MLB Free Agency: 10 Clubhouse Cancers Your Team Should Avoid

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2010

MLB Free Agency: 10 Clubhouse Cancers Your Team Should Avoid

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    ST. LOUIS - JULY 15:  Manny Ramierez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 15, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    MLB free agency 2011 continues with most of the big names still on the market.

    Aside from making a big splash by landing Carl Crawford or Cliff Lee, most major-league clubs will be looking to bolster their depth by adding veteran hitting and pitching.

    As usual, there are plenty reliable role players available.

    There are also a few players who you might want your favorite teams to ignore for one reason or another.

    Here's a look at 10 clubhouse cancers who could stir up trouble with their new clubs.

No. 10: Andy Pettitte, Starting Pitcher

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22:   Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees looks on during batting practice against the Texas Rangers in Game Six of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010 in Arlington, Texa
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Andy Pettitte isn't likely to go away quietly.

    According to reports, Pettitte is looking to stay with the Yankees as he wraps up his career.

    At age 38, he has drawn some interest from other MLB clubs, including the Texas Rangers.

    Wherever he ends up, don't expect him to relish a potential move to the bullpen if his body continues to break down.

No. 9: Felipe Lopez, Infielder

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    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 23:  Felipe Lopez #3 of the St Louis Cardinals fields a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on August 23, 2010 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    After firing agent Scott Boras last year, Lopez eventually found a home in the big leagues and finished the season with the Red Sox.

    Boston offered him arbitration but declined to pick up his contract option for 2011, putting him back on the open market.

    Despite having decent speed and power, Lopez can't seem to stay in one place for long.

    There has to be a reason the versatile infielder has had such a hard time finding a home.

No. 8: Miguel Olivo, Catcher

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 21:  Catcher Miguel Olivo #21 of the Colorado Rockies during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 21, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Olivo is a very good-hitting catcher who just keeps getting traded.

    What does that tell you?

    Despite his prowess at the plate, Olivo has been criticized for managing pitching staffs during stops in Florida and early in his career with the Chicago White Sox.

    Most MLB teams would rather have a light-hitting catcher who calls a good game than a wannabe slugger.

No. 7: Carl Pavano, Starting Pitcher

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 07:  Carl Pavano #48 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees during game two of the ALDS on October 7, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Even after he put up a solid season in 2010 with the Twins, it's difficult to forget what Pavano failed to do in New York.

    During his time with the Yankees, Pavano made a lot of money to spend a lot of time on the disabled list.

    Signing a player with a lengthy injury history is always a colossal risk.

    Don't be surprised if Pavano fails to live up to his next deal in the majors.

No. 6: Vincente Padilla, Starting Pitcher

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    SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 30:  Vincente Padilla #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on June 30, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to Padilla, who has been a fairly reliable starter throughout his lengthy career.

    Based on comments by his former teammates in Texas, he hasn't always been willing to put forth much effort on the field.

    At 33 years of age, he will probably get a decent offer to start somewhere else in the bigs.

    Just hope it's not with your favorite team.

No. 5: A.J. Pierzynski, Catcher

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 14: A.J. Pierzynski #12 of the Chicago White Sox argues a called third strike with umpire Brian O'Nora during a game against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on September 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Dani
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Pierzynski has made a career of making most opposing players absolutely hate his guts.

    Along the way, he has put up decent offensive numbers and proved to be very durable.

    Just don't expect him to take many pitches at the plate.

    He has faced criticism for calling games poorly, making him somewhat of a risky signing.

    With his offensive production fading, there is no great reason to take a chance on A.J.

    Nobody wants a crabby backup catcher.

No. 4: Brandon Webb, Starting Pitcher

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    TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 19:  Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses during photo day at the Diamondbacks spring training complex on February 19, 2009 in Tuscon, Arizona.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Webb is getting a lot of attention from MLB clubs as he looks for a place to resurrect his fallen career.

    The former Cy Young winner was supposed to return for the Diamondbacks in August or September, but chose not to risk his future and stayed off the diamond.

    Without knowing what to expect from him, teams should take a cautious approach.

    You have to wonder about a player who always maintained he was more injured than team officials believed.

    Webb hasn't pitched since early 2009.

No. 3: Orlando Cabrera, Shortstop

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    CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 12: Orlando Cabrera #2 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double in the fourth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark on September 12, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Not surprisingly, the Reds are letting Cabrera walk instead of picking up his option for next season.

    Wherever he has been, the feisty shortstop has quickly worn out his welcome.

    Don't expect him to willingly accept a platoon role, even though he would be best suited to playing part-time coming off the bench.

No. 2: Jose Guillen, Outfielder

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 06:  Jose Guillen #6 of the San Francisco Giants during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 6, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 2-0 in eleven innings
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The ultimate problem-child in Major League Baseball, Guillen finished last season as a member of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

    Injuries and dismal performance kept him off the postseason roster, and now he is looking for another home somewhere in the major leagues.

    Dealing with Guillen's baggage might have made sense when he was younger, but he doesn't appear to have much left to give.

    Jose Guillen, coming to a Triple-A team near you.

No. 1: Manny Ramirez, Designated Hitter

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Chicago White Sox stands in the dugout before their game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 22, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Im
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Manny is about done being Manny.

    After another lost season, Ramirez will need an American League to take a chance on his declining numbers.

    At this point, he is literally unable to play in the outfield.

    Not that he actually wants to.

    Ramirez reportedly wants a deal worth around $5.5 million to show he has value as a full-time designated hitter.

    There's no reason to throw good money at a player with a perpetual bad attitude.

    Somehow, you get the feeling an MLB team will take the bait.


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