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20 MLB Players Who Regret Signing With Their Current Team (And Where They Should've Signed Instead)

Despite being seasoned veterans, both Justin Verlander and Carlos Beltran won only their first World Series Championship in 2017 after a combined 24 years in the bigs. Verlander was ecstatic to be traded to the Astros, and surely Beltran knew he had signed with a special Houston team. Carlos has since retired on top, but Verlander is still with the reigning champions hoping to repeat. However, not every player can be thrilled with the team they are currently on for a variety of reasons.

There are many players that aren’t happy with their current team and have to wish they had signed elsewhere. Take Alex Rodriguez, who despite winning a World Series, had a dismal time with the Yankees. Or take Albert Pujols, who may have signed a lucrative deal in L.A. but hasn’t sniffed a World Series since. Whether players are frustrated with their team losing, underperforming themselves or unexpectedly traded, many MLB players have to feel like they made a mistake signing with a particular team and when they could have signed elsewhere.

Again, take Pujols for example, who certainly loves the money but could have been with any other winning team besides an average Angels club. There are plenty of teams in the league that would love to have an Albert Pujols caliber baseball player, and this article takes a look at some of these frustrated players. Here, we take a look at 20 of these players who aren’t thrilled with the team they currently signed with and where they should have signed instead.

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20 Yu Darvish - Chicago Cubs

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Seattle Mariners

You can’t really blame the Chicago Cubs for signing Yu Darvish. He was a Cy Young candidate, a four-time All-Star and helped take the Dodgers to the World Series in 2017. Surely, Yu had to have been happy to sign a $126 million deal that sent him to another contender.

Unfortunately, the 2018 season has not treated Darvish kindly.

Yu’s ERA exploded to almost 5.00 and is out for the year with a tricep injury. With Yu getting criticism from the intense Chicago media, it’s likely Yu wishes he was back in the AL where he had the most success. The Mariners are still looking for starters, and despite no one giving them any serious consideration, they are surprising contenders even now. One has to wonder if Yu would rather be in Seattle than Chi-town right about now.

19 Todd Frazier - New York Mets

Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Atlanta Braves

Unfortunately for “The ToddFather,” the Yankees didn't re-sign him, and Frazier ended up with the Mets.

Unfortunately, the Mets season has been very disappointing and so has Frazier’s performance. Frazier has taken two stints on the DL and brought his OPS and Slugging percentage to career lows. With the Mets disappointing, Frazier should have gone to Atlanta instead. They need production from third base and Frazier could have been a veteran leader for their clubhouse. On a contending team, Frazier could have turned those numbers around, being far more motivated to win like he was with the Yankees.

18 Jay Bruce - New York Mets

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Cleveland Indians

While we’re picking on the Mets, let’s talk about Jay Bruce. Bruce is currently in his second stint with the Mets and played well for them before being traded to the Indians in 2017. However, Bruce’s return to the Mets has been abysmal. He’s posting a career low batting average and has spent most of the season on the DL. With Bruce’s numbers down and the Mets under .500, he may be regretting resigning with New York.

Instead, Bruce should have re-signed with his other former team, Cleveland. Whether Bruce hits for the DH, plays first or the outfield, the Indians could use some pop in their lineup. Bruce has seen success with the Indians, and surely Bruce would like to play for a contender once again.

17 Chris Davis - Baltimore Orioles

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Boston Red Sox

Chris Davis probably didn’t mind being traded from Texas to Baltimore in 2011, nor did he mind signing with the Orioles in 2016. Davis saw playoff baseball for a few seasons with the Orioles that is until the 2018 season happened. Now, not only are the Orioles rebuilding, but Davis’ numbers have plummeted as well.

Davis has gotten so bad, he’s actually been benched by the Orioles, after posting an average below .200.

Davis has to be kicking himself for signing a lengthy seven-year deal with a team that isn’t going to be winning anytime soon. Surely, Davis wished he had signed with the Red Sox who could use someone that can hit 53 home runs in a season, but Davis doesn’t even appear to be that guy anymore.

16 Martin Prado - Miami Marlins

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: New York Yankees

Martin Prado isn’t a widely recognized name in baseball because he doesn’t hit many dingers, but Prado is a solid ballplayer that hits for average and can play just about any position. After being traded to the Marlins, Prado had great 2015 and 2016 seasons with Miami but is probably not two happy about signing a three-year extension with them in September of 2016.

Prado signed before Derek Jeter became the minority owner and blew the team up. While Prado is still a great player, he isn’t getting any younger. He would have loved to sign with a contending team, and the Yankees would have been perfect for him. Prado could have replaced some of the Yankees’ dead weight in the outfield or help the infield by replacing Greg Bird.

15 Chris Archer - Tampa Bay Rays (Traded To Pittsburgh)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Boston Red Sox

No one can blame Chris Archer for signing an extension with the Rays in 2014 worth $25.5 million with two option years. However, Archer probably isn’t too thrilled about the deal after being traded to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. Archer pitched well in the always strong AL East, for a young Tampa team, but since his trade, Archer has seen his ERA rise.

