If the 2019 season taught us anything, it’s that $1.32 billion does not equal a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. That is a lesson the Colorado Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels learned the hard way.
The $1.32 billion is the total combined contracts these four teams shelled out for Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Mike Trout last offseason. However, these teams ended the season a combined 60 games under .500, with the Phillies leading the way with a meager 81-81 record. With the lackluster performances in the standings, it begs this question: Which team has received the best return on their investment so far after one season?
Nolan Arenado — 8 years/$260 Million
Arenado had arguably his best season in his seven-year career. He had career highs in batting average and OPS while striking out 29 fewer times than the previous season. He also provided his typical production numbers in home runs and RBI and should receive his sixth consecutive Gold Glove. Unfortunately, the Rockies pitching was atrocious, causing a 20-game difference in the win column from 2018.