Earlier this postseason, lboros asked us who the most disappointing prospect in recent memory was. I thought it might be a good time to ask a similar question, especially since we are now down to the junk period of free agent signings. Who was the most disappointing, frustrating, overpaid free agent that the Cardinals signed?
We certainly have many options, and every team in the free agent era has certainly had its disasters. And I'm sure that we could put together a cute analysis of VORP before and after the Cardinals signed the player. But that's not what I'm talking about, or even, in my opinion, all that fun or interesting.
What I'm talking about, is, what free agent signing still makes you cringe every tiem that the player is mentioned by name. What player do you still bean, years later, every time they come up to bat in a video baseball game? When you see someone at the stadium wearing their number, do you point them out to your friends and mock them?
For me, there can be only one answer: Ron Gant. At the time that he signed for his then large $4M a year contract, I thought that he was the savior for the team. He showed flashes of decency in 1996 (as the Cards got the most distant one game from the world series ever), but then his 1997 proceeded to be poor, and he became increasingly moody. Eventually he got traded away for, to add insult to injury, Ricky Bottalico and Garrett Stephenson. His frustratingly inconsistent play and moody off-the-field antics have led me to label him the most frustrating free agent signing that I remember. Let's hear those other suggestions