Got Rich Quick (lucrative contacts on short term performance)

Wallball Tingle

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Jul 16, 2005
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I was thinking about players who made big money on a season's or postseason's worth of excellence. The two intra-division examples that come to mind are Derek Lowe's October 2004 (bless him, 4-year, 36M contact immediately following, probably made at least 10M in a month) and the Orioles' Chris Davis's 2013 (7-year, 161M contract immediately following, had to have been at least 60M more on his contract than if it had been after his good 2012).

David Price definitely doesn't count (too good for too many years before the big contract), for example.

Who made the most on the least?

Edit: crap, I think I got Davis's timing wrong. Whatever.
 

inJacobyWeTrust

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Jacoby Ellsbury comes to mind. Got a huge contract based on basically one season of star level performance. There were a few unspectacular years between his ridiculous 2011 and his ridiculous contract in 2013-2014, but I think he fits the bill.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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Jul 15, 2005
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How about all that port Mark Blount was able to buy with $41 million? I know that's a pittance now and probably close to vet minimum, but he showcased himself properly in a contract year.
 

Back Bay

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Dec 9, 2008
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Hill turns a great month in Boston into nearly $50M contract with the Dodgers. He's living rich now.
 

sean1562

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Sep 17, 2011
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Hill turns a great month in Boston into nearly $50M contract with the Dodgers. He's living rich now.
Looking at his career earnings, man, really hit the jackpot in his late 30s. I imagine he never even dreamed of having the kind of cash he has now. good for him.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Actually Hill turned the great month in Boston into a one year, 6 mil deal with Oakland. He had a good year there (and in LA) which got him the 50 mil deal.

If you want to go back a bit, how about Mark Davis? Journeyman reliever had a couple of good years as closer in SD including a Cy Young in 1989, signs with KC for what was big money at the time (9.4 mil for 3 years) and never again has a good season.
 

ngruz25

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Sep 20, 2005
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My first thought was B.J. Ryan, who turned a couple good years as a middle reliever and one dominant year as a closer into the second biggest reliever contract of all time (at the time).

Unsurprisingly that one didn't pan out for the Blue Jays.
 

InstaFace

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It's hard for this to apply to the NFL's largely-unguaranteed contracts, but Albert Haynesworth? His 2008 turns into a 7-year-$100M deal with $41M guaranteed and $32M in the first 13 months. By the end of the 2nd year of the contract the team was basically putting him in detention, gets traded to New England for a bag of balls, and is then released 6 games later (after fighting with Pepper Johnson), and then by TB 7 games later.
 

tims4wins

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Jul 15, 2005
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My first thought was B.J. Ryan, who turned a couple good years as a middle reliever and one dominant year as a closer into the second biggest reliever contract of all time (at the time).

Unsurprisingly that one didn't pan out for the Blue Jays.
BJ Ryan was good for years, as you noted.

The best NFL one I have is Larry Brown, Super Bowl MVP in 1995, who signed a 5 year, $12.5M deal with Oakland that offseason, then was waived after playing just 12 games

Edit: BJ Ryan was also awesome his first year in Toronto (72+ IP, .857 WHIP, 86K, 1.37 ERA). He then got hurt and was never the same (although decent in 2008, 2.95 ERA, 58 K in 58 IP)
 
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Ford Frick's Asterisk

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May 5, 2017
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Wasn't Gary Matthews Jr. the poster boy for this? He bounced around for years as a defensive center fielder who couldn't hit. Then he turned one Texas-inflated All-Star season at age 31 into a 5 year/$50 million deal from the Angels. He then put up 30 HR/30 SB stretched out over 3 seasons, with an 86 OPS+ before they cut their losses. In the last year of the deal he was payed $12 million not to play.
 

Ramon AC

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Apr 19, 2002
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What?
Chone Figgins puts up a defense-heavy 7.7 bWAR, gets $35m over 4 years from Seattle, proceeds to post a total of -.9 over the next three years before being released.
 

curly2

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Jul 8, 2003
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Showing my age here, but Wayne Garland had a very good year for the Orioles at age 25, was eligible for free agency under the old rules and signed a 10-year contract with the Indians.

Needless to say, it did not go well.