It can be tough to release some players especially for playoff teams like the Dodgers and Yankees, but every team has at least one player that it has to release or possibly trade, no matter if it’s a starter, benchwarmer, or a member in the bullpen. This article highlights one player from every team in Major League Baseball that should be released as soon as possible.
Some of these players might be questionable to some, but the reasons for being released are many, including ridiculous contracts, underperforming, change of scenery, and other reasons. Some of these players on the list might be a long shot, but it might give some of the teams an idea of what to do to brighten the future of the franchise. For every team, there is more than one player that should be released, but these players are an absolute must so the teams can succeed in the future - no matter how long it's been since a team made it to the World Series, like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who hadn’t made it to the Fall Classic since 1988 (up until this year, of course).
I am always looking for feedback, so if you would like to reach out and talk about who you think should be released, please don’t be afraid to reach out and leave your comments below! Here is the complete list of players that should be released from every team.
30 ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Chris Herrmann
Chris Herrmann is on here mostly because of his stats this past season. As a catcher for any MLB team, we can't expect God-like numbers on offense, but Herrmann only had 10 home runs this past season along with a .181 batting average, which is the worst out of all starters on the team. The 10 home runs, however, are a career high for Herrmann. It also doesn’t help being part of team in the same division as the 2017 National League Champion Dodgers. Herrmann might also be better with either the Texas Rangers or the Houston Astros considering he’s from Texas. He has also proved to be a power hitter as he has hit 22 home runs in 727 at-bats in his first six years as a major leaguer. Bottom line is this: if the Diamondbacks want to climb higher in the standings, they have to release Herrmann before the start of next season.
29 ATLANTA BRAVES: R.A. Dickey
Dickey will never be as good as when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the Braves should consider dropping him because of his athletic ability, especially when he turns 43 years old next week. He also finished the season with a 10-10 record with 31 starts and a 4.26 ERA. It’s also rumored by ESPN that Dickey might retire before the start of next season considering he has yet to commit for the 2018 season. If that doesn’t happen, Dickey may want to consider staying in the major leagues for one more season to reach a milestone. He currently has 1,477 career strikeouts, only 23 shy of 1,500. At least he didn’t finish the season with 126 strikeouts like he did in each of the last two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.
28 BALTIMORE ORIOLES: J.J. Hardy
Yes, he was injured for most of the 2017 season with a broken right wrist, but that could be a sign it’s time to hang up the gloves. Hardy only had four home runs this season, which was the worst total of his 13-year career. It’s possible that Hardy could actually do better at Arizona, considering he was born and raised in Tucson. It’s also funny that his jersey number is 2 and he’s a shortstop. He’s definitely not Derek Jeter, but if he were to move on to a team not in the American League East division, he could get to that level. At 35 years old, he might not have a whole lot of time in the major leagues considering most athletes retire before their 40s.
27 BOSTON RED SOX: Rick Porcello
The Red Sox strive for success and Porcello is the only starting pitcher in the rotation that hasn’t shown success. Porcello went 11-17 this past season with a 4.65 ERA in 33 starts. Boston could put Porcello in relief duties, but he only had four relief appearances in his entire career back in 2013 and ’14 with the Detroit Tigers. Porcello definitely has the potential to be a standout starting pitcher especially after his biggest year in 2016 when he went 22-4 with a career-high 189 strikeouts and 3.15 ERA with the Red Sox. In the future, it’s possible that Porcello could be one of those pitchers that never sticks with one team for more than one season. After a breakout performance in 2016, it’s possible that Porcello could stay at Boston for a long time, but then with coach John Farrell released, it may not be long till Porcello gets released or traded.
26 CHICAGO CUBS: Kyle Schwarber
It’s very difficult to find someone to release a year after winning the World Series, but then there are the Cubbies. Schwarber had an unbelievable championship series last year against the Indians, but this past year was a whole different story. Schwarber was sent down to the minor leagues in June after hitting .171 in 261 plate appearances. He could actually do better with either the Indians or Cincinnati Reds considering he was born in the Buckeye State. However, it would be more likely that he’d go to the Reds over the Tribe because Cleveland doesn’t need more power hitters than what they already have. I think Cincinnati would love to have Schwarber in their lineup and that could make the Reds a championship contender.
