MLB Players with the Most to Adjust to on Their New Teams
Moving to a new Major League Baseball team must feel kind of like moving to Mars. You're definitely still in the same neighborhood of the solar system, but the environment, culture and rules might be entirely different in the new town.
As has become the norm, many players will be wearing different uniforms next season, and it will be a big change for some of them.
Here are 10 players who particularly stood out to me, and it will be interesting to see what impact these drastic moves have.
James Shields to the Kansas City Royals
James Shields must be used to success by now. After pitching with the Tampa Bay Rays and even appearing in the World Series, it might be hard to go to a team who will probably not have as much success in 2013.
Also, with the emergence of David Price, Shields became the No. 2 option in the rotation. Now, he is undoubtedly the ace of the Kansas City Royals, so his expectations will be even higher.
Melky Cabrera to the Toronto Blue Jays
My reason for including Melky Cabrera on this list revolves around the level of pressure that he will be under.
While he was with the San Francisco Giants, obviously the team wanted to win and did so very effectively. However, with the crazy offseason that the Toronto Blue Jays have put together, the expectations are going to be incredibly high.
He should be fine, but it will be a totally different atmosphere for him.
Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Dodgers
Zack Greinke should love pitching at Dodgers Stadium. After all, who wouldn't love a vast outfield with deep fences?
True, just like Melky Cabrera and the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be under an immense amount of pressure.
However, this is still a great situation to be stepping into as a pitcher. Greinke will have the offensive support behind him and a favorable ballpark to pitch in.
Josh Hamilton to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
While playing for the Texas Rangers, Josh Hamilton was the undisputed superstar.
Now, as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he is more like one star in the constellation. Obviously, Albert Pujols is one of the best players in baseball despite a difficult 2012.
It might feel a little bit different to hit in a lineup and not be the most feared piece of it.
Raul Ibanez to the Seattle Mariners
Raul Ibanez has played for the Seattle Mariners before, but after coming from the New York Yankees, he will have to take a slightly different perspective on success.
With the New York Yankees, any year that does not end with another World Series ring is a failure.
The Seattle Mariners are team on the rise and have a group of solid young prospects developing. However, in the highly competitive American League West, it will be very difficult to even make the playoffs in 2013.
Consequently, Ibanez will need to do his part to help in the development rather than be a part of a team who is already highly developed.
B.J. Upton to the Atlanta Braves
B.J. Upton has always been somewhat of an enigma. He has a world of athletic talent, but it has only shown through at certain times.
Now, he has a massive contract signed with his name, and the pressure will absolutely rise because of that.
That will be a little bit of a change of environment for Upton, and it will be interesting to see what he can do if he can finally reach his full potential.
Russell Martin to the Pittsburgh Pirates
Although this hasn't necessarily been confirmed yet, it's pretty safe to assume that the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation will be getting younger.
Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon have flown through the minor leagues and are ready to debut at some point in the season.
Russell Martin will be integral in the development of these young arms. He really didn't need to do as much of that with the New York Yankees, so he will need to adjust a little bit more towards mentorship this season.
Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox
Joel Hanrahan is going to find a new definition of pressure as the closer for the Boston Red Sox.
He has been great with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and there is no reason to believe that he will not have more success. However, Fenway Park definitely favors the hitters, and every game is pretty intense.
He does have a tendency to be a fly-ball pitcher as well, so that will not necessarily help from Boston. However, you can't argue with the results he has posted year after year.
Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays
I have two reasons for putting Jose Reyes on this list.
First, like the aforementioned Melky Cabrera, he will be under pressure to turn the Toronto Blue Jays into a powerhouse.
However, he also deserves to be on this list because of the turf in Toronto. As a shortstop, he will have to learn to adjust his game for that. I am absolutely positive that he can handle it, but it will still be a change nonetheless.
Cody Ross to the Arizona Diamondbacks
Cody Ross spent last season patrolling right field for the Boston Red Sox.
Now, he's going to have to make the transition to center field, which might be somewhat challenging.
Also, he is surely going to miss the generous confines of Fenway Park when he is up to bat. Perhaps he will need to alter his approach at the plate a little bit.
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