The most unexpected MLB free agent signings of the past 10 years

The offseason is almost over, and with the exception of James Shields, every big-name free agent has signed. The current free agent season did continue the tradition of at least one surprising signing, however. One player always manages to provide a surprise for unexpectedly getting a huge contract and raising the market for his peers.

More often than not, that player and contract become a lesson in free agent economics for overzealous general managers and owners who think they're one piece away from contention or feel they need to make a statement to the rest of MLB. We don't yet know what this year's edition of free agency will yield, but the previous nine offseasons each have that one signing that changed the market and ended up resulting in regret for the big-spending team.

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Here are the most unexpected free agent signings of the past 10 years. They may not have been the worst contracts handed out, but were certainly a surprise.

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For more sports coverage, please visit Bloguin.com and follow Ian Casselberry on Twitter: @iancass