San Diego Padres: Ranking the 10 worst contracts in the NL West right now

The worst contracts in the NL West give a glimpse into why the 2023 season has been so bad for the San Diego Padres

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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The San Diego Padres are a team putting a lot of money into their payroll as they eye the franchise's first World Series championship. It's unlikely to come in 2023 as the team entered a critical homestand at 56-62 and 5.5 games back of a playoff spot. However, with the roster they have, a championship could come as soon as next season if A.J. Preller plays his cards right.

The Padres are just one of a few big spending teams in the NL West. The Dodgers are consistently among the league leaders in payroll, the Giants just attempted to add a ton of money to their payroll with Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa even if those deals failed to finalize, and the Rockies have had their moments when they're willing to spend some money as well.

There will always be diamonds in the rough and there will also be lucrative deals that fans can deem to be fair, but there're also some horrific contracts in the NL West. Here are the 10 worst.

10) Worst contracts in the NL West: Matt Carpenter of the San Diego Padres

It looked like Matt Carpenter had revived his career. He was on his way towards retirement after doing practically nothing at the MLB level from 2019-2021 before suddenly having a monster year in 2022 for the Yankees. They signed him out of desperation as they were dealing with a slew of injuries, and Carpenter rewarded them with 15 home runs and a whopping 219 OPS+ in just 47 games played.

After watching Carpenter go on the best stretch of his career out of nowhere, the Padres signed him to a two-year deal worth $12 million. He's earning $3.5 million this season, and has a player option worth $5.5 million for 2024. He also earned a $3 million signing bonus.

Carpenter was brought in to be the primary DH against right-handed pitching and got off to a good start, posting a .908 OPS in the month of April when virtually nobody else outside of Xander Bogaerts was hitting. Since the calendar flipped to May, Carpenter has done little offensively.

The veteran infielder has just 15 hits in his last 117 at-bats since May 1. He's slashing .128/.262/.197 in that time with one home run and 11 RBI. Remember, this is the primary DH we're talking about here. Carpenter has a handful of appearances at first base and has pinch hit on occasion, but he's mainly been a DH.

The worst part about this, is Carpenter hasn't appeared in a game since he pinch hit on July 24. He's gone almost one month without appearing in a game, yet he continues to occupy a roster spot. The contract is likely the only reason why San Diego hasn't cut bait yet.