After good old AK's post about the worst trades in the history of baseball, I decided we should discuss another hot topic in baseball: The worst free agent signing over the past 10 years. It's obviously a highly disputable topic, but it's one where I think everyone has one instance that's burned into their brain, one signing that made them throw up their hands and ssay to their respective holyier than thou, "I can do a better job than this asshole."
I know I've said it a million times.
So here are my choices. The only guidelines are - the transaction had to have happened within the last ten years - 1998 - 2008. I've separated mine into worst 5 pitching contract, worst five position contracts. They are also not ranked, because they are all shitty, so take note that the numbers next to the name are only there to help keep my swaying mind focused.
First up: The Pitchers
1. Mike Hampton
2001, Colorado Rockies - 8 Years, $121 Million
There are a few things that make me wince when I think about this one. First, Hampton had one phenominal year. Just one - In 1999 on Houston. After that, he was a great #2, nothing more. After Hampton helped the overachieving Mets get to the World Series in 2000, Colorado decided to throw their financial future at him. It's funny, because his deal is almost identical to the one Barry Zito got last off season. Only time will tell if Zito joins Hampton in the garbage dumpster house, but what separates the two is Hampton's deal was done almost seven years prior! Hampton went on to go 21-23 with a 5.78 ERA over two years for The Rockies. Then Colorado dealt him, absorbing some of the money. He's since made 72 starts for Atlanta over 5 years. Awful.
2. Chan Ho Park
2002, Texas Rangers - 5 Years, $65 Million
Where to start with Chan Ho? Well, first off, he decided to go from one of the best pitching parks, LA, to one of the worst pitching parks, in Arlington. I could hit 25 HR's in Arlington (no), so it's hard to imagine why Park wanted to play here. I know the Rangers hardly ever get carried away with large, ridiculous contracts (false), but this made less sense than A-Rod's. At least A-Rod went on to crush everything in sight. Park? He did NOTHING. He was God awful, going 16-21 with a 6.21 ERA over his first 3 seasons with The Rangers. Then he was dealt to the Padres for uber-douche Phil Nevin is one of the best shitty-for-shitty player deals ever. Park is still slumming around baseball, hopefully not for long.
3. Darren Dreifort
2001, Los Angeles Dodgers - 5 Years, $55 Million
Okay, so I understand when a desparate team makes a desparate deal to sign a player with a substantional chance to become a very good player. What I don't get is why the Dodgers would give Dreifort such a ridiculous contract after he brought nothing but medicority to the rotation for three seasons. He was 33-34 in the three years prior to this deal. Great decision, assholes. Dreifort went on to make a grand total of 26 starts over the next 4 years. He is now giving $12 handies behind the the L.A. Coliseum.
4. Carl Pavano
2005, New York Yankees - 4 Years, $39 Million.
The great Yankee purge of 2005. This was obviously the crown jewel of their shitty free agent signings during the '04 offseason. We all know Steinbrenner was in shell shock after The Choke, so why not dump $40 million into a guy that - again - HAD ONE GOOD SEASON! Has this ever worked out? I don't think any player - in any sport for that matter - who had roughly 3 average, to below-average seasons, followed by 1 great season, has ever gone on to greatness. Case in point - Neil O'Donnell, Larry Brown, JD Drew, Adam Eaton...I could go on for ever. And we all know the Pavano story already. He makes me want to punch a hole through my fucking desk. And his girlfriend is S-M-O-K-I-N-G. Fucking dickhead.
5. Kevin Millwood
2006, Texas Rangers - 5 Years, $60 Million
When the fuck are you going to learn, Jon Daniels? Do I have to fucking berate you some more? This guy is a terrible GM - just awful. After trading away potential ace Chris Young, and clean up hitter Adrian Gonzalez for a drunk homeless man and $487, they go out and get Millwood to make up for it. Great job. He's old, angry and he sucks. I can't stand dumb GM's, and I think Daniels should be beaten at home plate by season ticket holders to make up for his shitheadedness