MLB Players That Could Hit the Waiver Wire in 2013
With just a few weeks 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 this spring—with some teams still making their final offseason moves, of course.
There will no doubt be some maneuvering that takes place throughout the season as teams look to position themselves for postseason play.
Even a centerpiece of a franchise can be placed on waivers during the season, and while those moves don't typically yield a big transaction, the Boston Red Sox proved last year that it's not impossible.
Here are some players that might end up finding themselves on the waiver wire in 2013—even if we never find out about it.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Heath Bell
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Just a year ago, Heath Bell was brought into Miami to close out games for the new-look Miami Marlins, who had high expectations heading into 2012.
They came up short and ultimately sold the farm, with all of their biggest stars, including Bell, now in new settings.
Bell has two years left on his deal, and with J.J. Putz also recently signed to a contract extension, the Diamondbacks could use their depth in the back end of the bullpen as leverage into 2013.
Atlanta Braves: Dan Uggla
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After a debut season in Atlanta that featured a career high 36 home runs and 82 RBI, Dan Uggla's power numbers took a dip in 2012 as he went deep only 19 times in 154 games.
He did, however, lead the league in walks and saw his on-base percentage head northward, though his .220 batting average was the lowest of his career.
Baltimore Orioles: Brian Roberts
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Since signing a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2010 season, Brian Roberts has played in exactly 115 games, hit seven home runs and driven in 39 runs.
To top that off, he's batted more than 30 points below his career average since signing the contract. It is safe to say he won't earn much of the $10 million he's being paid in 2013, and while I guess it's never too late, it's hard to believe he'll do much to prove he's worth the money this season.
Boston Red Sox: Clay Buchholz
After two seasons with sub-3.50 ERAs with the Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz saw his ERA jump to nearly 5.00 last season.
He'll be under contract with the Red Sox through the 2015 season with two more years of team options, but as is often times the case when players hit the waiver wire, anyone can find themselves put out there at any time, no matter how locked into their organization they may be.
Chicago Cubs: Alfonso Soriano
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After clearing waivers last season, it finally seemed like there could be a deal involving Alfonso Soriano, a player who is seemingly always in the rumor mill.
Soriano is owed $18 million per season through 2014, and while he's been considered somewhat of a black hole from a salary perspective, he's been relatively consistent, going deep at least 20 times every season since 2001.
Chicago White Sox: Alexei Ramirez
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The Chicago White Sox had a largely successful season in 2012, surpassing the expectations of many and narrowly missing a postseason bid.
Alexei Ramirez had his share of struggles in the first year of his new contract extension, with his on-base percentage dipping nearly 40 points below last season's, though to his credit, he cut down on his errors in the field.
Cincinnati Reds: Ryan Ludwick
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After spending much of the offseason in limbo as he determined whether or not to sign with a new team, Ryan Ludwick ultimately put the rumors to bed when he signed a two-year deal to remain in Cincinnati.
He batted .275 last season and drove in a solid 80 runs, though in his prior three seasons, he was under .250, with significantly lower numbers than he showed in 2012.
Ludwick may very well prove to be a difference maker with the Reds over the next two seasons, but with five years separating him from his best days, the numbers may not be there.
Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana
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The Cleveland Indians don't have much in the way of inflated contracts on their payroll, although Nick Swisher will push the limits of their relatively minimal payroll with his new deal.
Carlos Santana is in the midst of a five-year deal paying him more than $20 million, and after putting up some impressive numbers in 2011, Santana could gain some interest in August should the team place him on waivers.
Colorado Rockies: Michael Cuddyer
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After giving Michael Cuddyer a big payday last offseason, the Colorado Rockies expected that he might be the answer to the team's problems and lead them back to the postseason.
The team still struggled, however, and while the Rockies could make a run at things in 2013, they might also be able to pull in prospects in exchange for Cuddyer if they decide to cut him loose.
A number of teams showed interest last offseason when Cuddyer was a free agent, and as Troy Renck of the Denver Post points out, the Rockies will likely make him and other players available as they look to add depth in the pitching staff.
Detroit Tigers: Nobody
Some people believe that teams place almost anyone on the waiver wire simply as a gauge that will determine the potential value of any player on a roster.
