15 worst Detroit Tigers free agent signings in franchise history

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1. Victor Martinez, 2015-18

  • 4 years, $68 million
  • -2.1 WAR

Like so many Tigers careers lately, something that started off positive and good only leaves you with bad memories in the end. That is also the case with Victor Martinez.

When Martinez came to the Tigers from the Red Sox, it was a huge deal, and he became a fan favorite right away – and not just for the adorableness of his son, “Little Victor.” He put up a 138 OPS+ during those first three years with 58 home runs and 289 RBI. 

Rewarded with a four-year contract following the 2014 playoff disappointment (Martinez had an .871 OPS in contrast to others earlier on this list and career-best .974 OPS during that regular sason), the 35-year-old DH was bound to disappoint by the end of it. 

Unfortunately the disappointment didn’t take long. Martinez’s average dropped to .245 with .667 OPS in 2015. A bounceback 2016 season gave some hope, but over the final two years of the deal he hit for just .672 OPS. Not what you’re looking for from a designated … hitter. 

He was worth negative WAR every year of the deal. Ultimately, it’s just a bad idea to give an aging DH a lengthy deal no matter how good he was for you in the past.

Now, your turn. What do you think the Tigers' worst deals were?