MLB Free Agents: Each Team's Upcoming FA Fans Desperately Want Gone
At the end of the MLB season, each team will be assessing their current rosters and making decisions as to who stays and who goes.
If it were up to the fans of each team, they would likely chime on on players they absolutely would like to see on their way out of town.
Either because of poor performance, bad behavior or just a sheer dislike, fans generally have no problems at all in voicing their displeasure over a particular player. Whatever the case may be, they will be on the airwaves and on various Internet forums espousing those views.
Here is a list of one pending free agent from each MLB team that fans would likely be more than happy to see packing their bags. In some cases, fans may not be desperate to see some FAs leaving town, but they won't be supporting re-signing them either.
Note: In certain instances we may include players who haven't yet reached free agency but could be non-tendered.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Takashi Saito
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It was likely that Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Takashi Saito wasn't being looked upon as a key piece to the D-Backs bullpen when he was signed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract this offseason.
But I'm pretty sure that Diamondbacks fans expected a whole lot more than just a 5.19 ERA over 12 appearances.
Saito will likely fade off into the sunset as the D-Backs finish off their season, and fans will look toward GM Kevin Towers to bring in someone a bit younger and more reliable.
Atlanta Braves: Jair Jurrjens
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If there was anyone who was a bigger disappointment for the Atlanta Braves than starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens, I'd certainly love to know who it was.
Jurrjens was simply awful, posting a 3-4 record and 6.89 ERA in 11 appearances. Jurrjens has not been the same pitcher since being selected for the All-Star team in 2011.
Even during his time with Gwinnett in Triple-A, it was clear Jurrjens was struggling, posting a 4.98 ERA and just 39 strikeouts in 72.1 innings over 14 starts.
Jurrjens made $5.5 million this season and enters his final year of arbitration. However, fans no doubt would like to see the Braves simply cut him loose.
Baltimore Orioles: Endy Chavez
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The Baltimore Orioles signed reserve outfielder Endy Chavez to a one-year, $1.5 million contract this offseason in the hopes that he would provide for the O's what he gave the Texas Rangers in 2011.
Chavez was excellent in his reserve role with Texas last season, hitting .301 with five HR and 27 RBI in 83 games.
This year, not so much.
Chavez was hitting just .190 with two homers and eight RBI in 47 games, including two stints on the disabled list with a hamstring and oblique injury.
He was designated for assignment by the Orioles on Aug. 4, and six days later, Chavez accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk.
Chavez was recalled by the O's on Sept. 11, mainly to act as a defensive outfield replacement.
There should be no question in anyone's mind that the 34-year-old outfielder isn't going to be welcomed back with open arms by the Baltimore faithful.
Boston Red Sox: Daisuke Matsuzaka
The name of Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka may just be the biggest no-brainer on this list.
After being signed to a six-year, $52 million contract that also included a record $51 million posting fee, the Japanese pitcher has more than largely disappointed Red Sox Nation.
One successful season in six (2007: 18-3 record, 2.90 ERA) is not conducive to winning over the hearts and minds of a Red Sox fanbase that is not shy in voicing their opinions.
There should be no doubt that saying goodbye to Matsuzaka is high on their list of priorities as the 2012 regular season winds down.
Chicago Cubs: None
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The Chicago Cubs only have three regular players past the age of 30 on their current roster—Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus and Shawn Camp.
Camp is the only one of the three up for free agency at the end of the season. With a $550K salary and coming off a solid season (3.55 ERA in 73 appearances), it's safe to say he won't be a hot topic of discussion amongst Cubs fans in terms of disappointment.
For Cubs fans, it's a waiting game at this point as Theo Epstein and company work to bring their team back to respectability.
Chicago White Sox: Kevin Youkilis
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With a current batting average of .236 during his time with the Chicago White Sox, third baseman Kevin Youkilis has been only marginally better than his time with the Boston Red Sox in early 2012.
And that includes an average of just .216 in the month of September, with only three HR and seven RBI.
The White Sox hold a $13 million option on Youkilis for the 2013 season. With the production provided thus far, I can't imagine fans on the South Side are clamoring for his return.
Cincinnati Reds: Scott Rolen
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As an eight-time Gold Glove winner and seven-time All-Star, 37-year-old Scott Rolen has put together an outstanding career.
However, in Rolen's case, the body just won't do what the mind wants it to do any longer.
