MLB Free Agency: Each Team's Ex-Player They'll Miss Immensely

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2012

MLB Free Agency: Each Team's Ex-Player They'll Miss Immensely

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    Players come and go during the MLB offseason as they sign with new teams. They also get dealt away by their teams in an effort to bring in more talent.

    They may not think that they miss them right now, but major league teams will miss some players that they lost this winter. They could have been big pieces of their teams in 2012.

    Some team's lost superstars while others traded away promising young prospects. Either way, the teams made a decision and if these players perform well then they will certainly be missed.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Jarrod Parker

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    Bringing in Trevor Cahill was certainly a good move for the Arizona Diamondbacks. To bring him in, they needed to give up a few good young players.

    One of the players that they dealt was Jarrod Parker. He has been one of the top pitching prospects in baseball for a few years now and he has the potential to be a top pitcher.

Atlanta Braves: Alex Gonzalez

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    It would be a stretch to say that the Atlanta Braves will miss Alex Gonzalez immensely, but he will likely be missed for at least part of the season. With Gonzalez out of the picture the Braves need to find a new shortstop.

    At the moment it seems as if Tyler Pastornicky will be the Braves' starting shortstop. There could be a steep learning curve for the youngster and if there is then the Braves will be missing Gonzalez.

Baltimore Orioles: Luke Scott

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    The 2011 season was a rough one for Luke Scott and the Baltimore Orioles decided to make the decision to non-tender Scott. It could be a move that they come to regret.

    Scott has now joined the Tampa Bay Rays. He has shown in the past that he has 20 home run power and that he post a .260 batting average. The Orioles could have used that in their lineup this season.

Boston Red Sox: Erik Bedard

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    Even though the Boston Red Sox lost Jonathan Papelbon this winter, they will not miss him too much since they have brought in Andrew Bailey.

    One loss that will sting a bit is the departure of Erik Bedard. He looked pretty good last season and the Red Sox certainly could have used Bedard for their 2012 rotation.

Chicago Cubs: Aramis Ramirez

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    Josh Vitters is supposed to be the Chicago Cubs third baseman of the future. The problem is that he is not ready yet. With Aramis Ramirez now playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs have a bit of a hole at third base.

    It seems as if Ian Stewart is in line to star the season as the Cubs third baseman. He is a bit of a downgrade from Ramirez.

Chicago White Sox: Mark Buehrle

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    Mark Buehrle had spent his whole career with the Chicago White Sox after they drafted him in the 38th round of the 1998 MLB draft. This offseason he changed teams and joined the Miami Marlins.

    Losing Buehrle harms the White Sox pitching staff. Buehrle not only provided veteran leadership, but he is also a very good pitcher.

Cincinnati Reds: Yonder Alonso

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    In order to acquire Mat Latos, the Cincinnati Reds sent a lot to the San Diego Padres. Included in the deal was Edison Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, Brad Boxberger and Yonder Alonso.

    The player that the Reds will miss most is Alonso. While he was not going to play first base in Cincinnati, Alonso could have been a very good left fielder for the Reds.

Cleveland Indians: Jim Thome

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    Even at 40 years old, Jim Thome proved that he could still produce at a fairly high level for the Cleveland Indians in 2011. Now the Philadelphia Phillies will be hoping that he can do the same thing for them this season.

    Losing Thome hurts the Indians as he was a dependable bat that they could put in their lineup. He did not come at a high cost so they should have made more of an effort to retain him.

Colorado Rockies: Seth Smith

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    After the Colorado Rockies signed Michael Cuddyer it did not make much sense to keep Seth Smith around as their outfield suddenly got even more crowded. Smith was dealt to the Oakland Athletics.

    The difference in offensive production between Cuddyer and Smith was not that large but the difference in salary between the two players was. Smith was certainly a cheaper option for the Rockies.

Detroit Tigers: Wilson Betemit

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    The Detroit Tigers will miss Victor Martinez more than anyone else this season, but he is not the pick for them because he is still on their team. The loss of Wilson Betemit will hurt a little bit.

    However, that loss is more than offset by the Tigers' acquisition of Prince Fielder.

Houston Astros: Clint Barmes

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    The Houston Astros will be in a rebuilding mode in 2012 which means that they will give a lot of young players a chance to prove what they can do at the major league level.

    Houston only had two players that were free agents this winter. Of the two, the Astros will miss Clint Barmes more than they miss Jason Michaels.

Kansas City Royals: Melky Cabrera

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    Melky Cabrera had a breakout year for the Kansas City Royals in 2011. At age 27, Cabrera is just beginning to enter his prime and he could be in for a number of good seasons.

    The Kansas City Royals will need to watch him on television if they want to see any of his production. He was dealt to the San Francisco Giants in the deal that brought Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals.

Los Angeles Angels: Fernando Rodney

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    The Los Angeles Angels are one of the teams in the major leagues that did not suffer any significant losses during the 2012 offseason. In fact, they had arguably the best offseason of any team in the majors.

    Losing Fernando Rodney could hurt the Angels bullpen a bit in 2012. However, his loss will not be one that will cost the team a playoff spot.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Hiroki Kuroda

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    It looks like the Los Angeles Dodgers loss will be the New York Yankees gain. The Dodgers decided that they did not want to pony up the cash necessary to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda.

    Kuroda was a key cog in the Dodgers' starting rotation in 2011. He has a career 3.45 ERA and that production will be missed by the Dodgers.

