Mo Vaughn played his first 8 seasons quite successfully with the Boston Red Sox. In his last five years with the Red Sox, he batted over .300 while hitting between 26 and 44 home runs. He was a run producer, driving in 143 runs in 1996.
In 1999 the Anaheim Angels won the bidding by signing the 31-year-old, overweight first baseman to a 6-year, $80 million contract. For the first two years with the Angels he was not bad. His average dipped to a respectable .281 and .272 with over 100 RBIs each year. He hit 33 and 36 home runs. Then the problems started. Plagued by many injuries, he was unable to play at all in the 2001 season.
In 2002, ignoring all the red flags, the New York Mets traded Kevin Appier to the Angels for Vaughn and the last three years of his contract. By now Vaughn was 35 years old and weighed about 275 pounds. He had missed the previous season. He played in only two of the three seasons of his huge contract with the Angels.
This was a tragic decision for the Mets. He hit a career low of .259 with only 26 home runs and 72 RBIs in his first season when he only played 139 games. In 2003, due to more injuries, he played in only 27 games. His miserable decline showed in his .190 average with only 3 home runs. HIs worn-out knees would not allow him to play again. Although paid for three seasons, he only played in 166 games for the Mets with a .249 average and 29 home runs.
All in all, Vaughn only played in four of his six seasons while getting paid $80 million. The Mets got next to nothing for the three years of salary that they paid.