2023 has been a roller coaster year for the Chicago Cubs. At times they've looked like the best team in the division. At other times they have struggled to even get to the .500 mark. The front office has been trying though with plenty of contracts getting handed out in the past couple of offseasons, including the second largest in team history to Dansby Swanson ($177 million).
However, some of these contracts are starting to look pretty bad when you compare the value to the results each respective player is putting up. If the Cubs want to get going and start putting up a convincing fight in the division, these guys are going to have to start earning their paychecks. Here are the five worst contracts the Cubs have on the books right now in no particular order.
1. RF Seiya Suzuki $17 million in 2023
Prior to the 2022 season, the Chicago Cubs brought outfielder Seiya Suzuki over from Nippon Professional League in Japan. The Cubs gave Suzuki a five-year deal worth $85 million with an average annual salary of $17 million, which is exactly how much he will make in 2023. But Suzuki has not quite earned that big paycheck so far. While the 28-year-old can play good defense in right field, his bat is much to be desired.
In 298 plate appearances this year, Suzuki is slashing .259/.342/.405 with a wRC+ of 105. Those numbers are slightly above league average, but the power department is where Suzuki really needs to step it up. He has hit just 7 home runs this season with 13 doubles. According to his baseball savant page, Suzuki is hitting the ball hard when he makes contact and he isn't chasing a lot of pitches outside of the strike zone. The problem is he isn't getting the barrel to the ball enough of the time.
I'm not saying we need to cast Seiya Suzuki aside, but it is concerning that he is one of the team's highest-paid position players and his bat is not getting the results the team needs. During his time with the Hiroshima Carp, Suzuki hit 25+ home runs in six different seasons. There is an obvious lack of power on the Cubs right now and they need Suzuki to start driving the ball out of the park to help bring consistency to the offense.