#3: Bret Boone: 2001-2005: 5yrs/$36.25 million, 18.3 WAR, $31.83m Surplus, $6.37m surplus per season
Yeah, I know that’s a lot lower than the other two guys on the list so far for Surplus Value. Shoot, it’s lower than some of the honorable mention guys in the opener. However, I wanted to put Boone here to highlight the original deal that he signed with the Mariners in 2001, which was actually just a one-year deal for $3.25 million.
Boone had a WAR of 8.8 that season. That would be a Surplus on its own of $29.49m. He was great in 02 and 03, the first two years of his new deal, with a 10.1 WAR while making $16 million. The last two years were bad… but it’s my article, so I’m just gonna mention them, and then go back to focusing on the magical 2001 season by Boone.
2001 would be Boone’s age-32 season. Up until then, he had two good seasons but had never posted a WAR better than 1.9. He would sign that one-year deal, and it ended up being one of the most amazing deals the Mariners had ever signed.
Boone would put together the 6th strongest season, by WAR, in the history of the Mariners. It wasn’t just the offense, either. It would be the highest dWAR season of his career, as he would earn a 1.7 there, far and away his best season.
The offense is what we think of though. .331/.372/.578 (!), 37 2B, 37 HR, 141 RBI, 118 R, 153 OPS+. Every single one of those was a career-high for Boone, and his 141 RBI was the best in the American League. It helps to have guys like Ichiro, Edgar, and Olerud on the team. Boone put together one of the best offensive seasons Mariners fans have ever seen, and it gets him to #3 on the best contracts of all-time for the M’s.