After 7 successful seasons with the Giants and Braves and at the age of 31, Russ Ortiz signed a 4 year free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $33 million. He had just finished 2 seasons with the Braves winning 21 and 15 games.
To say this did not work for the Diamondbacks would be an understatement. Ortiz, who had never been disabled in his career, fractured a rib after winning 4 of his first 6 games. When he returned, he lost six straight games and finished the season with a 1-9 slide.
In his second year, Ortiz injured his calf. Then he pitched terribly. HIs record was 0-5 with an ERA of 7.54. In June of his second season, the Diamondbacks released him. With $22 million left on the contract, the Diamondbacks released him and paid the money. Ortiz finished his career with the Diamondbacks with a 1-14 record from May 2005 until May 2006. At the time it was the most expensive release in baseball history.