We all love to read (and write!) about the worst contracts in baseball. You know the big ones by heart: Josh Hamilton, Barry Zito, Jacoby Ellsbury, Albert Pujols, Mike Hampton and on and on. But the big-money deals that go south aren’t the only types of contract situations that create big problems. Sometimes, lack of years is as big of an issue as number of years on a deal, and we’re going to look at all of those things with this series. These are the contract situations that keep general managers and team presidents — or whatever the official title happens to be for the decision makers — up at night. MORE PROBLEMATIC CONTRACTSAL East | AL Central | AL WestMost don’t have easy resolutions, though we’ll try and offer options where options might exist. We’ll go through MLB, division by division and look at the most pressing issues for every team in the majors. Today: the NL EastBraves: Ender InciarteContract details: Two years, $15 million with $9 million club option ($1.025 buyout) remaining on five-year, $30.525 million dealNeed to know: Inciarte’s deal isn’t a major problem, of course. The Braves are really in a very good position overall, with their young core either already on long-term deals (Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies) or under club control for several more seasons (Mike Soroka, Max Fried and others). At some point they’ll need to address Freddie Freeman’s situation, but he still has two years remaining on his long-term deal. And that good situation is why they absolutely should be active in the free-agent market; several of the big names would make perfect additions to what the Braves need to make the jump, and the Braves have sufficient money. So, Inciarte. It’s not so much the money as it is the Braves choosing what they want their outfield/lineup to look like for the next couple of years. He’s an excellent defender in center field, with three Gold Gloves to his name. But he’s been in the league six years, and here are his year-by-year OPS+ numbers, starting in 2014: 89, 100, 98, 98, 90, 89. Remember, 100 is league average. If they decide the defense is the most important thing, then keep the status quo. If they go out and find another impact-bat type of outfielder, Inciarte is a trade candidate. Resolution options: Remember, the Braves just gave Nick Markakis a one-year deal to return to the club, so that’s one singles/doubles hitter who posted a 98 OPS+ in the outfield last year. Inciarte, if he’s healthy again, would be a second one. Is that what they want? Pursuing a trade might not be a bad idea. Nationals: Sean DoolittleContract details: Arbitration-eligible 2020-22, free agent after 2022.Need to know: The Nationals are a tricky team for this exercise. They have major issues to address this offseason, but not with players currently under their employ. Playoff heroes Anthony Rendon, Daniel Hudson and Howie Kendrick are free agents. Stephen Strasburg opted out of his deal. Options for Ryan Zimmerman and Yan Gomes weren’t picked up (though Zimmerman could easily return for a lower-dollar deal). All six were major, major pieces of the World Series title-winning team. And on the other hand, of the players under contract/control, there aren’t really any major/super-pressing issues. Max Scherzer has two years left on his high-dollar deal, and he’s been worth every penny. Same for Patrick Corbin, who has five years left but was great in his first year with the club. The club holds options on Adam Eaton for 2020 and 2021, at reasonable costs. Leadoff hitter/shortstop Trea Turner has three years of club control remaining. Young superstar Juan Soto isn’t even arbitration-eligible until 2021, Victor Robles the year after that. So let’s talk about Doolittle. The Nationals picked up the final option on a deal he signed with the A’s in 2014, and he’s set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. The lefty has been a big part of what they’ve accomplished, on the field — 75 saves and a 2.87 ERA in two-and-a-half years with the club, plus a 1.35 ERA in 12 postseason games — and in the clubhouse. He’s a guy they’d love to keep around, and heading into his Age 33 season, they should be able to do that at a reasonable cost for a couple of years.Resolution options: As mentioned, the front office has other pressing issues right now, but agreeing to an extension with Doolittle should be on the to-do list this offseason, too.Phillies: Odubel HerreraContract details: Two years, $17 million remaining (with club options for 2022-23)Need to know: Herrera, as you know, was suspended for the final 85 games of the 2019 season for a domestic violence incident. He’s been reinstated to the roster — a procedural move — but now the Phillies have to decide what they’re going to do with Herrera. Speculation abounds that he might have played his final game for the franchise that acquired him from the Rangers in the 2014 Rule 5 draft. The thing is, Herrera hasn’t been a very productive player for a while. He hit .222 with a .629 OPS in 39 games before the suspension, and that followed his disappearing act at the plate in 2018. That year, Herrera was batting .339 with a .932 OPS through May 25 (197 plate appearances) but batted just .214 with a .633 OPS the rest of the way, 101 games and exactly 400 PAs. The Phillies can’t just release him because of the suspension — that’s in the CBA — but they have enough information to support a case for cutting him for lack of production. They’d still have to pay him, of course, but at some point a team that is desperate to get back to the playoffs would rather give those PAs to someone a little more consistent. Resolution options: It’s hard to imagine anyone trading for Herrera at this point. If they’re interested in giving him another chance, they’d be better off waiting for the Phillies to just release him this offseason. That seems the likely outcome, especially if the front office trades for or signs another outfielder to team with starters Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen. Mets: Robinson CanoContract details: Four years, $96 million remaining ($15 million paid by Seattle) on 10-year, $240-million dealNeed to know: Cano’s first year with the Mets started with a bang — he homered off Max Scherzer in his first at-bat — but not much went right after that. In his Age 36 season, he had his worst year in the majors. He played in 107 games — once the standard of durability, Cano has played just 187 of 324 possible games the past two years — and had a .bWAR of 0.3, an OPS+ of 96 and a .256 average that was 15 points lower than his previous career worst. The Mets have to hope a solid September (.856 OPS) is a harbinger of what’s to come for Cano, if he can stay healthy in 2020 and beyond. Because at a little over $20 million per year each of the next four years — that’s after Seattle’s yearly contribution of $3.75 million — he’s still very much being paid like the star he once was. Resolution options: Not sure there’s much the Mets can do. He’s 37 years old, and time is undefeated. Maybe at some point, during a healthy and productive stretch, they can trade him to an AL club that has the DH option. Even that, though, would require kicking in a hefty portion of what he’s owed to make a deal happen. Marlins: Wei-Yin ChenContract details: One year, $22 million with $16 million conditional player option for 2021 Need to know: The five-year, $80 million deal the Marlins gave Chen has been pretty much a disaster from the beginning. It was a rather unique deal, with player options for 2018-20 that Chen had to decide to take or leave at one time, after the 2017 season. And considering that he had a 4.72 ERA in just 31 games (27 starts) in his first two years with the club, exercising those three options (for a total of $52 million) was kind of a no-brainer. For Chen to have the right to pick up his 2021 option, he’d have to throw 220 innings in 2020, which isn’t going to happen. He was demoted to the bullpen in 2019 and was pretty awful, registering a 6.59 ERA in 45 games. The only real question is whether the 34-year-old lefty will ever throw another pitch for the Marlins. Oh, and the $22 million he’s guaranteed for 2020? That’s almost exactly half of the team’s current projected Opening Day payroll of $45 million. Resolution options: Maybe give him a chance to show he’s healthy this spring, and if he’s not, just cut him and eat the money. They don’t need a highly paid bad reliever to throw 65-ish innings in 2020.