For whatever reason, Archer has struggled in the National League and may have passed on the Tampa Bay deal had he known where he was going to end up. Archer would have had far more success had he stayed in the AL and signed with the Red Sox. Boston could use another quality pitcher and considering how the Red Sox have rocked him in the past, Archer would much rather pitch for Boston than pitch against them.

14 Jose Bautista - New York Mets

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: New York Yankees

Jose Bautista saw some very successful years in Toronto. However, his 2017 season with the Blue Jays ended up being his last after posting one of the lowest batting averages of his career. Toronto declined Bautista’s option for the 2018 season, and Bautista found himself with the Braves. Unfortunately, “Joey Bats” performed even worse for them and was released in May.

Bautista was lucky to receive offers from any team, but he signed with the Mets who are, unfortunately, going nowhere.

Bautista hasn’t returned to his Joey Bats form (yet), but he’d still be a good fit for a team like the Yankees. Playoff teams seem to bring out the best in Bautista, and with Aaron Judge down and their outfielders not performing well, New York could use Bautista’s power, if he could consistently find it.

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13 Scooter Gennett - Cincinnati Reds

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Cleveland Indians

While Cincinnati has to be loving what they’re getting out of Scooter Gennett, the Reds haven’t exactly been tearing up the NL Central. Gennett came up through the Milwaukee Brewers and stunned them by playing out of his mind with the Reds instead. However, Cincinnati is rebuilding, and Scooter is probably wishing he played for a contending team.

With Cleveland getting very little production from Jason Kipnis, the contending club should be looking for a little more “oomph” at second base. Scooter Gennett could have provided that for either team, and definitely Scooter would love to see playoff baseball for a change.

12 Jeff Samardzija - San Francisco Giants

Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Oakland Athletics

On paper, the Giants looked solid, with a good rotation of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, not to mention the additions of Longoria and McCutchen in the lineup. However, the season hasn’t turned the Giants way, and Samardzija definitely isn’t helping. Samardzija is nursing a shoulder injury and has posted a preposterous ERA above 6.00 in 2018.

Samardzija has enjoyed success as a Cub and in his first year with San Fran, but the Giants may be regretting his contract. Simultaneously, Samardzija can’t be happy with his pitching. Even though it’s a small sample size, Samardzija had his most success in Oakland. With, the A's in need of a boost in their rotation and are currently a contending team, Oakland could have been a much nicer home for Samardzija.

11 Dexter Fowler - St. Louis Cardinals

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Chicago Cubs

After being traded to the Cubs, Dexter Fowler signed a one-year contract extension in 2016 with Chicago. This turned out to be a nice deal for both parties involved. Fowler had a career year and helped the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. However, Dexter probably wished he had resigned with the Cubs because his move to St. Louis hasn’t been kind to him.

Fowler signed with the Cardinals in 2017 and has under-performed since then.

Fowler, for the 2018 season, has spent much of the year on the DL and is only hitting a buck-eighty. Fowler’s poor performance has even gotten the Cardinals GM publicly ripping on him. With that, Fowler has to feel like St. Louis was a mistake and would rather have stayed in Chicago.

10 Jacoby Ellsbury - New York Yankees

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Boston Red Sox

After having a monster year with the Red Sox in 2013 and winning another World Series ring, Jacoby Ellsbury signed a seven-year deal with the rival New York Yankees. The signing not only riled up Red Sox nation but peeved the Yankees fans as well due to his lackluster performance with the pinstripes.

Ellsbury’s batting average has tanked over 30 points since leaving Boston and has missed the entire 2018 season due to injury. With Ellsbury getting it from the rabid New York media and fans, Ellsbury has to be wishing he had stayed in Boston. Ellsbury hit nearly .300 during his seven years in Boston, he was a Boston fan favorite and could've been on yet another World Series contending Red Sox team right now.

9 Alex Cobb - Baltimore Orioles

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
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Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Cobb rose through the Rays minor league system and was believed to be an effective pitcher for their starting rotation. Cobb pitched brilliantly for the Rays during the 2013 and 2014 seasons before going on the DL and missing the 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery. Cobb was ineffective in 2016 but returned to form in 2017, making him a high commodity during his free agency.

After signing a four-year deal with the Orioles in 2018, fans have to be wondering what Alex Cobb was thinking.

The Orioles went backwards in 2017 and stripped the team down in 2018. Cobb is having a lousy year to boot but could have signed with a Colorado Rockies team instead, who are looking for good pitchers. They are currently in the playoff hunt and likely will be for years to come.

8 Lucas Duda - New York Mets

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Cleveland Indians

He probably wasn’t the most sought after outfielder, but Lucas Duda had been a solid player with some nice pop for the New York Mets. Duda was traded from the Mets to the Rays just in time for New York to take a turn for the worst. In 2018, Duda would sign a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals and their not fairing any better.