25 CHICAGO WHITE SOX: Cody Asche
2017 was the first year for Asche to play for the White Sox after spending his first four years with the Philadelphia Phillies. Asche wasn’t a primary starter for Chicago, but he did have 57 at bats in 19 games. Out of those 57 plate appearances, he only had six hits with three walks, a double, and a home run. For a designated hitter at 19 games, he should’ve been called the designated strikeout since he’s done that 21 times with the White Sox. Overall in five years, he has 290 hits out of 1,238 plate appearances with 32 home runs and 331 strikeouts. Maybe Asche would be better if he was playing on the outfield but perhaps Asche is just not ready for the major leagues yet.
24 CINCINNATI REDS: Arismendy Alcantara
When it comes to Cincinnati, we usually think about Joey Votto; but Alcantara is one player we never think about because he’s not really good. His stats include 105 plate appearances in 2017 and only have 18 hits and 38 strikeouts in 70 games played. Alcantara was never a primary starter in Major League Baseball, but that’s only because he never had a chance to do so with the Reds, Oakland Athletics, and Chicago Cubs. Perhaps if Alcantara wants that starting role, he should probably be asked to be traded to a team that could use better starters like Tampa Bay, Chicago White Sox, or even the San Francisco Giants. Overall, if the Reds want to get back to the playoffs, it’s time for them to drop Alcantara or perhaps trade him for a better player.
23 CLEVELAND INDIANS: Boone Logan
In baseball, we usually don’t follow relief pitchers who aren't closers, but in this case, Logan might be the best player to release for last years American League champions. Logan suffered a high grade latissimus strain in his back in July, thus missing the rest of the season. It’s unclear if he will return to the Indians next season; but if he does, he could have an impactful season in 2018. The 12-year veteran is not a closer despite having three saves. Logan is also one of those players that keeps finding new teams to play for. He first played for the White Sox from 2006-2008 then played for Atlanta in 2009. After one year with the Braves, he played for the Yankees from 2010-2013. Before playing for Cleveland, he played for the Rockies for three years from 2014-2016. Since he’s a Texas native, he would probably be better with either the Rangers or Astros.
22 COLORADO ROCKIES: Trevor Story
Story is usually very good offensively, but not so much defensively. He led the team with 11 errors this past season. Story could also be better with a team like the Texas Rangers since he was born in Texas. The sky is the limit for Story, but he’s too good for Colorado. Story made a huge impact in his rookie season in 2016 when he hit 27 home runs and 72 RBIs on a .272 batting average. He pretty much did the same in 2017 with a .239 batting average with 24 home runs and 82 RBIs. He also hit a solo home run in the National League Wild Card game against Arizona and went 2-for-4. Therefore, Story is definitely a playoff player, just not with a playoff team. If Story wants to add a championship to his story, it might be time to move on from Colorado.
21 DETROIT TIGERS: Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera is everything that Detroit can ask for, but sometimes huge contracts on star players could make a bigger impact on the franchise. Cabrera is currently under a 8-year contract worth $248 million through 2023. With huge contracts like that, the Tigers are avoiding getting other big stars like Aaron Judge, Jay Bruce, and Jose Altuve. It might be very tough to let go a former Triple Crown winner, but with the new manager Ron Gardenhire coming to Detroit, it’s hard to tell how long Cabrera will stay with the Tigers. It’s also going to be interested if Cabrera will stick with baseball after recently being hit with a child support lawsuit that could make him pay $100,000 per month. Bottom line is if Detroit wants to get back to where they were a couple years ago, they might have to release Cabrera.
20 HOUSTON ASTROS: Juan Centeno
It’s hard to find a bad player from the American League champions, but the Astros do have one player to get rid of and that is Juan Centeno. His stats include having 52 at bats and getting only 12 hits and two home runs. Centeno can be a great player, but the Astros should release him because they are not using him enough. When they are not using a player enough during the season, then the Astros are just wasting money on a benchwarmer. This can only haunt the Astros later in the future because they are wasting money that they can use to get better players. If the Astros want to continue the roll that they’re on, it’s time to release or trade Centeno.
