Every general manager has a signing they want back. These, in retrospect, might qualify.
Young was brought on board after living down an incident in which he was charged with an anti-semitic hate crime, and willfully described the dog feces-handling he had to perform as punishment.
A guy classified as a DH by the American League team he’d just played for, Young was immediately knighted the 2013 starting right field by Ruben Amaro, who gave him so many incentives in his deal that it could balloon from $700,000 to $3.5 million if he kept losing weight.
Young started things off on the DL after having ankle surgery. In 291 plate appearances, he hit .261 with eight home runs and almost got his OPS to .700. He also did this:
Nix’s “mental toughness” and “football mentality” were the reasons Amaro brought him on in 2012. He got a two-year deal with the Phillies, because the Phillies don’t do one-year deals.
Nix hit what is probably his ceiling, .246 with a .727 OPS and three home runs, a number that seemed especially low given the size of his arms.
The next season, he helped the Phillies not make the playoffs a second time, hitting .180, failing to get that pesky OPS to hit .500, and striking out in 34% of his at-bats. He made $1.5 million doing these things. His total WAR with the Phillies was -0.6.
Fontenot was dropped by the Giants in spring training 2012, but the Phillies, jamming unproductive solutions into their gaping, gangrenous infielder-hole, scooped him right up in April on a minor league deal.
He got bumped up to the Majors in May and actually assembled a decent stat line at .289/.343/.340, but couldn’t hit lefties and was dumped in August to make room for treasured Phillies prospect Michael Martinez, who would go on to hit .174 in his second of three straight sub-.200 seasons.
The 1997 Phillies gave Danny Tartabull $2.3 million . That would prove to be far, far too much to ask.
Tartabull’s Phillies career lasted 11 magical plate appearances, in which he struck out four times, walked four times, and the particularly fateful 11th one, during which he fouled a pitch off his toe and never played baseball again.
He did score two of the 1997 Phillies’ 668 runs, though; this would be his highlight for the year, after a productive young career during which he at one point led the league with a terrifying .593 slugging percentage in 1991.
It’s easy to find his year in Philadelphia on the spreadsheets, though. Just ctrl+F “.000.”
Eaton put his signature on a three year, $24 million deal in 2007 while Pat Gillick nodded in approval. Everything was going great.
On April 5, Eaton started against the Braves and gave up seven runs in 4.2 innings. Hey, it happens. In July, he gave up six runs in four innings while the Phillies lost their 10,000th game ever, 10-2 to the Cardinals. His 6.29 ERA was widely considered “horrible.” When the Phillies went to the playoffs for the first time in a decade and a half, Eaton did not join them on the post-season roster. In 2008, he was bumped out for Joe Blanton.
Fortune smiled upon Eaton, though, as he was included in the September call-ups as a bullpen piece. The Phillies did not let him touch the ball. The last time he pitched, four games for the Rockies in 2009, he managed to get his BB/9 higher than his SO/9 (9.0 to 7.9).
"Lance us a pennant!" the Phillies marketing campaign was in 1987, a phrase that makes no sense, unless there was a cool ’80s trend in play in which people used medevial weaponry in everyday speech. Regardless, modern technology does not recognize it as an actual sentence.
Lance was not a pennant, unfortunately. The Phillies signed Parrish after his ten-year stint in Detroit, where he amassed a .263 average and .753 OPS that the Phillies for some reason thought could single-handedly win them the National League.
After five consecutive All-Star seasons, Parrish blew a gasket and hit a not pennant-winning .245. The next season, he hit .215 and somehow made the All-Star team, probably because of his 200% increase in triples (from 0 to 2).