Injuries have taken their toll on Rolen over the past several years, and once again in 2012, Rolen has missed significant time. Through Sunday, Rolen had played in just 83 of the team's 147 games.
Rolen is not hated by the fans, and he is not a man who fans desperately want to see gone. However, it seems unlikely that fans would want to see GM Walt Jocketty bring Rolen back at this point, unless it's as a role player for a drastic reduction in salary.
Cleveland Indians: Casey Kotchman
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Back in August, when the Cleveland Indians were sagging offensively and sinking fast in the standings, manager Manny Acta was asked about what the team needed.
"It's no secret; we're going to need to improve our offense," Acta told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We're going to have to find a solution in left field; we're going to have to find a solution at first base, and we're going to have to find a solution at DH. That's pretty obvious."
Well thank you, Captain Obvious!
That's pretty much an indictment of how Acta feels about current first baseman Casey Kotchman, and the fans are pretty much in agreement.
Yes, Kotchman is terrific defensively, but it really doesn't make up for a .226 batting average, a .337 slugging percentage and a .619 OPS.
There are holes all over the offense for the Indians, but Kotchman is likely at the top of free agents whom fans want headed out of town.
Colorado Rockies: Jonathan Sanchez
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The Colorado Rockies have a myriad of pitching woes, not to mention waffling over how they'll use their starting rotation going forward.
Nothing has worked thus far, with the Rockies firmly entrenched in last place in the majors with a team ERA of 5.11.
One of those pitchers who likely won't be back is Jonathan Sanchez.
Traded from the Kansas City Royals for the similarly disappointing Jeremy Guthrie, Sanchez posted a 9.53 ERA in three starts before being placed on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis in early August.
At a salary of $5.6 million, don't expect Rockies fans to be salivating at the hope of Sanchez returning to Denver in 2013.
Detroit Tigers: Ryan Raburn
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Okay, raise your hand if you thought calling up a .167 hitter in September was a good move.
Okay, raise your hand if you thought starting a .167 hitter in September was a good move.
Okay, then. Now you know how Detroit Tigers fans feel about what their team did in calling up the vastly under-performing Ryan Raburn and starting him during crucial games in September.
Raburn has raised his average to a more respectable .171.
Okay, I'm kidding.
Raburn drew a check for $2.1 million this season, with one more year of arbitration eligibility.
Anyone want to guess how many Tigers fans will pay for a cab to escort Raburn out of town at the end of the season?
Houston Astros: Chris Snyder
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The Houston Astros are on their way to a possible 110-loss season, and they'll be doing it with a collection of 20-something players who are auditioning for a roster spot in 2013.
The Astros have very few players who are actually eligible for arbitration, let alone free agency. GM Jeff Luhnow already took care of that by shipping them all out of town.
The only player who comes even close to qualifying would be backup catcher Chris Snyder. Snyder is hitting just .188 in 72 games, and the Astros and Snyder have a mutual option for next season after making $1.25 million in 2012.
I'm guessing Snyder won't be back. But Astros fans likely aren't desperate to see him go; they're already numb.
Kansas City Royals: Luke Hochevar
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I know it must be tough to give up on a first-overall pick, but in the case of Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar, it's time to cut the cord.
Since he was the top choice for the Royals in 2006, they have obviously invested much time and money into Hochevar's development. But at some point in time, someone has to figure out that enough money and time has been wasted.
Hochevar has posted an 8-13 record with a 5.46 ERA this season, giving him a career mark of 38-56 with a 5.33 ERA in five-plus seasons.
Hochever made $3.51 million this season and is arbitration eligible for two more years.
Do Royals fans really want to continue seeing Hochever thrown out there every fifth day to act as a sacrificial lamb?
I think not.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Ervin Santana
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In February 2009, Angels pitcher Ervin Santana agreed to a four-year, $30 million contract with the Angels holding an option for the 2013 season for $13 million.
Santana has been a trooper for the Angels, serving as the No. 3 or 4 pitcher throughout most of his tenure and throwing a no-hitter in 2011.
The 2012 season has been a struggle, however, with Santana posting an 8-12 record and 5.08 ERA in 28 starts.
The Angels will need to make a decision on the future of Zack Greinke, and with options needing to be decided on for both Santana and Dan Haren, something has to give.
Santana will likely be the odd-man out. Given his performance thus far this season, Angels fans likely won't be too upset.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Joe Blanton
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If this article had been written just a month ago, the obvious choice for this particular slide would have been James Loney.
However, Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti took care of that issue already.
Now, Dodgers fans have a new whipping boy—starting pitcher Joe Blanton.
Acquired in early August from the Philadelphia Phillies to help shore up the starting rotation, Blanton has done anything but that.
In eight starts, Blanton is 1-6 with a 6.07 ERA. On only two occasions has Blanton been able to last beyond six innings.
Blanton is a free agent after making $8 million this season. Considering that Colletti has taken on an additional $300 million in salary with his acquisitions in recent weeks, it's safe to say that Blanton won't be returning.
Dodgers fans likely don't want Blanton returning either.
Miami Marlins: Carlos Zambrano
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Believe it or not, at one time, Miami Marlins pitcher Carlos Zambrano was pretty good.
Try convincing Marlins fans of that fact.
Zambrano lost his spot in the starting rotation in late July and has been used sporadically in the bullpen ever since.
The only saving grace for Miami is the fact that the Cubs picked up the bulk of Zambrano's salary this season, the last in his five-year, $91.5 million deal.
Zambrano wasn't a fit in Miami. He wasn't a hit with the fans either. Goodbye, Carlos.
Milwaukee Brewers: Francisco Rodriguez
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The Milwaukee Brewers have worked their way back into the pennant race in the National League, and the back end of the bullpen seems to have righted itself.
Closer John Axford and setup man Francisco Rodriguez have both settled down after suffering through miserable stretches throughout much of the season.
However, with Rodriguez's $8 million salary, it's likely the Brewers won't be looking for K-Rod to return next year.
Brewers fans may not mind seeing him come back, but certainly not at anything close to $8 million.
Minnesota Twins: Carl Pavano
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At least for the Minnesota Twins, they got something for their money with Carl Pavano.
That certainly wasn't the case in New York after Pavano signed a four-year, $39 million deal, posting just 26 starts in those four years.
For two years and $16.5 million, the Twins at least got 44 starts. However, only 11 of them came this year, as Pavano hasn't pitched since June 1 with pain in his right shoulder capsule.
Pavano was finally shut down for the season last month, all but ending his career with the Twins.
I don't think too many in the Twin Cities will be lamenting his departure.
New York Mets: Andres Torres
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The San Francisco Giants and New York Mets swapped outfielders during the offseason, with the Giants receiving Angel Pagan and the Mets receiving Andres Torres.
It's safe to say the Giants got the better of that deal.
Torres has been less than stellar during his lone season in New York, hitting just .222 with two HR and 33 RBI in 116 games.
Torres isn't breaking the bank with his salary, making just $2.7 million this year, and he has one more year of arbitration eligibility. But at this point, Torres is clearly a non-tender candidate, and Mets fans likely won't mind one bit if the Mets pass on him this winter.
New York Yankees: Nick Swisher
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New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher is nearing the end of his contract, playing for $10.25 million this season after the Yankees exercised his 2012 option last October.
Swisher has been solid, hitting .255 with 20 HR and 78 RBI entering play on Tuesday. However, it's been reported that Swisher is looking for a deal similar to the one signed by Jayson Werth two years ago—seven years and $126 million.
If that's the case, Yankees fans will likely say, "Nick, it's been nice knowing you."
Oakland Athletics: Bartolo Colon
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The Oakland Athletics are rolling along, firmly in hold of the top Wild Card slot in the American League and just two games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
And they're doing it without cheating. Well, without a player cheating, that is.
That's what starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was accused of when he was slapped with a 50-game suspension for high testosterone levels. Rather than cry in their milk/beer and lick their wounds, the A's simply kept on marching.
Colon and his $2 million salary will not be welcomed back.
Philadelphia Phillies: Placido Polanco
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The lingering back issues that have plagued Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco will likely keep him on the disabled list for the remainder of the season. His career in Philly is likely over as well.
Polanco is in the final season of a three-year, $18 million contract, with the Phillies holding an option for the 2013 season. Don't expect the Phillies to exercise that option, and don't expect Philly fans to be clamoring for the Phillies to exercise that option either.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Rod Barajas
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are sadly sinking in the standings, having been passed up in the Wild Card race by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
At 73-72 entering play on Monday, the Pirates are desperately searching for a way to end their inglorious streak of 19 consecutive losing seasons.
And they're doing it with a catcher who's hitting just .199 and making $4 million.
