The 2019 MLB regular season is behind us, and it was full of pleasant surprises and giant disappointments.
Nobody had the 108-win and defending World Champion Boston Red Sox missing the playoffs altogether. Few pegged the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals as playoff clubs, too.
Meanwhile, some of the top superstars from 2018 really took a step back in 2019. For some, regression was expected. For others, they went from potential MVP/Cy Young candidates to giant flops.
Here's a look at the 10 biggest MLB disappointments from 2019.
10 Andrew Benintendi
The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox had high hopes for Benintendi entering 2019. The 25-year-old was coming off a career year in which he batted .290 with 16 home runs and 87 RBI, while posting an impressive 3.9 WAR.
Well, Benintendi was one of the many Red Sox players who endured a massive regression here in 2019. His batting average dropped by 24 points, he struck out 36 more times and his OPS went from .830 to .774.
Finally, Benintendi's War dropped down to 1.7. He's still a cornerstone player in Beantown, but Benintendi still hasn't reached the superstar level that many expected to see long ago.
9 Craig Kimbrel
The seven-time All-Star remained a free agent until June, but the Chicago Cubs finally bit the bullet and handed Kimbrel a three-year pact worth $43 million - hoping he'd be able to turn around a leaky bullpen.
Well, the Cubs have to be kicking themselves for getting burned in free agency once again. Kimbrel posted a woeful 6.53 ERA, while allowing 12 talks in just 20.2 innings pitched. That was bad enough for a WAR of -0.5. The Cubs fell apart in September and missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.
8 David Price
The Boston Red Sox thought they were finally getting their money's worth on David Price's monstrous $217 deal last year. He went 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA and was instrumental in helping Boston win the 2018 World Series.
But nope. It was just a mirage. