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

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These teams struck it rich when they decided to break open the pocket books and upgrade their respective pitching staffs. Keep in mind that multiple year free agent contracts are usually only given to pitchers that have successfully stayed healthy for a long period of time. Traditionally, free agent pitchers are in their late twenties, so five-to-seven year contracts are rare. In order to be represented on this list, the player has to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.

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Extensions like the San Francisco Giants agreed to with Madison Bumgarner (six-years-$35.56 million) are not eligible for this list. The extension was not a free agent contract. This extension by the Giants has already paid huge dividends, making their management seem like geniuses. Bumgarner was unstoppable in the playoffs leading the Giants to the World Series crown. To lock up a player of that caliber before his free agent years is a move more and more teams are adopting.

Obviously players on this list made the entire contract seem like a deal regardless of the cost. Health will be a deciding factor in showing up on this boom list. Pitching can be a strenuous activity, and pitchers go down all the time. A pitcher’s fitness and how they take care of themselves during the off-season can be key. Again this is an opinion and you are welcome to share yours, I would be more than interested in hearing what you guys dig up for yourselves.


Tom Glavine New York Mets (2003) 4 years-$44.5 million

Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers (1989) 1 year-$1.6 million

Bruce Hurst San Diego Padres (1989) 3 years-$5.25 million