Miami Marlins: Javier Vazquez

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    Although nothing has been made official, Javier Vazquez has been considering retirement. Losing Vazquez would certainly hurt the Miami Marlins in 2012.

    Vazquez shined in Miami last season and put up one of the best years of his career. At age 35 it would not have been that surprising to see him once again put up a sub-3.75 ERA for the Marlins.

Milwaukee Brewers: Prince Fielder

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    This one was fairly obvious. The Milwaukee Brewers lost a big part of their lineup this winter. Prince Fielder was a star in Milwaukee and now he will be taking his talents to Detroit.

    The Brew Crew signed Aramis Ramirez this winter but he will not be able to replace all of the offense that Fielder was able to provide.

Minnesota Twins: Michael Cuddyer

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    The Minnesota Twins lost two of their starting outfielders this winter. Michael Cuddyer was a bigger loss for the Twins than Jason Kubel.

    Cuddyer has 20-plus home run power and he is a career .272 hitter. He could have been a big help to the Twins in 2012.

New York Mets: Jose Reyes

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    Gone from the New York Mets is Jose Reyes and along with him went a lot of excitement and hope for the 2012 season.

    The loss of Jose Reyes certainly stings for New York Mets fans as he was a homegrown talent that showed some incredibly skills during his time in The Big Apple.

New York Yankees: Jesus Montero

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    Jesus Montero was once considered to be an a practically untouchable prospect. It turns out that the New York Yankees just needed a compelling enough reason to move him.

    They found one when they entered talks with the Seattle Mariners and found out that they could acquire Michael Pineda. Montero could potentially develop into an offensive star and if he hits 25-plus home runs a year his loss will certainly sting a bit.

Oakland Athletics: Gio Gonzalez

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    The Oakland Athletics traded away two of their best starters this winter when they dealt Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals and Trevor Cahill to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Of the two, the Athletics will likely miss Gonzalez more. He was an All-Star this season and he found a lot of success in Oakland. The Athletics did manage to get a great return for him though.

Philadelphia Phillies: Brad Lidge

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    Even though he only appeared in 25 games last season, Brad Lidge was lights-out for the Philadelphia Phillies when he was on the mound.

    The team should have retained him this winter. He signed with the Washington Nationals for $1 million. He could have been a cheap setup man for the Phillies.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Paul Maholm

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    Paul Maholm was the closest thing that the Pittsburgh Pirates have had to an ace in a number of years. He became a free agent this winter and they let him walk.

    Maholm could have once again been the leader of the Pirates pitching staff. He would have been a starter that they could have been confident in.

San Diego Padres: Mat Latos

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    Don't let Mat Latos' 9-14 record from 2011 fool you into to thinking that he had a bad season. Latos is one of the more promising young starting pitchers in the major leagues.

    The San Diego Padres decided to deal him to the Cincinnati Reds this winter. It is hard to fault the Padres, though, since they got an outstanding package in return.

San Francisco Giants: Carlos Beltran

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    One of the problems that Carlos Beltran had during his time with the New York Mets was that he struggled with injuries. Beltran was able to stay healthy for most of the year and he played 142 games in 2011.

    Beltran was a great addition to the Giants last season. He can still produce but they decided not to bring him back at the price he cost. Losing him stings a little bit more since the Giants dealt Zack Wheeler to the Mets to acquire Beltran.

Seattle Mariners: Michael Pineda

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    In his first year in the major leagues Michael Pineda was an All-Star and he finished fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. He was also a Seattle Mariner.

    Things have changed for Pineda's second year in the majors as he is now a member of the New York Yankees. Pineda was traded for a package that was headlined by top prospect Jesus Montero.

St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols

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    By the time that he retires from the MLB, it is entirely possible that Albert Pujols will have finished his career as the best player in the game's history. He also could have been a St. Louis Cardinal for life.

    Instead, the Cardinals decided that his contract demands were too rich for their blood. The loss of Pujols will certainly sting the Cardinals in 2012.

Tampa Bay Rays: Casey Kotchman

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    Casey Kotchman had a huge resurgence for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. He finished eighth in the American League in batting average last season.

    He left to sign a deal for $3 million with the Cleveland Indians. The Rays have replaced him with Carlos Pena. It can be guaranteed that Pena's batting average won't come close to Kotchman's batting average from last season. 

Texas Rangers: C.J. Wilson

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    For the past two years, the Texas Rangers have lost their top starter. In the 2011 offseason it was Cliff Lee. This season it was C.J. Wilson.

    Wilson, who had spent his whole major league career with the Rangers, went and joined the Rangers' American League West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels. This loss hurts because of how often the Rangers will need to face Wilson.

Toronto Blue Jays: Nestor Molina

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    In order to get Sergio Santos, the Toronto Blue Jays traded away Nestor Molina. He is an up-and-coming prospect that was in the Jays system and he could be in the majors soon.

    Molina has a career 2.21 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 5.89 K/BB ratio during his time in the minors. He is just 23 years old and now he could be part of the Chicago White Sox starting rotation for a long time.

    Photo Credit: Scout

Washington Nationals: A.J. Cole

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    A.J. Cole was a much ballyhooed prospect coming out of high school, but he dropped into the fourth round of the draft because of his contract demands. The Washington Nationals stole him with the 116th pick in the draft.

    Cole was part of the deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals. With all of his talent, the Nationals may end up regretting the fact that they traded Cole within a few years.

    Photo Credit: Nats320