A unique take on sports news, updated several times throughout the day.
Is Pavano the worst free agent signing ever?
That means the four-year, $39.95 million deal that Pavano signed before the 2005 season will net the Yanks five wins (in 19 starts), a cool $7.99 million per victory. The Yankees would have been better off financially by betting big on the AOL-Time Warner merger. (Oops, there goes my job.)
As always at the 10 Spot, though, we're avoiding semi-comedic cheap shots for reasoned historical perspective. In early 2005 -- shortly after Pavano inked with the Bombers, in fact -- we ranked the 10 worst free agent signings in baseball history. Now, I'd definitely have to include Pavano in the top three. If I could do it again, I'd probably put Mark Davis first, Pavano No. 2, and Bobby Bonilla No. 3.
For those who won't bother reading the link, our top 10 then was:
1. Bobby Bonilla, Mets, 1992
2. Mark Davis, Royals, 1990
3. Wayne Garland, Indians, 1977
4. Bruce Sutter, Braves, 1985
5. Mo Vaughn, Angels, 1999
6. Andy Messersmith, Braves, 1976
7. Oscar Gamble, Padres, 1978
8. Eddie Lee Whitson, Yankees, 1985
9. Mike Hampton, Rockies, 2001
10. Danny Tartabull, Yankees, 1995
Honorable Mention: Albert Belle, Orioles; Darryl Strawberry, Dodgers; Jaime Navarro, White Sox; Dave Collins, Yankees; Denny Neagle, Rockies.
Note: The heavy feedback I got from readers pointed out that I whiffed on Chan Ho Park of the Rangers, who should have definitely cracked the top 10.
Where would you rank Pavano? Who else should be on the list?
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Back when you published the original list, I pointed out the Braves signing of Nick Esasky, the result of which was 9 games for $9 million bucks. Nowadays, that's Roger Clemens money!
Forget the list, who's the clean-cut dude without the baseball cap, LOL? We'd never recognize you, Pete now...
Uh, Pavano needs to be in the Top 3 definitely but I hope he bounces back now that his Yanks career is over, LOL.
I'd still put Pavano only 2nd. Wasn't Bonilla one of the guys playing poker as the Mets lost to the Braves in the playoffs?
(This list still makes me wonder if, at the age of 29, I can get my left-handed self onto a mound and learn to pitch.)
Well, as a Boston fan, I can tell you that Nancy Drew ain't looking like a real good signing right now (or then). (although time will tell, blah blah blah)
Don't forget when the Tigers signed Juan Gonzalez to an ungodly contract.
What a complete waste Carl Pavano was. For all of the money the Yankees are paying him, they should at least make him do something. I think they should make him sweep the dugout during games. Then again, he'd probably slip on some tobacco spit and tear a knee ligament...
don't forget Gil Meche...oh wait, no we were all wrong about him. he apparently just needed to be paid like an ace to pitch like an ace. too bad the same wasn't true for the rest of the guys on this list.
Darren Dreifort: $55 million for 26 starts, 9 wins, and 2 seasons missed entirely.
Jeff Weaver anyone?
What about Steve Kemp by the Yankees? I think it was '83...By the the way, how did he work around the facial hair policy?
Derek Bell by the Pirates
The Tigers did not sign Juan Gone, they traded for him and he did not take the ungodly contract they offered him. Great for us.
Bliss, as a Dodger fan you will soon learn that the name is DL Drew, and Boston will truly regret the day they even met him.
Russ Ortiz signing w/ the DBACKS!!!
Todd Hundley, Cubs.
He hit below the Mendoza line for most of his time with the Cubs and only survived two years of the deal.
Detroit Tigers - OF/DH Juan Gonzalez - 6-year, $140 million contract extension should be on the list of the worst ever.
Well, Mike Hampton is still the Braves' highest paid player - $15.5M to spend half of 2005, all of 2006 and all of this year on the DL.
The Dodgers signing of Don Stanhouse. As I recall they got 2 wins and about 5 saves out of him before releasing him.
Anon. 1:04, good point about Hampton and the Braves, though I believe they didn't "sign" Hampton so much as they assumed the deal he had made with the Rockies; I'd have to check. Not sure if Colorado is paying any of that freight like the Rangers, for example, are doing with A-Rod. But Hampton has definitely been a bad investment for two teams.
I really don't think a player's injury time should make him a bad signing. If a guy doesn't perform, yeah, but if he's hurt how is that his fault? yeah, I know some guys seem to get hurt rather easily, but how would you feel if you got sick and your boss wanted to either fire you or get the money back that you signed for. How is this different?
