15 worst Los Angeles Dodgers free agent signings in franchise history
6. Darryl Strawberry: Five Years, $20.25 Million, 1990
Darryl Strawberry's defection from the Mets to the Dodgers after the 1990 season was a massive moment for the National League playoff picture, but it didn't turn out momentous for very long.
Coming on the heels of successfully resurrecting Kirk Gibson's career, the Dodgers became less gun shy in free agency, guaranteeing Straw five years after he hit 37 bombs with a 140 OPS+ and third-place MVP finish in '90. However, the warning signs were there. He'd hit just .225 as a 27-year-old for the '89 Mets (29 bombs, 125 OPS+), and the behavioral issues that marked his time in New York weren't going away.
Strawberry's 1991 season in Los Angeles was a success; he made another All-Star team, finished ninth in the MVP race, and replicated his 140 OPS+. Unfortunately, he played just 43 games in 1992 and 32 in 1993, hitting .237 and .140 in those seasons. His release came in 1994 after he failed to show up for a game, and he was suspended for cocaine usage in 1995.
Strawberry's road to recovery was a long one, and his addiction issues had roots in New York. However, his time with the Dodgers is often seen as the moment when his habits overcame him.