The Detroit Tigers may very well be in that boat, but on the heels of a World Series appearance, it's hard to believe they'd do much in the way of removing the talent that got them to the Fall Classic.
Houston Astros: Nobody
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With a roster full of prospects and inexperienced players, Houston Astros are heading into the 2013 season with one of the lowest payrolls that baseball has seen in a few years.
Jed Lowrie is one player that would likely be targeted by a team looking to make a deal, though the Astros' rebuilding process will likely keep most players in tact.
Kansas City Royals: Jeremy Guthrie
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The Kansas City Royals starting rotation will no doubt take on a different look in 2013, with James Shields and Wade Davis coming over in a trade from Tampa Bay and Ervin Santana making his way over from the Angels.
Jeremy Guthrie will be part of the rotation as well—though he's struggled to become the consistent pitcher that many thought he could become—and another move wouldn't come as a surprise to many.
Los Angeles Angels: Vernon Wells
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With lofty expectations accompanying them into the 2013 season after another very active winter, the Los Angeles Angels will look to improve on a 2012 season where they failed to produce to the extent expected of them.
Vernon Wells has been the target of criticism since joining the Halos, and with just 11 home runs and a .230 batting average last season, that is certain to continue.
He's owed $42 million over the next two seasons, but with Mike Trout emerging in the outfield and the team signing Josh Hamilton this offseason, it's hard to believe Wells will see much in the way of opportunities to succeed.
Unfortunately for the Halos, it'd be hard to move Wells' inflated salary even if a team did claim him off waivers.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Capuano
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have made so many additions to their roster over the past year that it's almost hard to believe they haven't made more subtractions.
Chris Capuano was brought on to add depth to the rotation a year ago, but with the big-name signings the team has made this offseason, it wouldn't be surprising to see them try to move Capuano.
Should they not work out a deal prior to the July 31 deadline, the waiver trade period could be another active one in Los Angeles.
Miami Marlins: Nobody
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After seeing the Miami Marlins sell-off almost everyone of value (except of course Giancarlo Stanton) this offseason, there just isn't much for the Marlins to trade at this point.
They're clearly going the route of a full-blown rebuilding, and while Stanton would yield the highest return, pitching is always in demand, meaning Ricky Nolasco could also become a coveted piece this season.
Milwaukee Brewers: Carlos Gomez
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When he first signed on as a member of the Mets organization, Carlos Gomez was a high-ceiling prospect that blew many away with his speed.
He was the centerpiece of the trade that brought Johan Santana over from Minnesota, but never clicked in a Twins uniform and was ultimately shipped out again.
Gomez hasn't done a whole lot for Milwaukee either, and more than likely, won't be a long-term fixture in Miller Park.
Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer
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The Minnesota sports world blew up last August when word broke that hometown star Joe Mauer had been placed on waivers by the Twins.
As is most often the case when players end up on waivers, nothing happened.
Mauer is no doubt one of the best catchers in the league and can play many positions. However, his $23 million salary accounts for more than a quarter of the team's payroll, something that is hindering their ability to make moves in other areas.
New York Mets: John Buck
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In bringing John Buck over from the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, the New York Mets have a player that will without a doubt be able to start at backstop from day one.
The question is how long he will be there.
The team also brought over top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud from Toronto, and with him set to see time in the bigs this season, Buck's departure wouldn't be the biggest surprise.
New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez?
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After one of the most disappointing showings the New York Yankees have ever had in the postseason, the speculation of what the offseason will bring in the Bronx is in full force, with Alex Rodriguez getting much of the attention.
We all know that his hip injury has been a big question mark, but as Yahoo! Sports reported, A-Rod's surgery could very well put his status for 2013 in question.
Even if he does get on the field late in the season, Rodriguez clearly isn't the player he once was, and he won't bring the same power-hitting to a team that will desperately need it with some offseason departures.
His salary and no-trade clause will be two main roadblocks in the way of any waiver deal, but that doesn't mean they won't give it a shot.
Oakland Athletics: Bartolo Colon
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At nearly 40 years old, Bartolo Colon's days in the league will likely be numbered, and though he was strong with Oakland last season, winning 10 games with a sub-3.50 ERA, his season was cut short after being handed a 50-game suspension.