19 KANSAS CITY ROYALS: Jason Hammel
Hammel may have led the team in strikeouts with 145 but his other numbers are not to the Royals liking. He finished the 2017 campaign with a 8-13 record with a 5.29 ERA in 32 starts. It’s actually amazing that Hammel has lasted 12 years in the major leagues considering he is 92-100 overall with a 4.51 ERA and 1,336 strikeouts. Hammel has played for the Cubs for three years including the 2016 championship season. He also played for Oakland for a short time in 2014. Other teams he has played for include Baltimore, Colorado, and Tampa Bay. Considering he’s from Greenville, South Carolina, he might actually be better at Atlanta since it’s closer to home. Perhaps it’s time for Hammel to hang up the gloves and move on; but if the Royals want to get back to the World Series, Hammel either needs to step up like he did with Chicago or be released.
18 LOS ANGELES ANGELS: Albert Pujols
Pujols is currently under a 10-year $240 million contract. With a contract like that, how in the world can the Angels afford other stars they have like Mike Trout and how can they get more stars in the future? Perhaps he will retire soon considering he will turn 38 during the offseason. The Angels rely on Pujols’ leadership and that is what makes them a playoff contender even though the Astros keep destroying the American League west division. Perhaps Pujols might actually be better if he went back to St. Louis. Before going to Anaheim, Pujols spent his first 11 years in the big leagues at St. Louis. However, what else does Pujols have to prove? He has 614 career home runs and 1,918 RBIs in 17 years. With an 80-82 record in 2017, the Angels might have to consider mixing things up and release Pujols to save some money.
17 LOS ANGELES DODGERS: Rob Segedin
Do the Dodgers really need to drop anyone with the way they been playing to get to game seven of the World Series? Well surprisingly there is on player that the Dodgers do need to let go and that is Rob Segedin. The 28-year-old rookie only has 93 career at bats with the Dodgers, but only has 21 hits and two home runs in his two-year career. With all the money that the Dodgers have, why are they using some on a player that they don’t use very often? The Dodgers certainly need didn’t need Segedin to reach the World Series or the playoffs for that matter. Segedin can be a great player, but the Dodgers are not giving him the opportunity to do that and that’s the main reason why the Dodgers should release him.
16 MIAMI MARLINS: Ichiro Suzuki
Will Ichiro’s hall of fame career ever end? He just finished his 16th MLB season with a .255 batting average, which is the second worst of his career only behind .229 in 2015 with Miami. He also only had 50 hits in 2017, which is the worst total in a season for his career. The Marlins are the biggest threat to the Nationals for the NL East division title. If the Marlins want to return to the postseason, it may be time to put an end to a legendary career. At 44 years old, what else can he do that he hasn’t done? He’s won multiple Golden Glove awards, Rookie of the Year, MVP awards, and he is a 10-time all-star. The only thing he hasn’t done, however, is win a World Series championship. If he does that before turning 50, he will go out in style.
15 MILWAUKEE BREWERS: Eric Thames
Thames is an average player, but on an above average Brewers team. The Brewers were close to clinching a playoff spot this past season but suddenly fell into a slump. Before 2017, Thames spent five years in the Venezuelan Winter League after playing for the Blue Jays and Mariners in 2011 and ’12. However, Thames did have a breakout year in 2017 returning to MLB hitting career highs in batting average (.247), home runs (31), and RBIs (63). After a season like that, Thames could be a potential National League MVP next season. If Thames and other players continue to play like they did for most of the season, the Brewers could be a championship contender in 2018. However, some sacrifices will have to be made and Thames might have to be one of them.
14 MINNESOTA TWINS: Joe Mauer
Mauer will never be as good as he used to be, but now he’s not living up to his contract. He’s currently under an eight-year $184 million contract through 2018. The hometown hero from St. Paul spent his entire 13-year career with the twins. Mauer only hit seven home runs in 2017 but did have 71 RBIs with a .305 batting average. Despite making the AL wild card game, the Twins may not sign him after his contract expires after next season. Perhaps Mauer would do a lot better if he went back to being a catcher like he did for most of his career. Mauer may not be a power hitter, but he knows how to score runs and lead the Twins to victory. It will be interesting to see how Mauer does in his contract season in 2018.
