Brewers: Ranking The 5 Worst Contracts In Franchise History

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: Matt Garza #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Brewers 6-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: Matt Garza #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Brewers 6-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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24 FEB 2002: Jeffrey Hammonds #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a photo during Team Photo Day at the Brewers Training Facility in Marysville, Az. Digital Photo. Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images. /

Worst contract in Brewers history #3: Jeffrey Hammonds – 3 years, $22.2M

The Coors Effect.

Jeffrey Hammonds had been a solid player with Baltimore and Cincinnati in the 1990s, and started to show a little more power in 1997 and 1999. Then, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies ahead of the 2000 season by the Reds for Dante Bichette.

Hammonds went on to hit .335/.395/.529 with 24 doubles, 20 homers, and 106 RBIs with the Colorado Rockies in 122 games.

Playing at Coors Field bumped his stats, but the question was: Was his improvement legitimate? The Brewers believed it was. They signed him to a three year, $22.2MM contract that offseason, the largest free agent contract the Brewers had ever given out at that time, by far.

As it turns out, his breakout was not legitimate and instead simply a function of playing half his games at Coors Field.

Over the course of his three year Brewers career, Hammonds played more than 50 games in a season just once. He hit just .248 with 16 total home runs with Milwaukee. Hammonds was injured a lot and was nowhere near the hitter he was with Colorado.

Prior to the Brewers signing him, Hammonds had never played in more than 123 games in a season. He routinely dealt with injuries in his career and his All-Star season in 2000 was just the third time he played in more than 100 games in his eight-year career to that point.

The Brewers should’ve had a bit more foresight to see that Hammonds was going to regress, but instead they decided to give him $22.2MM to be a major disappointment on teams that were going nowhere fast.

They thought they were signing an All-Star to help open their brand new stadium, Miller Park. It was the big splash to help with the excitement for the new era of Brewers baseball. Instead, Hammonds showed that General Manager Dean Taylor and manager Davey Lopes weren’t the right guys to lead this team going forward.

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