Players who played for multiple teams mlb? Sticking with only one team can be a special thing, with players such as Cal Ripken Jr. (Baltimore), Tony Gwynn (San Diego), Chipper Jones (Atlanta) and Derek Jeter (New York) spending their entire careers forming a special bond with just a single fanbase.
Then there are the MLB veterans who have experienced the opposite. These well-traveled journeymen bounce from team to team, getting a taste of the action in cities across the league. On one hand, these players might never settle into a comfortable home, but on the other hand, some team always is interested in their services. And many of these baseball vagabonds have enjoyed a great deal of success — even if it was split between many clubs.
Take Rich Hill. The left-hander has been in the Majors since 2005, and with his trade from the Pirates to the Padres ahead of the 2023 Trade Deadline, Hill has now appeared for 13 of the 30 MLB teams. The 43-year-old Hill doesn’t quite have the record for playing with the most franchises, but the Padres make him just the third to check 13 off his list.
Here’s a look at the more than 40 players who have played for at least 10 franchises.
Edwin Jackson, RHP, 2003-2019: 14
Over 17 years in the Majors, Jackson’s resume featured appearances for the Dodgers, Devil Rays, Tigers, D-backs, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, A’s and Blue Jays. Jackson, who announced his retirement in September 2022, made his final big league appearance with the Tigers in 2019. He’s the first Major Leaguer to play for 14 teams in his career.
Octavio Dotel, RHP, 1999-2013: 13
Dotel capped off his 15-year Major League career with the Tigers in 2013. The Mets signed Dotel as an amateur free agent in 1993, and he debuted for New York six years later on June 26. Knowing all about changing places, the Dominican-born hurler played for the Astros (five years), A’s (two years), Tigers (two years), White Sox (two years) and the Royals, Mets, Rockies, Pirates, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees and Blue Jays each for one year. Dotel’s five-year reign as the all-time leader in games played for most teams finally came to an end with Jackson’s start for Toronto.
Rich Hill, LHP, 2005-23, 13
Hill struggled to find consistent success early in his career with the Cubs, Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Angels and Yankees. (There also were stints with the Cardinals and Nationals that don’t count because Hill only pitched in the Minors for them.) But Hill reinvented himself as a 35-year-old with the 2015 Red Sox and since has enjoyed success with the A’s, Dodgers, Twins, Rays, Mets, Red Sox and Pirates.
Pittsburgh became his 12th team when he signed with them for the 2023 season, but at the Trade Deadline, he was on the move yet again, this time to San Diego, where he debuted on Aug. 6 against the Dodgers. In addition to being his 13th team overall, the Padres are the seventh team Hill has pitched for since turning 39.
Mike Morgan, RHP, 1978-2002, 12
Morgan was drafted by the A’s in the first round of the 1978 Draft and skipped the Minor Leagues to make his big league debut less than a week later. The right-hander spent two seasons in Oakland before playing for 12 teams over the span of an impressive 22-year career that spanned four decades.
Morgan saw time with the Cubs, Dodgers, Mariners, Cardinals, Reds, Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Orioles and Blue Jays before closing his career with the D-backs in 2002. Morgan capped his MLB career on a 4.23 ERA with 141 wins over 2,772 1/3 innings pitched.
Matt Stairs, OF/1B, 1992-2011, 12
An apt name for a player who climbed his way to 12 cities, Stairs is the first non-pitcher on the list of all-time players who have played for the most teams and his 23 pinch-hit homers are a Major League record. The outfielder, first baseman and pinch-hitter was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1989.
He helped lead the Phillies to their second World Series title in 2008 after being traded from the Blue Jays in August of that year. Stairs played for the A’s, Royals, Nationals, Phillies, Blue Jays, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Padres, Cubs, Tigers and Brewers over the course of a 19-year career.
Ron Villone, LHP, 1995-2009, 12
Villone is another pitcher who traveled to 12 cities before wrapping a 4.73 ERA, 15-year MLB career. The southpaw was drafted by the Mariners in the first round of the 1992 Draft and debuted for them three years later on April 28. The New Jersey native went on to pitch for the Padres, Reds, Yankees, Astros, Brewers, Rockies, Pirates, Cardinals, Indians and Marlins before finishing his career in 2009 for the Nationals.
Fernando Rodney, RHP, 2002-19, 11
Rodney, his devastating changeup, and his quiver of arrows hung around big league bullpens for almost two decades, starting with the Tigers (seven seasons). He then bounced to the Angels, Rays, Mariners, Cubs, Padres, Marlins, D-backs, Twins, A’s and Nationals, with whom he won his first championship ring in 2019. He signed with the Astros in ’20 but was released before making it up to the Majors.
Adrian Gonzalez Interviewed as Finalist for Padres Managerial Search
- Former Padres star Adrian Gonzalez was interviewed as part of the team’s recent managerial search
- Gonzalez was one of three finalists for the job, along with bench coach and eventual hire Mike Shildt
- President of baseball operations A.J. Preller also has a long history with Gonzalez
Adrian Gonzalez, former Padres star, was interviewed for the team’s managerial position, making it to the final three but losing out to Mike Shildt. Known for being an exceptional player during his 15-year MLB career, Gonzalez’s lack of coaching experience set him apart from other candidates. His ties to San Diego and history with the Padres made the opportunity particularly appealing.
With Shildt now in place, attention turns to the coaching staff, with most positions open for potential changes. It remains to be seen if Gonzalez will pursue coaching opportunities in the future, either with the Padres or elsewhere.
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