13 NEW YORK METS: Jose Reyes
Reyes is currently in the middle of a $22.5 million contract but just finished the worst season of his 15-year career. He finished the 2017 campaign with a .246 batting average, which is the worst of any season in his career despite hitting 15 home runs and 58 RBIs. The 58 RBIs tied for second most in a season of his career. He had 58 RBIs in 2005 and 81 in 2006 respectively. He also had eight errors this past season, making his career total 193. Overall offensively his batting average is .286 with 141 home runs and 703 RBIs in 15 years as a big leaguer. If the Mets want to limit the team’s errors and save a little more money, it’s time to either drop Reyes or trade him.
12 NEW YORK YANKEES: Erik Kratz
The Yankees have a lot of great players despite missing the World Series by one game last season, but yet they have some players that could shine but don’t get the opportunity to do so and Erik Kratz is a perfect example. Kratz only had two plate appearances and had a single and a double respectively. Kratz was never really given a chance to shine as he only played in 229 games in eight years with a lot of teams including the Pirates, Phillies, Royals, Blue Jays, Astros, and the Yankees. Perhaps he would get a starting role with the Phillies or White Sox considering they could use different starters, especially Kratz has hit 18 home runs in two seasons (2012 & ’13) with the Phillies.
11 OAKLAND ATHLETICS: Jed Lowrie
There are a lot of players Oakland should release, but the one that needs to be released is Jed Lowrie. Lowrie finished the 2017 season with a team high .277 batting average but with a career-high 100 strikeouts. He led the team with 157 hits and .360 OBP and finished the season tied seventh on the team with 14 home runs. Lowrie can become a great player but it might not be with Oakland. The 10-year veteran has been to the playoffs five times with three different teams, including 2008 and ‘09 with Boston, 2013 and ’14 with Oakland, and 2015 with Houston. His postseason numbers include earning nine hits on 60 plate appearances including two doubles and a home run. If the A’s want to make it far into the postseason, they have to trade or release Lowrie.
10 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Maikel Franco
Franco is definitely a Phillies player; after three season with the Phillies, he hasn’t done much of anything. He has hit 24 home runs last season adding to his total of 63. He has a career batting average of .247, 219 RBIs, and 266 strikeouts. With stats like these, he shouldn’t even be in the major leagues. The Phillies will either have to release him or send him down to the minors. The Phillies will never be as good as they used to be when they had Charlie Manuel as their manager during the 2008 and ’09 seasons, but ever since he left the team, the Phillies have gone completely down hill from there. If the Phillies are tired of being one of the worst teams in the league, they have to rebuild and release Franco.
9 PITTSBURGH PIRATES: Josh Lindblom
The Pirates have a lot of good players despite its 75-87 record in 2017. However, maybe the Pirates could’ve went over .500 last year if they played Lindblom for more than four games. In only four games, Lindblom gave up 18 hits and nine earned runs in 10.1 innings. For a relief pitcher, we really can’t ask for much, but with his stats, it’s no wonder they didn’t use him a whole lot. The only good stat that Lindblom had in four games was not giving up any home runs, which was the first season he’s done that since his rookie season in 2011 with the Dodgers. Another stat to think about is his ERA of 7.84 in four games, which is just terrible for any pitcher in four games. If the Pirates want to save money, it’s time to release Lindblom.
8 SAN DIEGO PADRES: Kyle Lloyd
Here is a pitcher that needed to prove that he deserved to be a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his rookie season in 2017, Lloyd only had one opportunity to do that and it was disappointing. In his only game of the season against the New York Mets, he started the first four innings and gave up four earned runs, six hits, and one home run. Of course there’s a lot of pressure going into the first MLB game, but he can certainly do better if he had more opportunities. The Padres should release him, not because he’s not very good, but because they’re wasting money on someone they only used once. The Padres should either give him more opportunities or they should just flat out drop him.
7 SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: Dan Slania
Here is a player that I guarantee no fans have ever heard of, because he only pitched one inning in 2017. Slania might actually be the best pitcher that the Giants have because he is actually "perfect" - in his one lone inning in his entire MLB career so far, he retired all three batters he faced in 16 pitches at Pittsburgh against the Pirates. If the Giants were smart, they would split game time with Slania and other pitchers. They should probably have him start a game and if he was perfect in that matchup, have him be the Giants ace. Nonetheless, if the Giants want to save money, it’s time to release Slania.
