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MLB Free Agents 2012: 15 Worst Signings of the Offseason

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MLB Free Agents 2012: 15 Worst Signings of the Offseason
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The term "worst signings" leaves a lot of wiggle room for interpretation, I know. Does it mean player x was a bad signing because he's not a good player, or is he a good player that a team paid too much for? Or was he a player with a good track record on a particular team or in a particular ballpark that may not translate as well to his new location?

To start with, I don't see too many of the 2012 season signings with the potential to rank up there with the worst signing of all time, which I (along with many others) suggest was Alex Rodriguez‘s 10-year, $275-million contract, signed when he was heading into his age 32 season.

Four years into the deal, he has struggled to stay healthy, averaging just 124 games per season while hitting .284/.375/.521.

"It’s an impressive slash line," writes Benjamin Kabak of RiverAvenueBlues, "But that is a far cry from the .306/.389/.578 line he put up beforehand."

Add in a steroid scandal, and while A-Rod gets paid no matter what, the bloom came off that rose a long time ago. He is under contract for six more years and will earn another $143 million from the Yanks.

Rob Neyer, Baseball editor for SBNation.com, lists three criteria for a great contract blunder: "Premeditation. Contemporary questionability. Ill effects."

Premeditation is a given; teams voluntarily (if not eagerly) enter into these contracts. Questionability is the application of the "reasonable man" theory: Could a reasonable soul, using the readily available tools, have made a case against doing this deal? Ill effects: Does the end result have a negative impact.

In the 15 slides to follow, I cover all those bases, and I'm sure my takes (presented in inverse order of offensiveness) will create some controversy. So have at it in the comments section!

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