Aug 23, 2009

Andre Dawson - Best Cubs' Free-Agent Signing

I had the fortune to attend the Cubs-Dodgers game yesterday, the game was great, but the Cubs' lack-luster offensive performance was not. Not a whole lot of highlights here for the Cubs expect for the great pick-off of Juan Pierre by Ted Lilly and Sam Fuld ramming his head into the outfield fence to make a beautiful catch.

Between Milton Bradley striking out and waiting in line at the consession stand, I had plenty of time to think about how the free-agent signings of Bradley and Alfonso Soriano have not worked out the way they were supposed to and how Andre Dawson has been the best Cubs free-agent signing.

They have gotten some great players through trades over the past couple of decades including: Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. But none of their free-agent investments have came close to the production that Andre brought to the Cubs in 1987. Those investments have included: George Bell, Eric Karros, Henry Rodriguez, Todd Hundley, Juan Pierre, Moises Alou, Kosuke Fukudome, Soriano and Bradley.

How great of a signing was Andre? The Hawk played six seasons for the Cubs, let's take three similar players from the list above and compare their seven seasons together versus Andre's six.

Andre Dawson, 1987-1992 (6 seasons)
HR - 174 RBI - 587 AVG. - .285 SB - 57 Hits - 929 Runs - 431*

HenryRodriguez, 1998-1999
HR - 57 RBI - 172 AVG. - .278 SB - 3 Hits - 240 Runs - 128

Moises Alou, 2002-2004
HR - 76 RBI - 258 AVG. - .283 SB - 14 Hits - 467 Runs - 239

Alfonso Soriano, 2007-2008
HR - 62 RBI - 145 AVG. - .291 SB - 38 Hits - 300 Runs - 173

Totals: HR -195 RBI - 575 AVG. - .284 SB - 55 Hits - 1007 Runs - 540*

Pretty impressive, isn’t it? Dawson had 12 more RBIs in his six seasons than their seven combined. I guess the Cubs are like today's economy, some investments just don't pan out like they used to.

Kind of ironic, Andre was the one investment the Cubs didn't want to make. Dallas Green, the Cubs general manager in 1987, resisted signing Andre due to the condition of his knees, but then Andre presented him the “blank contract,”…and the rest was history.

Did I leave an unsuccessful Cub free-agent signing off my list? Leave a comment.



  1. Great topic selection. I have to agree, Dawson was a MONSTER pick up for the Cubbies that off season. I'm so glad he decided against playing in Japan with his buddy Warren Cromartie.


  2. No doubt, Dawson has been their best free-agent signing by a landslide. You highlighted something very interesting though, besides Dawson the Cubs are terrible when it comes to signing free agents but they are so good at acquiring great players thru trades. Never looked at it from that perspective. Good work.