Thank God 2020 is finally coming to an end, and what a horrible year it was, from the ongoing pandemic, to murder hornets, and oh yeah, us in Nashville also got smacked by a tornado in the beginning of the year, which was easy for me to forget. But with the New Year coming, it really would be hard for us to drop farther down than we already are, so we will learn to forget and move on. Great segue, cause today I wanted to look back at every teams most forgotten player from this last decade, and how they have been passed over, just like we all hope to do to 2020. Now by forgotten, I mean a player that many fans would think back and completely forget he was on their team, whether his impact was big, or small.
Lets get it started.
Jim Thome (2012)
Remember when Hall of Famer Jim Thome played for the postseason bound Baltimore Orioles in 2012? Yeah neither did I. Thome was traded over in late June for two prospects and posted a respectful .744 OPS in 115 plate appearances and got the start in the Wild Card game against the Texas Rangers.
Toronto Blue Jays
Liam Hendriks (2014-2015)
Hendriks has burst on the scene since taking over the closing duties for the A’s the last two seasons. But before 2019, Hendriks was an average to below average reliever for his entire career, playing for the Twins, Royals and Blue Jays. In his parts of two seasons for the team north of our border, Hendriks posted a 4.10 ERA in 78 innings.
New York Yankees
Rich Hill (2014)
I wouldnt blame you for not remembering Rich Hill on the Yankees, considering he only threw 5.1 innings in 2014 after getting released by the Angels. Those 5.1 innings were good ones though, as he posted a 1.69 (nice) ERA with a 243 ERA+. Hill’s career then took off a few years later when Boston picked him up the following offseason.
Boston Red Sox
Grady Sizemore (2014)
Sizemore will always be remembered as a Cleveland Indian, as from 2006-2008 he looked like the next big superstar in the game, garnering 3 straight All-Star appearances, and three top 15 MVP finishes. Injuries and bad performances eventually removed Sizemore from the league all together, but before that, he made a 52 game stop in Boston and squeaked out a .612 OPS for a last place Red Sox team.
Tampa Bay Rays
Hideki Matsui (2012)
The last stop of Hideki Matsui’s career came in Tampa Bay in 2012, as the long time Yankee star was entering the twilight of his career at the ripe age of 38. During his 34 games with the team, he struggled mightily hitting to a .147/.214/.221 line with a .435 OPS. Matsui was then released and announced his retirement not too long after.
Robbie Ray (2014)
Ray started his career with the Tigers, before getting shipped off to Arizona in a three team trade that also included Shane Greene and Didi Gregorius. Ray went on to have a pretty decent career with the Diamondbacks, being named to the 2017 All-Star team, and since then, has struggled in 2019 and 2020.
Kendrys Morales (2014)
When I think of Morales career, the first thing that pops to my head is him fracturing his left lef after hitting a walk off grand slam back in 2010. The last thing that pops into my head is when he played 39 games for the Minnesota Twins back in 2014, probably because he posted a .584 OPS and was traded to Seattle for Stephen Pryor.
Kansas City Royals
Miguel Tejada (2013)
This picture just looks so weird to me, like Miguel Tejada played his last season, the year Kris Bryant played his first, something about that rubs me the wrong way. The 2002 AL MVP (and forgotten Moneyball character) played 53 games for the 2013 Kansas City Royals and posted a .695 OPS in his age 39 season.
Jesus Aguilar (2014-2016)
Aguilar played parts of three seasons with Cleveland from 2014 to 2016, but only totaled 64 plate appearances in that span. He was the put on irrevocable waivers in 2017 and Milwaukee picked him up, and then when he got his first full time opportunity, took off and was named a 2018 All-Star and finished 16th in the AL MVP voting that same season.
Chicago White Sox
Mat Latos (2016)
Mat Latos was an outstanding pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds from 2010 to 2014, but it seemed that one moment in the postseason, when Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants hit a grand slam off of him in win or go home game 5, he just was never the same again. After that game, Latos went from Miami to the Dodgers, to the Angels, the White Sox, Nationals and finally the Blue Jays. And last I saw of him, he was beating the shit out of someone in an Indy Ball game, so that’s badass.
Hideki Okajima (2013)
While this delivery is not really beautiful to look at, Okajima actually had a pleasant to the eyes sort of career, and was highly undervalued. The problem with Okajima was the fact he came into the league too late, coming in for the Red Sox at age 31, and posting three great years with the club. He followed that with two subpar seasons, and missed all of 2012. Thats when the always sneaky A’s came in and picked him up. Okajima only pitched in five games for the A’s in 2013, put posted a solid 2.25 ERA and 189 ERA+ in his age 37 season.
Los Angeles Angels
Tim Lincecum (2016)
I will never forget the prime of Lincecum, growing up in the Bay Area, but damn, how hard he fell off was insane to see, from being the best pitcher in the game, to one of the worst pitchers in the game within a two year span. The trip to the Angels concluded his career in the Majors, as he posted a 9.16 ERA in 38.1 innings and was sent down, never to be seen again.
Matt Garza (2014)
There was once a time, long long ago, when Matt Garza was a big name in baseball, and he was coveted in trade talks. Garza was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers on January 8th 2011 with two prospects in exchange for Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer. Garza went on to play only 13 games for Texas and posted a 4.38 ERA in 84.1 innings.
Rickie Weeks (2015)
Did you know Rickie Weeks played in the big leagues until 2017? Cause I had absolutely no idea before doing some research. After spending the first eleven years of his career with the Brewers, Weeks signed with the Mariners, and played 37 games for them in 2015, posting a .513 OPS in his age 32 season.
