Cubs: Ranking the 7 worst contracts in the NL Central

The NL Central doesn't have as many bad contracts as other divisions, but there are a few that really stand out - and not in a good way.

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Bad contracts are part of baseball. They're part of sports, for that matter. The Cubs have, more or less, avoided them of late (although not entirely). It also helps that Chicago has tended to avoid those decade-long albatross deals, in general, but that's a different story altogether.

Looking around the National League Central, there are definitely some deals that are dead weight, dragging teams down. Some are longer-term liabilities while other are expiring pacts that just haven't worked out, leaving teams paying down deals while guys finish out their respective contracts playing elsewhere.

So let's jump in and take a look at 7 bad contracts around the NL Central. And, yes, the Cubs will make a couple of appearances on this list.

Cubs: Ranking the 7 worst contracts in the NL Central - #7: Christian Yelich

A year or two ago, Christian Yelich would have likely challenged for the top spot on a list like this, but the former National League MVP has enjoyed a resurgent 2023 campaign at the plate and is closer to being the run-producing presence he once was for Milwaukee.

A 131 OPS+ to go along with 27 doubles and 23 stolen bases has the remaining six years and $136-156 million (depending on whether or not Milwaukee picks up the option year in 2029) looking like less of a disaster now. Of course, that assumes Yelich will continue doing what he's done this year and won't be the roughly league average bat he was from 2020 to 2022, but he's at least trending in the right direction.

The Brewers also have the benefit of pretty much zero other high-dollar contracts on the books long-term, so having one - even if it doesn't look like the match made in heaven it once did - shouldn't cripple them.