Worst contract in Brewers history #4: Eric Gagne – One Year, $10MM
The Brewers might’ve set a record for shortest amount of time before regret sunk in on a free agent contract. The Eric Gagne deal was a disaster from the beginning and a complete waste of 10 million dollars.
On December 10th, 2007, the Brewers signed Gagne to a one year, $10MM contract. On December 13th, 2007, three days later, Gagne was implicated in the Mitchell Report as a steroid user.
So things got off to a rocky start right away, but he wasn’t suspended since PED rules were just being put in place at that time, which made Gagne still available for Opening Day, much to the detriment of the Milwaukee Brewers.
On Opening Day, the Brewers were able to snag a 3-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the top of the 9th inning. Gagne came on in the bottom of the 9th to close out the win. Instead, he gave up a single, then a walk, and then a 3-run, game-tying homer to Kosuke Fukudome. Luckily he didn’t give up a walkoff, but it forced the game to go to extra innings where the Brewers were able to win.
Still, it set the tone for the rest of the season for Gagne, who never had his ERA below 4.70 at any single point in the 2008 season. He finished just 16 games and got just 10 saves. That’s $1 million paid for every save he got, a high price to pay.
Gagne finished the 2008 season with a 5.44 ERA in 50 games, giving up an astonishing 11 home runs in 46.1 IP. He never pitched in the big leagues again after that trainwreck of a season with Milwaukee.
The only thing keeping Gagne from being higher on this list is the fact that it was just a one year contract and the Brewers weren’t saddled with him for multiple seasons.