6 SEATTLE MARINERS: Robinson Cano
Seattle sure does love Cano, especially when they have him for 10 years. His 10-year contract is worth $240 million; but it’s because of this high-cost contract that’s preventing the Mariners from getting bigger stars. Cano is definitely living up to the huge contract with a good fourth year in Seattle with a .280 batting average, 23 home runs and 97 RBIs. Maybe Cano could do better if he went back to the Yankees where he spent his first nine years in the big leagues. The second baseman only had two seasons (2005 and 2008) where he didn’t have a batting average above .300. He only had a batting average above .300 for one season in Seattle (2014). If the Mariners want to make it to the postseason, it’s time to save money and trade Cano.
5 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: Stephen Piscotty
Piscotty is only 26-years-old and has been in the major leagues for two years with the Cardinals; but 2017 was a year that Piscotty would like to forget having only hit a .235 batting average, which was the worst of his career. It’s also amazing to point out that he hit 39 RBIs after hitting 85 in 2016. He also hit 39 RBIs in 2015 so is it possible that he hits 85 in 2018 just to continue the RBI pattern? His batting average has also gone lower every year from .305 in 2015 to .273 in 2016 to .235 in 2017. With batting averages like that, it’s likely that Piscotty could hit under .200 next year. This just shows that it might be time for the Cardinals to release Piscotty if they want to make the playoffs next year.
4 TAMPA BAY RAYS: Chris Archer
Archer is a good pitcher, but he’s really not good enough for Tampa Bay. Archer only had two winning seasons out of six years (2013, 2014). His career ERA is 3.63, which isn’t bad; but it doesn’t help being a starting pitcher for a team in the always tough AL East division. Archer might actually be better off in the National League if he does get released from Tampa Bay. His worst season was in 2016 when the Rays ace went 9-19 with a 4.02 ERA and 233 strikeouts. Now let’s be honest; what MLB Ace only has two winning seasons? The Rays should probably try to get David Price back from Boston who helped get the Rays an American League Championship title in 2008 despite only having one start in his rookie season.
3 TEXAS RANGERS: Shin-Soo Choo
Choo is a 12-year veteran and he’ll never be as good as he used to be when he was with Cleveland. He did have a standout year in 2017 with 22 home runs, which ties for the most in a season. He also had 22 home runs in 2015 and 2010. The AL West division is no longer competitive because of the Astros. Choo spent six years with the Indians from 2007-2012. Choo did spend most of 2007 in the minor leagues, however. In 2016 with the Texas Rangers, he started to show that he’s injury prone after suffering four different injuries through out the year including a strained calf muscle, hamstring tightness, lower back inflammation, and a fractured forearm. That could be a sign that he should hang up the gloves; but if Choo wants a World Series championship, it might be time to ask to be released from Texas.
2 TORONTO BLUE JAYS: Jose Bautista
Bautista is starting to show signs of retirement in his stats for the last couple of years. In 2017, he struck out a career high 170 times. His batting average has also dropped the last four years from .286 in 2014 to .203 in 2017. At 37 years old, it might be time for the Blue Jays to move on from Bautista. The .203 batting average is his worst as a regular starting player. Bautista is definitely a power hitting having 331 career home runs with 927 RBIs; but how does he go from having 40 homers in 2015 to 22 the next year? It could be a sign that Bautista is slowly losing his power on the bat. I think if Bautista doesn’t hit at least 25 home runs in 2018, Toronto will have to consider releasing the 11-year veteran.
1 WASHINGTON NATIONALS: Jayson Werth
The Nationals have never won a playoff series in its history. The got some big talent in Bryce Harper, Geo Gonzalez, and Jayson Werth. However, the reason they never succeed in the playoffs is because they don’t have enough talent. Main reason why is because of Werth. It’s ridiculous how some players in baseball can get paid more than an entire franchise like when Alex Rodriguez was being paid more money that the whole Houston franchise has. It’s more ridiculous to pay Werth so much when his team can’t even win a playoff series. His contract is worth $126 million and it has just expired. Therefore, it might be time to look forward and not sign Werth for a new deal. If they do, the deal should be less than the last one.