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What are the worst MLB free agent signings of all time?




The baseball offseason is when the league’s teams engage in a flurry of activity as they try to sign top players to their rosters. This period is marked by the free agency movement, where players become free agents and negotiate contracts with teams. It is when large sums of money are exchanged, and new records for the biggest contracts are set.

However, when these major deals don’t work out, they can have a significant impact on the team’s performance and financial situation. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. Even in the past year, we have seen several instances where players could not live up to their contracts.

As salaries continue to rise, this trend is likely to continue. Teams will be under even more pressure to secure top talent and justify their investment. However, the risks are high, and the consequences of a failed signing can be severe. Despite this, the free agency movement remains a critical component of the baseball offseason as teams strive to build winning rosters and compete for championship titles.

5. Denny Neagle, Colorado Rockies

Denny Neagle, a former MLB pitcher, played for several teams in the major leagues, including the Colorado Rockies. As a left-handed pitcher, he contributed to the Rockies’ pitching rotation during his time with the team.

However, the Rockies made a regrettable move when they signed Neagle to a $51 million, five-year contract. He had just come off a stint with the Yankees, with a mediocre record of 0.500 and a 5.81 ERA. Unfortunately, his performance did not improve with the Rockies, and he only lasted half his contract. By the end of his time in Colorado, he had a 19-23 record and a 5.57 ERA.

4. Albert Belle, Baltimore Orioles

Albert Belle was a famous power-hitter who played in Major League Baseball. He had a successful career, playing for the Indians and White Sox before joining the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles signed him to a five-year, $65 million contract. Belle had two productive seasons with the team before he was sidelined due to hip problems and eventually retired.

3. Jason Schmidt, Los Angeles Dodgers

Jason Schmidt, a seasoned MLB pitcher, once played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sadly, his presence didn’t have the desired effect on the team. Despite pitching reasonably well, Schmidt’s three-year, $47 million contract was a bad investment.

He only played 10 games and won three, making it one of the biggest busts in MLB history. The Dodgers paid over $15 million for each of his wins and nearly $5 million per appearance for Schmidt.

2. Wayne Garland, Cleveland Indians

Wayne Garland was a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians. Although his career in the majors was relatively brief, Garland is remembered for signing one of the first lucrative multi-million dollar contracts in baseball History. He made his MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1973, and in 1976, the Cleveland Indians signed him to a 10-year, $2.3 million contract. However, this deal was a big mistake, as Garland was an unproven pitcher until then.

Despite a promising start to his career, Garland struggled after tearing his rotator cuff in spring training. He led the league in losses and retired after the 1981 season, finishing only half his contract. Even though he won 20 games in 1976 and was the big target in the first year of free agency, Garland’s career was cut short due to his injury and inability to perform at the expected level.

1. Mike Hampton, Colorado Rockies

Mike Hampton, a talented left-handed pitcher, signed with the Colorado Rockies in 2001. Still, unfortunately, his arrival in Colorado turned out to be a significant setback for both the player and the team. Hampton is considered one of the biggest free-agent disappointments in the History of baseball. Many teams have suffered the consequences of his massive contract that didn’t deliver the expected results.

Before joining the Rockies, Hampton had an impressive career with the Astros in 1999 and the Mets in 2000. He became a free agent, and the Rockies offered him an eight-year deal worth $121 million, which he accepted.

However, Hampton’s pitching performance with the Rockies was poor. After two seasons, he was traded to the Florida Marlins, who immediately traded him to the Atlanta Braves without letting him play a Game. He had a few decent seasons with the Braves but struggled in 2005. He then missed the 2006 and 2007 seasons before returning for one more lackluster year in 2008. Finally, after years of disappointment, the end of his contract was celebrated by all parties involved.