2007.
14. Erick Aybar – $2.5 million from Braves to Angels
The Angels sent Aybar packing after the 2015 season, paying him a small fortune to play in Atlanta. A career .273 hitter, the 32-year-old shortstop was replaced by Andrelton Simmons, winner of two Golden Gloves in Atlanta. At 26-years-old, Simmons is also entering his prime while Aybar is exiting his.
13. Martin Prado – $3 million from Yankees to Marlins
Prado spent the first seven years of his career in Atlanta proving himself as an everyday player before being traded to Arizona in 2012. In 2013, he signed a $40 million extension with the Diamondbacks and was traded to the Yankees one year later. Burdened with his contract and disappointed with his performance, the Yankees traded Prado to the Marlins six months later and are now paying $3 million of his yearly salary as a result.