Armando Galarraga (2012)
Just a few seasons after his “perfect game” Galarraga really fell off the cliff, but to be fair, outside of 2008 and parts of 2010, he really was never even an average pitcher in the big leagues. But because of that moment on June 2nd 2010, he will forever be remembered in baseball lore, and his name will never be forgotten.
Brad Lidge (2012)
Brad Lidge’s up and down career came to an end in 2012, after his horrific 11 game stretch with the first place Washington Nationals. For the season, Lidge pitched to a 9.64 ERA with 2.46 WHIP, spelling the end to his career that saw him on a constant rollercoaster ride of emotion, capitalized by him closing out the 2008 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Billy Wagner (2010)
Unlike a good portion of this list, Billy Wagner actually had a good deal of success in his time with the Braves, and was named to the 2010 All-Star team. Wagner finished the 2010 season with a 1.43 ERA (lowest of his career) with 37 saves for a “Brooks Conrad” cursed team. Get this man in the Hall of Fame, it is a travesty to relievers all over the globe that he isnt already in.
Chad Billingsley (2015)
Chad Billingsley had a quick run with the Dodgers when he looked like the future ace of the staff, and while it never worked out that way, with the quick rise of Clayton Kershaw, he was more than serviceable in his time in Dodger blue. That cannot be said about his time with the Phillies in 2015 though, as Billingsley spent seven games with the Big League team, and posted a 5.84 ERA and then disappeared into the annals of the history books.
New York Mets
Bobby Abreu (2014)
After a year hiatus in 2013, the Mets took a chance on 40 year old Bobby Abreu in 2014, and he came back to the league and posted a .680 OPS in 155 plate appearances, primarily off the bench for the second place Mets in a shit show NL East.
Kike Hernandez (2014)
In 2014, Kike was part of two large trades within five months of one another. First he was traded from Houston to Miami with Jarred Cosart and Austin Wates for Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes and Colin Moran. Then five months later, he was traded from the Marlins to the Dodgers with Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Andrew Heaney for Dee Strange-Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas. In his brief time with the Marlins (45 plate appearances) he posted a .692 OPS.
St. Louis Cardinals
Marco Gonzalez (2014-2017)
The reason why you dont remember Marco Gonzalez on the Cardinals even though he “played” four seasons with the club, is because of the fact he only appeared in 13 games over that four year span. He was then traded to Seattle in exchange for Tyler O’Neil, and since has become the ace of the Seattle Mariners.
Jim Edmonds (2010)
The long time Angel and Cardinal, played his last season as a member of the first place Cincinnati Reds in 2010. Edmonds actually came over with a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline in August 2010, and played 13 games for the Reds. During those 13 games, Edmonds hit .207/.281/.586(!!) with a .867 OPS as he tapped into his 40 year old body for some late career power.
Mike Morse (2015-2016)
There were a good deal of players to choose from for the Pirates, but I genuinely dont remember Mike Morse ever playing a single game for the Pirates, ever. He was brought over at the trade deadline in 2015 from the Dodgers in exchange for Jose Tabata (Scherzer would’ve had a perfect game if not for Tabata). Morse in two seasons with Pittsburgh played 51 games and had a solid .782 OPS in his time with the Pirates.
Joe Nathan (2016)
Long time Twins closer, spent the last season of his career split with the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. In his age 41 season, he posted a 0.00 ERA between the two teams in 10 appearances, spanning 6.1 innings. Who knows he might have had more left in the tank, but the Nationals the next season didnt seem to think so in Spring Training.
Will Middlebrooks (2016)
Middlebrooks looked like a future star for the Red Sox at third base in 2012 and parts of 2013, but injuries soon derailed the youngsters career. He was soon traded to the Padres for Ryan Hanigan, and then picked up in free agency by the Milwaukee Brewers. In his 10 games with the Brewers, Middlebrooks just managed a .337 OPS and was immediately released.
Chaz Roe (2013)
The owner of the filthiest slider in the big leagues in my opinion, Chaz Roe came up with the Diamondbacks in 2013, and pitched in 22.1 innings in his rookie season. He then left for free agency with the Rangers, Marlins, Yankees, Orioles, Braves and then eventually finding his home in Tampa Bay.
Melvin Mora (2010)
The 38 year old Mora, after spending the previous ten seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, and earning two All-Star appearances, made his way to Colorado in 2010. During his time with the Rockies, he played in 113 games, and put together an above average .285/.358/.421 line with a .779 OPS for the 83-79 Rockies.
San Diego Padres
Anthony Rizzo (2011)
It just doesnt look right does it? Well two teams actually traded Rizzo before he found his eventual home on the Cubs. The Red Sox drafted Rizzo in the 6th round of the 2007 draft out of high school, and traded him in a package for Adrian Gonzalez, before Rizzo ever played a game at the Major League level. And then the Padres traded Rizzo to Chicago in exchange for ANDREW CASHNER (tough scene). Rizzo in his limited time in 2011, played really poorly with the Padres to be fair, posting a .523 OPS in 153 plate appearances.
San Francisco Giants
Charlie Culberson (2012)
Just a quick reminder that Charlie Culberson won a World Series ring with the 2012 San Francisco Giants. The future Atlanta Braves, only played in six games with the Giants in 2012 and hit to a poor .273 OPS before getting traded to the Colorado Rockies in 2013 for future Postseason hero Marco Scutaro.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Sergio Romo (2017)
Sergio Romo did the dirty dead in 2017, and moved on from the Giants, and went to their rival in the Los Angeles Dodgers. It did not last long, as he spent a portion of 2017 with the club, posting a 6.12 ERA and getting traded for by Tampa Bay at the deadline for Cash Considerations.