Just over 13 years ago, the Minnesota Twins made a decision that altered the course of history for two franchises.
After the 2002 season, Twins general manager Terry Ryan decided to release David Ortiz, even after the 27-year-old first baseman/designated hitter tallied 20 homers and 75 RBIs in that campaign.
The rest, of course, is history, as Ortiz signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2003 and went on to win three World Series titles while securing a reputation as one of the greatest clutch hitters ever.
Ryan admitted letting Big Papi leave Minnesota was a huge mistake, but we’ve got good news for the Twins GM: He’s not alone. Owners and general managers in every sport have made some shockingly boneheaded decisions that have cost their franchises plenty of wins and, in some cases, championships.
We could fill an encyclopedia with regrettable trades and costly draft decisions, so for this list’s sake, we’ll focus solely on bad roster moves — i.e., letting a player walk in free agency — that came back to bite their teams.
Photos via Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images