10 Most Disastrous International Free-Agent Signings in MLB History

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10 Most Disastrous International Free-Agent Signings in MLB History
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Daisuke Matsuzaka initially succeeded with the Boston Red Sox but ultimately proved to be a poor investment.

MLB teams have been constantly fine-tuning their player-evaluation methods, but there will always be a crapshoot element to scouting.

With international players in particular, it's difficult to project major league success with any certainty. The experiences of these 10 free agents attest to that.

They all failed to validate multimillion-dollar contracts due to a combination of injuries and poor performance. Their excellence in Cuban and Japanese professional leagues gave false hope to U.S. franchises.

We can point to Yasiel Puig, Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes as examples of foreigners who have been enormous assets to their MLB teams on the field while providing promotional value. Norichika Aoki and Hisashi Iwakuma have provided even better bang for the buck.

In reality, though, they're atypical of a process that's been a source of front-office frustration in recent decades.


*Stats provided by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise specified.

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