Mandatory Credit: NYDN
#4 Mike Mussina, New York Yankees (2001) 6 years-$88.5 million
$88.5 million dollars is a lot to spend on a 31-year old pitcher, and six years is a long investment as well, but he did perform well in the Yankee pinstripes. Mike Mussina didn’t win Cy Young Awards with the Yankees, nor did he win 20 games until his last year, which was an extension year with the team.
He did however, provide quality starts every fifth day, and his leadership in the clubhouse was truly priceless. Being a team player can be very important when constructing a championship team. 92 wins and a 3.65 ERA in the term of the six-year deal was not too bad a return on the Yankee investment. 187 total games started and a WHIP at 1.003 during the contract.
He was awarded three Gold Gloves while a Yankee, but the team never managed a World Series title while he was there. As a team, they fell short of their ultimate goal, but value-wise, the Yankees got a lot for their money. Mussina went on to retire after posting a 20-9 record with a 3.37 earned run average and a 1.223 WHIP. He finished sixth in the Cy Young Award balloting that year, but at the age of 40, decided to hang them up despite still being an effective pitcher.