Padres News: Ranking The Greatest Free Agent Signings of All-Time, #3


As the weather becomes warmer, most of the off-season moves have been made, and the final pieces of spring training begin to come together, we continue our look at the greatest free agent signings in San Diego Padres’ history. If you think that James Shields is going to appear on this top-five list, you’re mistaken. Never would a player who has yet to throw a single pitch for the franchise make an all-time greats list. Four years from now, we might be singing a different tune, but until that contract has come to completion, there will be no Shields on this list. At #5, I began our rankings with a somewhat controversial selection, the two tours of Rickey Henderson in San Diego. I came back with a much safer pick at #4 with Rich Gossage. Today, a middle of the pack guy, but he had a nice little run in San Diego, of course I’m speaking of Bruce Hurst.

After almost a decade in Boston, serving as the perfect number two behind the Rocket, Roger Clemens, lefty Bruce Hurst decided to test the free agency waters, and landed a five-year deal with the San Diego Padres. The team at this point, was five years removed from their lone postseason appearance, an NL pennant that ended in heartbreak, as the Detroit Tigers dismantled the Friars in pretty quick fashion. Hurst had 88 career wins to his credit when he came to San Diego, and he wouldn’t disappoint. 

More from Padres News

He led the National League in 1989 with 10 complete games, while posting a 15-11 record and a 2.69 ERA. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much support around Hurst in terms of a solid pitching staff. Of course Mark Davis brought home the NL Cy Young Award before flaming out in Kansas City as a high-priced free agent himself. Following up his 15-win campaign with seasons of 11, 15, and 14 victories respectively, Hurst also completed 29 games during his Friars career.

Hurst, along with mainstay Tony Gwynn, were never able to bring home the biggest prize, and despite the solid numbers, he never finished in the top ten for NL Cy Young, nor was he selected as an All-Star. An unassuming player getting overlooked no doubt. After only two starts in 1993, while battling shoulder injuries, the Padres shipped Hurst off, along with Greg Harris to Colorado in exchange for Brad Ausmus, Doug Bochtler, and eventually Andy Ashby.

Not a Hall of Fame or number retiring career for Bruce Hurst in San Diego, but compared to many of the dumpster fires the franchise has brought in to be a pillar on the pitching staff, Bruce Hurst was as solid as they came.

Next: Padres Pursuit Of Yoan Moncada Heats Up

More from Friars on Base