On the heels of Tyler Kepner reporting yesterday that Johnny Damon is looking at signing a 1 year 4 million dollar deal. . check that, Kepner also states that 2 mil of the 4 mil is deferred. . no, wait. Now it’s actually less than 4 mil according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. In any case, with Johnny looking at roughly a 1 year/4 mil after turning down a 2/14 offer from the Yankees, I wanted to take a moment to recount some of the worst player/agent decisions of all-time. Players who made it to the final round of Deal or No Deal and walked home with a toaster and a gift certificate to Denny’s, or thereabouts.
1986 Ray Knight turns down New York Mets offer of 800K-The heart and soul of the Mets 1986 World Series champions and World Series MVP, Knight felt entitled to a big pay raise over his 600K 1986 salary. He also thought it would be a good idea to negotiate his own contract. He wouldn’t accept a penny less than 1 mil, Mets GM Frank Cashen refused, and so Ray decided to teach Cashen a lesson by signing with the Orioles for 500K.
1994 Jody Reed turns down 3 years/3.8 mil from Dodgers-Reed became synonymous with bad player moves after this doozy. To be kind, Reed was a marginal player coming off a good year who should have jumped at that offer. He rejected a three year contract offer by the Dodgers and wound up signing for the MLB minimum of $100,000 with the Brewers the next season. He did earn $750,000 of incentives for that year but still would have earned over $1.2 million more if he had accepted the Dodgers offer. He went on to earn 2.8 mil over the remaining 4 years of his career.
2010 Adam Laroche turns down 2 year/17.5 mil with Giants-Here’s a recent case of overplaying your hand. After being turned down by Laroche, Giants GM Brian Sabean turned around and signed Aubrey Huff for a 1 year deal at 3 mil. With dwindling options and the 1B market collapsing, Laroche signed with the Diamondback on a one year contract for $4.5 to $5 million.
2004 Nomar Garciaparra turns down 4 year/60 mil extension from Red Sox-After a very public and bitter divorce with the Red Sox (is there another kind?) Nomar decided to test the waters of free agency and signed a 1 year/8.25 mil with the Cubs for the 2005 season. He made 35 mil total in the remaining 5 years of his career after leaving the Red Sox.
2000 Juan Gonzalez turns down 8 years/140 mil from the Detroit Tigers-The king of all bad moves, even 10 years later this one has yet to be topped by any player. After being traded by the Texas Rangers to Detroit, the Tigers tried to lock up Juan-gone before he hit free agency. He refused the offer, had an awful season the next year in Detroit and signed for 1 year/10 mil with the Cleveland Indians the next year. He went on to earn approximately 38 mil over the remaining 5 years of his career.
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