3 early free agent busts the Chicago Cubs were smart to stay away from

Jed Hoyer and the front office stuck to their plan and avoided some major missteps in free agency last winter.
Colorado Rockies v Pittsburgh Pirates
Colorado Rockies v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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2023 NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell has been a disaster so far

Hindsight is 20-20. The Cubs' signing of Shota Imanaga looks like the steal of the offseason now, but heading into spring training, Hoyer faced a lot of criticism for not going out and adding a top-of-the-rotation arm in free agency.

One of the biggest names available was Blake Snell, who won the second Cy Young Award of his career last season. The left-hander eventually signed with the Giants in mid-March, inking a two-year, $62 million deal with an opt-out after 2024. If current trends continues, though, there's no chance he'll opt out.

Snell has made only four starts to this point and they have not gone well. His strikeout rate is down nearly 10 percent from last year and his wOBA ranks in the bottom five percent of the league. He hasn't finished five innings in a single outing and given the price tag he came with, it's safe to say the Giants hoped for far more when they made this signing.