Mike Hampton is best remembered for two things. The first was his tenure in Houston. From 1995 through 1999, Hampton pitched 984.2 innings to the tune of 124 ERA+, 3.85 FIP, and 1.34 WHIP. In Hampton’s final season in Houston, he finished second in Cy Young voting and made the All-Star game.
The second thing Hampton is known for is his disastrous contract with the Colorado Rockies. After spending the 2000 season with the NY Mets, he signed an eight-year contract worth $121 million. At the time, this was a record-setting deal. But he registered just a 78 ERA+ between his two seasons in Colorado. Ironically, he provided more value as a hitter than he did as a pitcher. He was salary dumped to the Atlanta Braves, where he rebounded and was a solid pitcher from 2003 to 2005.
But injuries would keep Hampton out of the game for two years. He finished off his eight-year contract in 2008 and returned to Houston in 2009. He didn’t pitch well there, with a 78 ERA+ once again. Hampton’s final hurrah in the Majors would be with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010.
Hampton’s stint in Arizona lasted all of ten games and 4.1 innings in September 2010. Hampton went scoreless in all of his appearances for the D-Backs, striking out three and only walking one batter, but it was an intentional walk. However, the former All-Star would retire in May 2011.