The Milwaukee Brewers have had little success in free agency through the years. What follows is a list of the five worst free agent signings in team history.
The good news is that none of the players on this list were acquired by current GM David Stearns. However, the bad news is it seems the Milwaukee Brewers might be cursed in free agency.
Not every player they’ve signed turned out to be a bad deal. Jose Hernandez and Mike Cameron, just to name a few, provided some value to the Brewers. However, more often than not, Milwaukee swings and misses when trying to sign free agents.
There’s a simple explanation for the Brewers lack of success historically. It all boils down to the size of the market. Milwaukee is a small market franchise that players generally don’t desire to play for. Top players cost too much money, meaning the Brewers usually go after lesser players to begin with. That narrative could be changing, but only time will tell.
So before you get all up in arms about the Brewers lack of activity this off season, remember the grass isn’t always greener. It would be exciting if Milwaukee added some pieces. However, signing free agents is an inexact science, and sometimes can do more harm than good.
For the purpose of this list, only players signed as free agents were under consideration. Waiver claims, trades, and Rule 5 selections were not considered.
The amount and length of the contract is important in determining this list. However, the deciding factor came down to performance with the Milwaukee Brewers relative to their career prior.
When the Milwaukee Brewers signed Franklin Stubbs they thought they were getting a stalwart at first base to lead the franchise through the early 1990’s. Instead they got an injury prone, inconsistent, and below average player.
In the two seasons before joining Milwaukee Stubbs slashed .267/.344/.474 over 215 games. In 195 games Stubbs slashed a meager .220/.288/.363 for the Brewers. He hit only 20 home runs while driving in a measly 80 runs. He gave very little value for the money he earned.
Stubbs is only one of the many cautionary tales Brewers fans should keep in mind when hoping for that off-season splash. The interesting thing about this list is how often the Milwaukee Brewers have swung hard and missed on pitchers. Without further ado let’s get this list started with our fifth worst free agent signing.