Philaelphia Phillies: Nobody
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After missing out on the postseason in 2012, there's no doubt that that Phillies will do whatever they can to make sure that doesn't happen again.
A healthy Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay will go a long way toward making sure they're competitive in the tough NL East, and with massive contracts linked to their most appealing players, waiver deals are that much further out of the question—though not impossible as evidenced by the Los Angeles Dodgers' takeover last August.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Clint Barmes
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The Pittsburgh Pirates were cautiously optimistic about their chances heading into last season, and with free-agent infielder Clint Barmes signed to a multi-year deal, that was one spot they thought they could count on.
However, Barmes was largely a disappointment in a Pirates uniform last year, batting only .229 with his strikeout numbers on the rise and his on-base percentage heading in the other direction.
San Diego Padres: Jason Marquis
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Jason Marquis' 2012 season definitely didn't start out the right way, as he couldn't find the proper footing with the Minnesota Twins, losing four of his seven starts with an ERA of nearly 9.00 before the team ultimately cut ties.
He did a little better in San Diego, posting six wins in 15 starts, good enough to earn another shot in 2013.
If he doesn't show the same potential this time around, however, you could see San Diego opting to try to move him to a team that might be in desperate need of some pitching help.
San Francisco Giants: Nobody
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Tim Lincecum had some of the best individual seasons we've seen from young pitchers when he entered the league, and while he struggled at times in 2011, there was no reason to think it would linger into last season.
It's hard to think of Lincecum playing in another uniform at this point, and with the Giants showing they have a winning formula already set up, there's no reason for them to make drastic decisions unless things take a turn for the worse.
Seattle Mariners: Jason Bay
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Missing 67 games in 2010 and 39 in 2011, Jason Bay wasn't exactly the example of consistency in the New York Mets clubhouse.
He made $16 million in 2012, but with his vesting option in 2013 not picked up, he's been reduced to signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Seattle Mariners where he'll be used as a reserve infielder.
They're taking on very little risk in signing Bay, but if he doesn't pan out it wouldn't be surprising to see Seattle cut their losses.
St. Louis Cardinals: Ty Wigginton
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The St. Louis Cardinals don't have much liability in the way of contract obligations to Ty Wigginton, who is only owed $5 million over the next two years.
His value comes in the way of his versatility in the infield, and with Matt Carpenter fitting throughout the infield as well, one of them could be come movable.
Tampa Bay Rays: Nobody
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With James Shields and B.J. Upton both gone from the Tampa Bay Rays roster, the team has a boatload of players under team control for quite some time—and Evan Longoria.
They've done a great job of competing with the players they have on hand in the organization, and with this year being a big test for Tampa Bay, it'll be interesting to see how their roster matches up without the impact players they've lost.
Texas Rangers: Geovany Soto
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As the Rookie of the Year winner in 2008, Geovany Soto's career peaked early on, and it's been a struggle since.
He batted nearly .290 that season, but has since batted only .230 while seeing his stats drop across the board.
Soto struggled again when he came over to the Rangers last year, and with A.J. Pierzynski now in Texas, he'll see his time diminish that much more.
Toronto Blue Jays: Nobody
Young players who clearly have talent are often the most exciting to watch on the mound. Usually, it's just a matter of time before they succeed.
Ricky Romero is just such a pitcher but had a rough 2012 season, posting an 9-14 record with an ERA of 5.77 in 32 starts.
With Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey now joining the Jays rotation, Romero could quickly lose any confidence he had if he fails to match up in 2013.
Should the Blue Jays feel confident enough to move on without Romero, he could wind up on waivers as the new-look roster moves on.
Washington Nationals: Dan Haren
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In signing Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 million deal for the 2013 season, the Washington Nationals continue to show that they're going to push to make moves until they feel they have the winning formula.
Haren won 12 games in 2012, though he pitched in only 176.2 innings and saw his velocity drop, something the Nationals certainly took into consideration when they opted to keep the deal to one year.
If he's healthy, the Nationals won't even toy with the notion of placing him on waivers, but if he doesn't fit into the rotation as hoped, it could be a possibility.