The Chicago Cubs signed Cuban defector and teenage pitching phenom Gerardo Concepcion Thursday, guaranteeing the left-handed hurler $7 million on a multi-year, major league contract, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Concepcion, 19, was the Rookie of the Year in Cuba before defecting in the Netherlands, and one of the most sought-after international free agents in an offseason chock-full of them. For the Cubs, this deal will be an immediate and controversial talking point. The terms of the deal are much more favorable to Concepcion than most anyone expected, so Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, at long last, will put the faith of Cubs fans to the test.
Every team must do that at some point in a key offseason, though. Controversy emanates from courageous, bold action, and even when those actions are brazen and stupid, they indicate a stern commitment to the task at hand.
Nor are the Cubs the only team to make waves with a crazy deal this winter. Here are the most controversial moves each team has made since the end of the World Series, graded out based on their eventual wisdom.