15 worst free agent signings in Mets history

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets - Game Four
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets - Game Four / Elsa/GettyImages
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Mets George Foster / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

5) NY Mets worst free agent signing: George Foster

The case claiming George Foster was a bad free agent signing is a deep one. He was one of the best power hitters of the 1970s. The Mets, hoping to reclaim the throne in the National League, acquired him from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade and then gave him a new contract. The five-year deal worth $10 million was one of the biggest in baseball.

Immediately, it looked like a bad deal. After all, Foster was already playing in his age 33 season when he first joined the Mets. His numbers took a quick slip with only a .247/.309/.367 slash line in year number one. His power also declined drastically with only 13 home runs in 608 plate appearances.

Foster would find his home run stroke again but he continued to hit for a low average and reach base far less than he did during his days with the Reds. During his five seasons with the Mets, Foster batted .252/.307/.422 with 99 home runs.

In 1986, ownership was ready to move on. The Mets released him on August 7. At the time, Foster was batting .227/.289/.429. They were prepared to replace him with Mookie Wilson or rookie Kevin Mitchell more regularly out in left field.

Foster finished off the season with the Chicago White Sox putting up similar numbers. It ended up as his last big league season.

The Mets made a lot of smart moves to rebuild the franchise in the early 1980s. The Foster contract was not among them.