Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
David Ortiz (2003)
Ortiz, as Rany Jazayerli writes, “HAD BEEN RELEASED BY THE MINNESOTA TWINS” after launching 20 homers and driving in 75 runs in just 412 at-bats in 2002. Theo Epstein jumped at the chance to sign the 27-year old to a one year, $1.25 million pact.
Ortiz hit his way out of a platoon with Jeremy Giambi, cemented himself as the team’s full-time DH by summer, and finished with 31 home runs and 101 RBI, placing fifth in the American League MVP vote. The rest is history.