7) Worst contracts in the AL East: Manuel Margot
The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the most fiscally responsible teams in the league. Despite never having a high payroll, they're always able to field teams that wind up being postseason or even World Series contenders. This season has been no exception.
They just made their most expensive free agent addition, bringing in Zach Eflin on a three-year deal this past offseason. Sure enough, Eflin has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season. Unfortunately, not even the Rays can hit a 100% success rate when it comes to the contracts they hand out. The contract they gave to Manuel Margot hasn't aged very well.
The Rays gave the former Red Sox prospect Margot a two-year deal worth $19 million. That deal might not be so bad for teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, but Margot is the Rays' most expensive position player in terms of his 2023 salary. When looking at it from that lens and the fact that they could've used that money on a better player, it's a bad contract.
This season, Margot is slashing .249/.298/.356 with three home runs and 29 RBI in 84 games. He's mostly a platoon player at this point when the Rays roster is whole.
Margot is making $7 million this season, $10 million next season, and he has a mutual option for $12 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2025 campaign. Again, it's not a horrific contract when thinking about it with a Red Sox payroll. The Rays' most expensive position player is a bench bat.