15 MLB Players Who Are Now Worse Off After Offseason Moves
With just over a month separating teams all across the league from spring training, we're finally starting to get a picture of what the rosters may look like come spring—with some teams still making their final offseason moves, of course.
A number of high-profile signings and trades highlighted the offseason, though there were many other moves that haven't gotten nearly as much attention but could still yield just as much upside.
A year makes all the difference in this league, and many players who find themselves on new rosters this year—as a result of trade or free agency—may not be in the same position to succeed that they were in just a year ago.
Carlos Pena spent the 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Rays, his second stint on a team with which he has recorded some of the best numbers of his career.
He batted under .200 last season, but managed to go deep 19 times and drive in 61 runs for a Rays team that was in the thick of things in the AL East once again.
This year he'll be playing for the Houston Astros, a team that finds itself in the tough AL West where succeeding will be a tall, tall order.
After spending three seasons in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, Raul Ibanez donned the pinstripes in 2012 as a member of the New York Yankees.
He saw his batting average continue to decline from his .278 career average, but he managed to go deep nearly 20 times in only 130 games with the Yankees.
This offseason, he'll mostly be remembered for the clutch hitting that he displayed in the postseason, batting .444 in the ALDS while hitting two key home runs.
Ibanez will turn 41 next season, and while he'd love to be once again contending for a World Series title with the Yankees, he's going to be spending what could be his final season in Seattle, somewhere he likely won't be seeing much in the way of October baseball.
After spending the 2012 season with the extremely disappointing Miami Marlins, catcher John Buck had to be breathing a sigh of relief this winter when he was a part of a trade package that sent him back to Toronto, a team that suddenly looks like it could be one of the teams to beat in 2013.
The optimism didn't last long, however, as Buck was sent to the New York Mets as part of the trade that would send R.A. Dickey north of the border.
Early last season, Philip Humber's career hit an all-time high when he threw a perfect game, furthering the notion that he might just be a formidable arm in this league.
He stumbled after that point, however, and ended the season with a 5-5 record and an ERA north of 6.00.
Things won't get any easier for Humber, who now finds himself with the Astros, a franchise that has struggled more than any other in recent seasons.
There were high expectations in Seattle when the Mariners signed Chone Figgins to a lucrative long-term contract prior to the 2010 season.
It's been a very bumpy ride for Figgins, who has batted only .227 in three seasons with the Mariners after batting nearly .300 in eight years with the Halos.
Things got so bad for Figgins that the Mariners bought out the $8 million owed to him in 2013, avoiding the possibility of his $9 million vesting option kicking in for 2014.
Last season, Vance Worley found himself in the back end of one of the best rotations in baseball, with Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels leading the way.
That all changed this winter when he was shipped to Minnesota in exchange for Ben Revere.
He'll arguably be the team's ace in 2013, and while that has it's benefits, going from a playoff contender to a team that's narrowly escaped 100 loss seasons in the past two years doesn't sound entirely appealing.
There isn't a bigger spotlight to play under than in the Big Apple, and donning the pinstripes is a dream many kids have.
Russell Martin spent the past two seasons doing just that, and though he struggled a bit in 2012, he did make an All-Star Game appearance in 2011 and is a decent catching option.
He'll be a backstop in Pittsburgh in 2013, and while the team is certainly inching its way back from its worst days, most moves away from Yankee Stadium could be looked at as a downgrade.
Former Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds has had his share of struggles at the plate throughout his career, four times leading the league in strikeouts, even getting punched out 159 times last season despite missing nearly 30 games.
Nevertheless, Reynolds had to feel good about where he was, as 2012 marked the Orioles' resurgence in the AL East, and they finally got back to the postseason.
He won't be a part of their continued ascent, however, as he's out in Baltimore and has signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians, who face a tall order in getting to a place where they'll be able to enjoy the same success as the O's.
Andruw Jones has been a viable bench bat for the New York Yankees over the past few seasons, though he took a step backward this offseason as he winds down his career, making the move to the Pacific League, where he'll play for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.
That in itself is a downgrade, and his offseason doesn't get any better when you take into account the off-field issues that have plagued him.
With top pitchers like Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez off the market this offseason, we'll see free-agent pitchers like Kyle Lohse come into play very soon, as teams look to address their final offseason needs.
Lohse went 16-3 last season with the St. Louis Cardinals with a strong 2.86 ERA and the best winning percentage in the league.
It's hard to believe that Lohse hasn't gotten any free-agent offers after putting up such numbers last year, and while he'll surely end up somewhere, this offseason definitely isn't going as planned.
There was a time that Scott Baker was seen as a potential front-end starter in the Minnesota Twins' rotation, though that path took a hit prior to last season when he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.
He'll be with the Chicago Cubs in 2013, and while the contract numbers could be beneficial, making a return from major surgery in a less-than pitcher-friendly ballpark could impact his next deal, no matter where it ends up being.
Throughout his 13-year career in this league, Juan Pierre has seen his share of successes and has been a part of many contending teams, even receiving MVP votes in 2003 and 2004 as a member of the Marlins.
Pierre spent last season with the Phillies, and while they endured their share of struggles as a team, there's no doubting the talent that the roster has on board.
He'll be making a return to the Marlins in 2013, and while a year ago that team would have been a very appealing destination, a year makes all the difference.
The Kansas City Royals made a bold move to re-shape their starting rotation this offseason when they pried James Shields and Wade Davis away from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Shields will take over as the team's ace, while Davis will be returning to the starting rotation after spending 2012 as a member of the Rays' bullpen.
Davis had a sparkling campaign this past season, making 54 relief appearances while posting a career low 2.43 ERA and striking out nearly 12 batters per nine innings.
His numbers as a starting pitcher aren't nearly as strong, though, with an ERA nearly two runs higher and less than half as many strikeouts.
The Los Angeles Angels made many big moves last offseason and were instantly pegged as one of the top contenders for an AL title.
They ultimately fell short of a playoff appearance, but have made another big signing this offseason, bringing Josh Hamilton on board to bolster the offense even further.
Out of the picture now is Kendrys Morales, who has been shipped to Seattle, a team that's struggled to gain footing and has found itself at the bottom of the AL West in recent seasons.
Having dumped a massive amount of payroll last summer, the Boston Red Sox have plenty of holes to fill this offseason.
They got off to a seemingly great start in agreeing to terms with Mike Napoli on a three-year, $39 million contract.
The deal has had it's share of hiccups, though, as a hip condition noted in Napoli's physical has prevented the deal from being completed.
He'll obviously land somewhere, but with seeds of doubt hindering his current deal from getting done, lingering issues are casting a shadow on Napoli's entire offseason.