15 worst Detroit Tigers free agent signings in franchise history

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8. Kenny Rogers, 2008

  • 1 year, $8 million
  • 0 WAR, 5.70 ERA (78 ERA+), 9-13 record

As a hard-nosed 41-year-old, Kenny Rogers was a veteran leader and key reason the Tigers went from zeroes to heroes in 2006. That magical year, he won 17 games, posted a 3.84 ERA, pitched more than 200 innings and ultimately finished fifth in American League Cy Young voting. He made three starts in the postseason without giving up a run – though not without controversy about what exactly may have been on his hand.

It took a toll, limiting him to just 63 innings in 2007 after he was forced to undergo left shoulder surgery before the season even began. 

The Tigers brought him back for one last hoorah in 2008 on a one-year deal, but sadly it did not go much better. Rogers did bounce back to make 30 starts that year, but he finished 9-13 with a 5.70 ERA (78 ERA+). All in all, it was an $8 million deal resulting in replacement-level play. The Tigers lost eight of his last nine starts that year.