15 worst New York Yankees free agent signings in franchise history

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees
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15. Don Gullett, Nov. 1976

One of the earliest examples in a long line of 'em of the Yankees attempting to join their rivals rather than beat them, New York dipped their toes in the free agency waters by signing Don Gullett after the 1976 season, a year capped by a World Series thumping at the hands of the Big Red Machine.

Gullett was supposed to be a big-time turncoat who would help the Yankees get over the hump created by the Reds, but a funny thing happened on the way to the end of this contract.

Cincinnati's mystique began to dissolve due to free agency; they finished second, second, first (lost the NLCS to Pittsburgh), and third the next four years. The Yankees thrived in 1977 and 1978, amid plenty of turmoil, and Gullett pitched well enough in '77, despite ending up in a neck brace for a bit after falling on the mound. He went 14-4 with a 3.58 ERA and league-leading winning percentage.

Unfortunately, he allowed 13 earned runs in 14.2 innings across three playoff starts, and his career came to an end the very next season due to painful shoulder problems. He was here for a good time, not a long time, but it would be disingenuous to say that this move "worked out" thanks to the World Series win.