15 worst Chicago Cubs free agent signings in franchise history

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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10. Kosuke Fukudome - 4 Years, $48 Million (2008)

It really bothers me to include Kosuke Fukdome on this list, because he wasn't a bad player by any stretch. But Cubs fans saddled him with what were probably unrealistic expectations fron the get-go, driven partly by the success of Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui and some monster years in Japan prior to coming over to the U.S.

His Opening Day 2008 performance - a game-tying, three-run home run in the ninth at Wrigley - raised those expectations even further. A strong first-half performance earned him his first and only All-Star selection, but he faded hard down the stretch (.639 OPS post-All-Star Break).

The following two years, he was a strong on-base presence in the Cubs lineup (.373 OBP in 1,032 PA) but he was never the transformational offensive addition fans hoped for. After a slow start to the final year of his contract in 2011, the Cubs traded Fukudome to Cleveland for a pair of prospects. What he's done in the years that have followed, though, is what's really remarkable.

Well into his 40s, Fukudome continues to play in Japan. He's not what he once was, but that's hardly a surprise given his age. This is a guy who was always a fan-favorite, even if he might not have been the franchise savior we'd once hoped for.