Life in the big leagues can be rough. One day you can be laying roots in the city that drafted and developed you. Then the next day you are being traded to a team in another division. In the case for most Philadelphia Phillies’ stars of yesteryear, you are looking to get out of that city.
Trades and free agency have been critical to a team’s success for many years, as was seen with the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals, trade deadline moves helped impact the home stretch of games. In the Mets’ case, even the failure of a trade led to a positive result for the team.
Players like David Price and Yoenis Cespedes were valued trade bait for a Detroit Tigers’ team falling out of the playoff picture. The mere thought of Cespedes being with four different franchises in two years is a remarkable feat. For some players, being a journeyman can be a calling card of his value to other players a significance to fill a role.
Four players in major-league history have played on a dozen or more teams in their careers. All four are no longer active but have played in the last 15 seasons. Surprisingly, my boyhood hero Kenny Lofton is not one of them. He managed to play for only 11 teams in his career. It’s interesting to look back at the careers of the four players who have played for a dozen or more MLB franchises.