Darren Dreifort has reportedly retiredSurprise!after watching his $55 M, five-year contract run out with the Dodgers at the end of last season. And when I say "watch", I mean that Dreifort spent all of 2005 on the disabled list, while garnering $13.4 M yet.
Dreifort hasn't pitched in a game since given up two runs in 1.2 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Marlins on August 16, 2004. The loss ran Dreifort's career totals to 48 wins against 60 losses. Dreifort, a starting pitcher at the beginning of the contract, hasn't started a game since he lost 6-0 to the Rockies on May 28, 2003. He lasted just three innings and gave up nine hits, four walks, six runs, and one home run. It ended his season 52 games into the Dodger schedule.
In total, Dreifort only pitched in three of the five years in his elephantine contract, and in that span he went 8-15 in 86 games only 26 of which were starts, he threw 205.2 innings and had a 4.64 ERA. Basically, the Dodgers paid $55 M for what amounts to one bad year for a starter.
It made me wonder, now that Dreifort's career is apparently in the can (and I won't say what can that is unless I wish to incur the FCC's ire), could Dreifort's be the most expensive career of all time. That is, did he give his team, the Dodgers, the least production for the most pay ever?
I ran the numbers, and well, I'll let them speak for themselves. Just keep in mind that I looked at total salary over a player's career and total career Win Shares. A player had to make at least one million dollars over his career and collect at least one Win Share. Here are the top 25, or rather bottom 25, in terms of dollars per Win Share:
$ per WS
Chan Ho Park
Congratulations to Darren. That's quite a list of characters to lead. And Dreifort did it in dramatic fashion, costing his team $1.6 M per Win Share, over $400 K more than the next worst. It's quite a way to go out.