By Friday morning, only four MLB fanbases will still be cheering their teams on in 2021. Most have already turned their attention to what might lie ahead in 2022.

But we're taking that one step further for a look at the most troubling contract situations for 2023 and beyond.

Although some teams don't have players signed beyond 2022, we're going to address every team and pick a sunk cost it wishes it didn't have.

We'll largely disregard club options since the team can choose to walk away from those potential nightmare salaries. However, player options and retained/deferred salaries are fair game here, since those still count against the bottom line and impact what a franchise may be willing to offer to prospective free agents.

Teams are broken up into divisions and listed in alphabetical order by location.


American League East

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis, $9.17 million (deferred money)

The Orioles currently don't have a single player with a contract figure on the books for 2022, let alone 2023. But they do still need to pay out perhaps the worst contract of all time for years to come.

Chris Davis signed a seven-year, $161 million, fully guaranteed deal before the 2016 season. He played only five of those seven seasons before retiring, during which time he was worth minus-2.7 WAR.

Not only do the O's still owe him $17 million in 2022, but $42 million of his deal was deferred to be paid off from 2023-37. That starts with more than $9.1 million in 2023.


Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes, $8.375 million

When the Red Sox signed Matt Barnes to a two-year, $18.75 million extension on July 11, it seemed like a good deal. The All-Star closer had a 2.61 ERA with a .174 batting average against at the time.

But he had a 6.48 ERA and a .269 batting average against the rest of the way, including a rough patch in the first half of August that knocked him out of the closer job for good.

The eight-year veteran has yet to finish a season with an ERA better than 3.65, so the Red Sox may have been sold a lemon.


New York Yankees: Aaron Hicks, $10.8 million

$10 million per year is chump change to the Yankees, but the seven-year, $70 million deal they gave to Aaron Hicks after the 2018 season looks awful right about now.

After a breakout 2018 campaign, Hicks hit only 22 home runs total through the first three years of his new contract. But with both Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo hitting free agency after the 2022 campaign, New York might need to rely on Hicks to hold down an outfield spot in 2023.


Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Kiermaier, $13 million (club option)

Tampa Bay only has two contracts on its books for 2023.

One of those is $5.25 million to Brandon Lowe, which is highway robbery for a middle infielder with 70 home runs and an .869 OPS since the beginning of 2019. The other is a $13 million team option on Kevin Kiermaier.

He has been a valuable member of the Rays for nearly a decade, but he hasn't played 130 games in a season since 2015. Tampa Bay isn't a deep-pocketed franchise, so even buying him out for $2.5 million could be painful.


Toronto Blue Jays: Hyun-Jin Ryu, $20 million

Hyun-Jin Ryu had a brutal final third of this season. He had a 7.43 ERA over his last 10 starts for a team that was desperately trying to claw its way into the AL Wild Card Game.

The thought of paying Ryu $20 million for his age-36 season is considerably more unsettling than the idea of giving $24.2 million to George Springer, $10.3 million to Randal Grichuk or $5.8 million to Lourdes Gurriel Jr., which are the only other contracts Toronto currently has through 2023.