Padres Editorial: Boom or Bust! All-Time Best/Worst Free Agent Pitchers Part I

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Each year Major League Baseball franchises evaluate the free agent pitcher market in an attempt to strike it rich. Sometimes teams strike it just right when they land a future Hall Of Famer. While other teams get absolutely no positive return on their investments. It can not be described as an exact science, in fact it’s as much of a crap shoot as any transaction in baseball due to the fact that a pitcher’s career could end after any one particular pitch.

Next season there are an amazing amount of talented starting pitchers available via free agency. The likes of David Price, Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Yovani Gallardo and Ian Kennedy can be signed by any team. The list grows even stronger when you add names like Tim Lincecum, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Mark Beurhle, Bartolo Colon, A.J. Burnett, Tim Hudson, John Lackey, Bud Norris, Rick Porcello, and Justin Masterson. Next year’s class is unprecedented, and surely one or two teams will be on the wrong side of a contract. It’s no knock on these pitchers, it’s just a numbers game and the fact starting pitchers fade every season.

In the wake of Max Scherzer‘s seven-year, $210 million dollar deal, let’s take a closer look of some of the best and worst free agent pitcher signings in Major League history. No relief pitchers were considered for the following rankings. The parameters for the list are most/least value gained by the franchise through the whole contract. There are many different factors when determining value, since this list is for an individual accolade, then postseason victories and team championships are not the sole qualifications. This list is strictly an opinion and I invite you to add to the list yourself. Whom else deserves the distinction of being a boom or bust free agent acquisition? The top 5 for each category will be displayed.