Baltimore Orioles: Ten Most Haunting Contracts In Franchise History
By Nick Stevens
Albert Belle- 5 year/$65 million
Twelve major league seasons, five All-Star appearances, five Silver Slugger awards, 381 career home runs, 389 doubles, and a career slash line of .295/.369/.564 aren’t typically numbers that would describe someone appearing on a list of haunting contracts. Unfortunately, for Albert Belle, a degenerative hip condition cut short a possible Hall of Fame career and left the Orioles without their $65 million man just two years into a five-year deal.
Belle played in 161 games in his first season in Baltimore, hitting .297 with a .400 OBP and 37 home runs. The Orioles wanted a powerful bat in the heart of their lineup and Belle wasted no time in delivering.
The following season, a 33-year-old Belle would play in his final 141 major league games, hitting .281 with 23 home runs and 103 RBI. It was the fewest number of home runs in a single season for Belle and his 0.6 bWAR was a significant drop from his 3.4 bWAR the previous season and 7.1 bWAR in 1998. He was forced to call it a career after the 2000 season.
There’s a lot to discuss and unpack when talking about Belle’s personality and off the field actions, but there’s no denying the value he provided in a major league lineup.