15 worst Chicago Cubs free agent signings in franchise history
4. Jeff Blauser - 2 Years, $8.2 Million (1998)
Hot on the heels of an impressive All-Star 1997 season with the Braves, Jeff Blauser came to Chicago ahead of the 1998 season looking like an answer at the shortstop position.
After all, the year prior, he tallied a 130 OPS+, a .405 OBP and 31 doubles for Atlanta, earning a Silver Slugger for his offensive exploits. But he fell well short of those expectations on the North Side, as his OPS+ plummeted to just 69 and his slugging percentage finished nearly 200 points lower than in '97.
Injuries didn't help matters for Blauser, who bounced back the following year with a 96 OPS+ but still hit just .240 on the year. He was limited to just 104 games in the final year of his deal and, before it was all said and done, was more of a role guy than an everyday starter.
The front office declined the option on the veteran infielder for the 2000 season and Blauser hung up his spikes after his disappointing time with the Cubs. Keep in mind the '98 Cubs carried a payroll of just $49 million, so paying Blauser just under 10 percent of that amount certainly did them no favors.