2) NY Mets worst free agent signing: Vince Coleman
While Lowrie’s impact on the Mets was mostly financial, the negative effect the Vince Coleman signing had was far worse. The speedy outfielder was a star in the 1980s, beginning his career with three straight 100+ stolen base campaigns. From 1985-1990, he led the league in stolen bases.
Then, as a free agent, he decided to leave the St. Louis Cardinals and sign a four-year deal worth $11 million with the Mets. Again, let’s take inflation and the state of contracts into account. This was prior to the 1991 season when this was some pretty good money for a professional athlete.
Coleman would only end up spending three years with the Mets before getting traded after the 1993 campaign. His greatest weapon, his speed, diminished greatly. He had stolen base seasons of 37, 24, and 38. Staying on the field was a challenge. His 92 games played in 1993 was the most he would accumulate.
To make matters worse, Coleman was a nuisance behind the scenes. From serious criminal allegations to carelessly injuring Dwight Gooden with a golf club by accident in the locker room, he became one of the most hated players to ever suit up for the blue and orange. The team had to suspend him more than once. Each time, it seemed justified.