This day 20 years ago, the Padres re-signed free agent Bip Roberts. It was Roberts' second taste of free agency; both times resulted in him signing with San Diego.
The first time Roberts hit the free agent market was after the 1993 season. He had spent the past two seasons with the Reds after being traded by the Padres for Randy Myers following the 1991 season. Bip was an All-Star for Cincinnati in 1992, but had an injury-abbreviated and otherwise underwhelming '93 season, making him a classic Padres buy-low candidate as well as a classic Padres bring-back candidate.
Bip bounced back in the strike-shortened 1994 season. He slashed .320/ .383/ .397 with 21 steals while playing in 105 of the 108 games played that season. That was enough to earn his first multi-year contract; he signed for $4.8 million over two years. He only stuck around San Diego for one of those years; he was traded to Kansas City just 363 days later in a deal for Wally Joyner.
When that two-year deal expired, Roberts signed with the Tigers. Detroit's general manager at that point was Randy Smith - the same Randy Smith who signed Roberts's last contract. Some people just know what they like.