Used to be Clement for Boston, seen as a "response to" or "replacement for" Pavano trade, was considered a near-equal disaster. Not even close anymore...which is saying a lot.
Yeah, but at least Mike Hampton has the solace of knowing that his children are reaping the benefits of having attended the outstanding public schools in Colorado. I'm sure they're studying nuclear physics at MIT by now.
Eric Milton was the highest paid player on the Reds for the last couple of years, and I'm not sure the Reds have won one of his starts in 2 years... I only wish he was pitching to Adam Dunn, maybe Dunn would make a run at the all-time home run crown then.
Two Words...........Ed Whitson
Only player in baseball to ask to pitch only in AWAY games........
Honorable mention to Kevin Brown and the Dodgers... Who signed him (at the age of 34) to a $100M contract over 7 years. Shockingly, he was only healthy for three of those seasons... Brilliant.
I have to agree with you on Messersmith. Not so much on what he did (or didn't do)for the dodgers but because he was the first "big money" free agent. Ever since then ball players have been paid like Fortune 500 CEO's while us fans can no longer afford to go to games. Maybe had the owners held fast then players salaries might not be so high as to price the fans out of the ballpark.
You are underestimating how bad the Mo Vaughn signing was. The Mets were so intent on signing Vaughn that they didn't bother to make any real effort to sign Alex Rodriguez. A Rod was willing to sign with NY for a lot less than than it took to lure him to Texas, but the Mets were too busy to negotiate seriously. (It didn't work out too badly for A Rod though--he got Texas money, and wound up getting to play in NY anyway, albeit for the Yankees.)
Don't forget Jeff Weaver-- over $8 million, 0-6 record and 14.32 ERA for the Mariners.
Speaking of Clement, esp vs. Pavano, I bet a friend that Clement would end up with more victories in 2004? I still haven't gotten paid on that one yet, LOL. The Bosox didn't pay nearly near what the Yanks gave for Carl...
Hate to have my Mets with two of these, but I would have to include their signing of George Foster as well.
Glenn Davis, signed by the Baltimore Orioles, should be on the list. Big bucks, for the time, and little performance. I'm going to look up his stats right now.
Ooops, my bad, he was a trade...start a new list, he could be at the top.
I miss the original 10 spot
How about when the Phillies signed Lance Parrish. He and his wife were done by June of his first year
Russ Ortiz - D-Backs 20?? They paid him to leave, not even the Yankees have done that with Pavano
Tough to argue against any of the names on the list and provided by those commenting. But I'll throw my hat into the ring and mention Vince Coleman, who was signed by The Mets in the early 90s I believe. The only memorable thing he did in a Mets uniform was throw a lit firecracker at a group of fans in the parking lot.
Keith Hernandez - Cleveland
Juan Gonzalez and the Detroit Tigers.......wow that terrible.
Matt Young... 1991 Red Sox
Mo Vaughn, New York Mets. Robert Alamar, New York Mets.
I would certainly add Keith Hernandez, 1990 Cleveland Indians. He was a disinterested stiff who took $1.5M and hit .200 with 1 HR and 8 RBI before shutting down due to a "back injury" and going back to NY(although I recall that he wasn't too sore to go dancing at NY nightclubs!) He could've at least pretended to care by remaining with the team. I think he spent more time on "Seinfeld" in the 90's than on the field with the Tribe.
Whoever came up with the monicker "American Idle" for Pavano is a comic genius. I'd put him second to Bobby Bo, but a close second solely based on little bang for big buck.
Juan Gonzalez - Royals.
Biggest waste that's currently playing? Hands down winner:
Mike Sweeney, Royals, 11 million per year. Played 80 games last year as a DH, now has stated he wants to be a catcher.
He'd get hurt putting on the equipment and wouldn't be able to catch the flu anyway.
Darren Dreifort, the 50 million dollar injury plagued bust for LAD.
I'm sorry but Hampton and Vaughn should be at the top of the list. They were considered great players (Vaughn was MVP) and made over 200mil.
from da boy vince
the Jays signing Matt Loftus for one year and him paying them $80 he isn't worth anything, not even him paying us
hes one hairy fella
Let me hear from you
Beyond posting a comment, if you have a news tip or a link to a story or video clip that you think is interesting, please drop me a line. Or if you have a general question or comment, send that along too. You can email me here.
(One note on the blogger comments: The only rule is to keep it clean. No curse words, please. This is a family blog.)