What has two heads, four arms, an injured elbow, a balky wrist, a combined 4.35 ERA in 2019 and is owed $62 million annually through 2022?
The answer, unfortunately for the Boston Red Sox and erstwhile president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, is the hobbled pitching duo of Chris Sale and David Price.
After winning three consecutive division titles and hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy in 2018, the Sox have crashed back down to earth. They're mired in third place in the American League East behind the archrival New York Yankees and scrappy small-market Tampa Bay Rays, and they will almost certainly miss the playoffs.
On Sunday, Boston fired Dombrowski, who took over in August 2015 and initiated an all-in era that included the aforementioned 2018 championship but also decimated the club's farm system and added weighty, possibly debilitating payroll obligations.
The Red Sox will pay $32 million to Price every season through 2022 and $30 million annually to Sale, plus an additional $27.5 million for Sale in 2023 and 2024.
On top of that, add $17 million for Nathan Eovaldi in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The Red Sox inked all of those contracts on Dombrowski's spend-at-will watch.
Price owns a 4.28 ERA and is out with an iffy wrist. Sale sports a 4.40 ERA and is out for the season because of an elbow ailment. Eovaldi has posted a 5.77 ERA while yo-yoing between the rotation and the bullpen.
Sale will turn 31 on March 30, 2020. Price will be 35 on Aug. 26. And Eovaldi will reach 30 on Feb. 13.
None of them are spring chickens. It's possible their current production (or worse) is what we'll see going forward.