Baseball base

Oct. 24, 1998

Mo Vaughn took his first step out the Red Sox’ door, filing for free agency. Since he had long since stopped talking to anyone in management, no one expected him to engage in any serious negotiations.

During the summer of 1998, the Red Sox offered him a four-year, $37 million deal. It was rejected out of hand.

Vaughn was coming off a year that would make anyone in the market for a slugging first baseman notice. He batted .337 with 40 home runs and 115 RBIs. Almost as soon as Vaughn could field offers from teams other than the Red Sox, he signed for six years, at $80 million.

But the injuries that haunted Vaughn through the bulk of his career took a toll. In two seasons with Anaheim he hit a total of 69 home run and drove in 225 runs. Then he missed the entire 2001 season.

The Angels traded him to the Mets for Kevin Appier; it was the beginning of his career’s end.

A bad knee plagued him throughout his time with the Mets. His weight ballooned to 268 pounds, providing writers and talk show hosts with a large, slow-moving target. 

Vaughn called it quits after the first month of the 2003 season.