15 Worst Signings In Los Angeles Dodgers History
When you’re the Los Angeles Dodgers, you have many on top of many experiences signing good and not so good, players. Often, major contracts fall flat. We know this as fans. But when they hit right, they can be the glue to a team’s run in the postseason.
Luckily, these bad contracts have less impact on a major market like the Dodgers. But it still can affect them immensely, swallowing much needed salary cap and adding to the disintegration of team chemistry.
Below are some of the worst deals in their history. Most are current. Why? Because post 1990, is when the larger long term contract became more of a major reality. But you’ll notice some are not so large. These deals affected chemistry negatively, or pushed back a rebuilding plan. Either way, I’m sure many of these guys will remind you of the past, make you nostalgic, or angry. Sorry, if angry.
15. JASON SCHMIDT: 3 YEARS, $47 MILLION
It was during the Winter of 2006, when the Dodgers – in search of a true ace – inked Schmidt to the deal. They hoped and banked on Schmidt’s impeccable command and ability to eat up innings. But so was not the case. Over two years with the club, Schmidt started just ten games. He won three games and posted a plus six earned run average. He was unable to play out the last year of his deal, due to chronic shoulder injuries. Though the Dodgers forked over the $15 million.
14. MATT KEMP: 8 YEARS, $160 MILLION
Matt Kemp’s ceiling was short lived. It only lasted one year, a year that saw Kemp put up outrageous numbers: .324 batting average, 39 home runs, 126 runs batted in and 40 stolen bases. The Dodgers inked Kemp to a contract extension worth $160 million that Winter, making him one of the richest men in baseball.
He never lived up to the expectations, nor the contract. A year into the deal, Kemp’s numbers plummeted. His average fell to .270. Power numbers to six home runs and 33 runs batted in. He couldn’t stay healthy. He looked out of shape, lazy. Lost among that flurry of wealth.
Never gaining his old form, the Dodgers had enough, dealing Kemp to the Padres in 2015. He now plays for the Braves. His numbers are still serviceable, but the man is grossly overpaid.
13. JUAN PIERRE: 5 YEARS $44 MILLION
Juan Pierre was one of the league’s finest leadoff hitters, for fourteen years. His career batting line of .295, with a career 614 stolen bases, proves my point. He was never bad. He found ways to always contribute offensively.
What lacked, though, was his glove in the outfield. An average glove for the first half of his career, Pierre lost it the latter half.
When the wheels came off was when Pierre signed with the Dodgers. He became a liability. Twice in his three years with the club led the league in errors. His average and stolen bases were close to his usual output. Though his OPS and OBP well below his career numbers.
If you don’t believe me, consider his WAR over his three years with the club. 0.7, -0.2 and 1.1. Pierre was nowhere worth the nearly $9-million a year.
12. KEVIN BROWN: 7 YEARS, $105 MILLION
When the Dodger signed Brown to a gargantuan 7-year, $105 million-dollar deal, it was the first of its kind. Brown was the richest man in baseball, and the Dodgers go-to rotation guy. Here’s the thing about the deal: It wasn’t horrendous. But it was not worth that kind of money.
Over Brown’s 5 years with the club, he battled numerous nicks and bruises. The result, were limited starts. His best came the first year of the deal, when he finished, in classic Kevin Brown fashion, with 18 wins and led the league in quality starts. From that point, he was still good. But like I said, not on the mount enough to warrant the deal.
11. MANNY RAMIREZ: 2 YEARS, $45 MILLION
When the Dodgers inked Ramirez to $45-million over two years, they thought they’d be getting that superstar middle of the order bat, driving runs in and adding flare. But that’s when things went real south. Ramirez was slapped with a 50-game suspension for taking an illegal enhancement, and he never recovered. After the suspension, he struggled with injuries, chronic complaints, became more of a locker room cancer than a fun, loving humorist. His number weren’t horrible, but he wasn’t on the field enough to warrant his 22.5 million a year.
The Dodgers traded Manny to the White Sox for beans, in 2010. It was there, his career officially flatlined.