Colorado Rockies closer Wade Davis: 3 years, $52 million
The Wade Davis deal worked at first for the Colorado Rockies as he led the NL in saves (43) in 2018 with a 4.13 ERA (115 ERA+) and a 3.65 FIP.
But after that, Davis had a 9.77 ERA, a 1.957 WHIP, and a 6.23 FIP in 55 games in 2019 and 2020. He was one of many pieces in the “super bullpen” that didn’t work.
Colorado Rockies left-handed starter Mike Hampton: 8 years, $121 million
The Colorado Rockies signed left-handed starting pitcher Mike Hampton before the start of the 2001 season to an eight-year deal worth $121 million. That was the richest contract in MLB history at the time … until one week later, when outfielder Manny Ramírez signed with Boston for eight years and $160 million. He held the record until one month later when Alex Rodríguez signed with Texas for 10 years and $262 million.
Hampton was an All-Star in his first season with the Rockies but from his last start before the All-Star Game through the end of the season, Hampton’s ERA ballooned from 3.76 to 7.57 after. His overall ERA ballooned to 5.41.
He had a 6.35 ERA in 30 starts in 2002 before the Rockies traded him to the Florida Marlins. The Marlins ended up trading him to Atlanta but the Rockies were able to get themselves out from underneath that albatross of a deal but they had to take on Preston Wilson’s and Charles Johnson’s contracts. ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian described all the logistics well at the time.