When healthy, Duda can bang out 30 home runs a season, but, unfortunately for Duda and the Royals, Kansas City is not in contention. Surprisingly, the Royals didn’t trade him because he could be a dangerous hitter in any lineup, especially for an Indians lineup. Cleveland could use more offense, and Duda would love to be playing in the playoffs again where his numbers have been impressive.

7 Eric Hosmer - San Diego Padres

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: New York Yankees

After playing in Kansas City from 2011 through 2017, Eric Hosmer, not only made the decision not to resign with the Royals but signed a lucrative eight-year deal with the docile San Diego Padres instead. If Hosmer wants to see another World Series, he should be hoping that San Diego’s young prospects become Major League ready soon. If not, this deal to San Diego may be a long one for the first basemen.

Surprisingly, Hosmer did not end up with the New York Yankees who are getting very little out of Greg Bird at first. Hosmer’s power numbers are down, but he still has a solid OBP. While Hosmer likes the nice contract, Hosmer could have been on the World Series contending Yankees instead of a rebuilding Padres team.

6 Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Oakland A's

Adam Jones was drafted by the Mariners and played in 73 games for Seattle. Jones was eventually traded to Baltimore in 2008 and signed a six-year extension in 2012. The signing seemed like a good one, with the Orioles winning and Jones statistically having outstanding seasons afterwards. However, the Orioles have scuttled the team with plans on rebuilding. Jones’ numbers remain excellent, but he has to be wondering why he wasn’t traded.

With Baltimore going in the opposite direction of teams like Oakland, Adam Jones signing that extension is likely a decision he wants to take back.

The A’s are stunning the AL West and just imagine Jones’ offense contributing to the A’s surprisingly season.

5 Justin Upton - L.A. Angels

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Cleveland Indians

The L.A. Angels have been mediocre for most of the last decade and signing Justin Upton in 2017 wasn’t going to be enough to take them to the playoffs. Upton is still hitting well and is signed through 2022, but the Angels are a ways off from ever being contenders in the potent AL West.

Right now, the Cleveland Indians own the pathetic AL Central but a big outfield bat could really help take them further in the playoffs. Upton may like the California weather, but his contributions to Cleveland could have given the Indians another shot at ending their World Series drought.

4 Carlos Santana - Philadelphia Phillies

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Cleveland Indians

The National League is racing to a photo finish, with the Philadelphia Phillies vying for a playoff spot. With the young Phillies team showing a promising future, almost any player would love to play for Philadelphia right now. That is except for Carlos Santana.

While the Phillies are playing good baseball, Santana is not. Santana is batting just above .200 and posting his lowest WAR yet. While his team is still winning, Santana could have been winning with the Indians, where his numbers flourished before being traded. He could play first or DH for Cleveland and would be easing into the playoffs instead of clawing to get in.

3 Zack Cozart - L.A. Angels

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Philadelphia Phillies

While the Angels needed a lot more than Justin Upton, Upton is at least producing. The same cannot be said for Zack Cozart. After coming off an All-Star year, Cozart is batting just above .200 with a WAR in the minus. To make matters worse, after only 58 games, Cozart is out with season-ending surgery and still stuck in a three-year contract with an average team going nowhere.

Although it’s a small sample size, Cozart’s AL play hasn’t had encouraging results.

Cozart really needed to stay in the National League, and Philly was in need of a shortstop. Who knows what numbers Cozart could have been posting in the NL instead, but surely he’d rather be on a Philly team looking at teams below him than above.

2 Jake McGee - Colorado Rockies

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Should've Signed With: Tampa Bay Rays

The Colorado Rockies had the right idea when they traded for Jake McGee in 2016 to prop up their bullpen. Jake McGee had posted some great numbers for the Rays, but 2018 has been an unmitigated disaster for ole “Clockfingers” and the Rockies’ bullpen. McGee’s eye-popping ERA is above 6.00, and quite honestly, it hasn't exactly been lights out since coming to the NL.

McGee signed a three-year deal in 2017 with the Rockies but wishes he was still with Tampa Ray. Although the Rockies are in better shape than the Rays at the moment, McGee’s ERA is roughly two points lower in the AL than in the NL.

1 Welington Castillo - Chicago White Sox

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
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Should've Signed With: Washington Nationals

Fans have to wonder what Castillo was thinking when he signed with the Chicago White Sox in December of 2017. While jumping off the sinking ship in Baltimore was smart, the White Sox are taking on water as well. There are plenty of better teams that were, and still are, in need of a decent catcher, and one of those teams is Washington.

On paper, the Nationals looked great, and yet, their season has been a huge letdown. Part of their problem has been Matt Wieters’ poor play and injuries. Castillo is certainly hitting better, but with his 80-day suspension, Castillo may have been just as big of a liability. Still, there’s no doubt Castillo would rather be in Washington where he had a chance to win rather than in south side Chicago.

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