15 worst Chicago Cubs free agent signings in franchise history
5. Nomar Garciaparra - 1 Year, $8.25 Million (2005)
There's a theme emerging here. Trading for a player midseason and his performing well down the stretch doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea to bring him back again. This was the case with Neifi Perez around this very same time and the Cubs front office took the bait when it came to Nomar Garciaparra, too.
Acquired from the Red Sox in a four-team deal at the 2004 deadline, Garciaparra - once heralded as one of the top shortstops of his generation - but injuries took their toll, despite his continued success at the plate. Prior to coming to Chicago that July, the Boston shortstop had managed a .321/.367/.500 line, but appeared in just 38 games.
He hit well with the Cubs, posting a 109 OPS+ down the stretch. Upon hitting free agency that winter, the Achilles injury quickly quashed any chances of the infielder landing a long-term deal and he wound up coming back to Chicago on a one-year, $8.25 million deal. Those injury fears quickly proved to be very real, with Garciaparra hitting the shelf with a torn groin in late April.
Garciaparra hit decently well upon his return, finishing the year at a 97 OPS+ but appearing in only 62 games. The allure that came with trading for, then re-signing a former Rookie of the Year and two-time batting champion ended in bitter disappointment. Oh, and just to rub salt in the wound, he went to the Dodgers in 2006 and earned an All-Star selection. So that was fun.