Rod Barajas was expected to add some offense behind the plate. It's safe to say that hasn't happened, and Pirates fans will no doubt be clamoring for the front office to decline his 2013 option.
San Diego Padres: None
Chase Headley and the San Diego Padres will head off into the offseason on a positive note.
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Much like the Kansas City Royals, the San Diego Padres are loaded with 20-something players that are years away from free agency.
GM Josh Byrnes traded away several players for much younger players under team control, so entering the offseason, he will have few worries in terms of re-signing current players.
There really aren't any current players at this point, under team control or not, that Padres fans will be clamoring to get rid of.
San Francisco Giants: Aubrey Huff
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After being a positive offensive force for the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 season, Aubrey Huff signed a two-year, $22 million contract to remain in the City by the Bay and to continue to help lead the Giants.
The Giants will head to the postseason this year, but certainly not because of Huff.
After a down year in 2011 in which he hit just .246 with 12 HR and 59 RBI, Huff has been either hurt or non-existent in the Giants offense this season, hitting just .179 in 41 games.
The Giants hold a $10 million option for Huff next season—I think it's safe to say Giants fans do not want the Giants exercising that option.
Seattle Mariners: Miguel Olivo
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The Seattle Mariners have a couple of pretty good hitting catchers on their roster. Unfortunately, Miguel Olivo isn't one of them.
With John Jaso and Jesus Montero, the Mariners would appear to be well-positioned behind the plate next season. Olivo's contract runs out at the end of the year, with the Mariners holding a $3 million option for the 2013 season.
It's likely the Mariners will use that money somewhere else.
St. Louis Cardinals: Brian Fuentes
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St. Louis Cardinals reliever Brian Fuentes hasn't pitched in a game since Aug. 8 and likely won't again anytime soon—at least not for the Cardinals.
Fuentes was placed on the restricted list in mid-August by the Cardinals after Fuentes requested personal time.
The Cardinals hold a $6.5 million option on Fuentes for the 2013 season. Considering the circumstances, it's safe to say Cardinals fans won't be holding their breath waiting for his return.
Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Pena
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First baseman Carlos Pena signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract to return to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he had raked offensively for four years prior to his year with the Chicago Cubs.
However, this time around hasn't been quite so rosy for Pena.
Pena has struggled, hitting just .193 with 17 HR and 51 RBI along with a career-low .670 OPS and a career-high 170 strikeouts entering play on Monday.
The Rays are struggling to stay relevant in the American League playoff race. Pena's lack of offense will not sit well with Rays fans if they fall short of the mark.
Texas Rangers: Mike Napoli
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Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing over a month with a strained left quad muscle.
Napoli's return was successful, hitting a three-run homer off Seattle Mariners starter Jason Vargas in the 8-6 loss.
However, the season has been a major disappointment for Napoli, hitting just .225 with 18 HR and 43 RBI in 307 at-bats entering play on Monday.
Napoli agreed to a one-year, $9.4 million contract and will be a free agent for the first time this offseason. Considering his lack of production, will Rangers fans be clamoring for the front office to lock him into a contract that would likely be in the range of $10 million annually?
Not unless Napoli completely rakes during the rest of the regular season and postseason.
Toronto Blue Jays: Kelly Johnson
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The Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays swapped second basemen last August, with Aaron Hill heading to Phoenix and Johnson traveling north of the border.
It's safe to say the Diamondbacks got the better end of that deal.
Johnson showed signs of improvement with the Blue Jays following the trade, hitting .270 in 33 games after hitting just .209 in 114 games for Arizona. The Jays were impressed enough to give Johnson a one-year, $6.38 million deal.
However, Johnson has largely struggled once again, hitting just .222 with 14 HR and 50 RBI. Meanwhile, Hill completely rebounded in Phoenix, hitting .294 with 22 HR and 67 RBI.
Diamondbacks fans are very happy with Hill. As far as Blue Jays fans are concerned, Johnson should be as good as gone.
Washington Nationals: Chien-Ming Wang
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Starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang has not seen action for the Washington Nationals since June 30. While activated from the disabled list earlier this month, Wang has yet to make an appearance and will likely only do so in long relief at this point.
Injuries have taken a major toll on Wang in recent years, including this season. Wang is a free agent after making $4 million this season, and it's a safe bet that Nationals fans won't be waiting with baited breath on his return to the nation's capital next season.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.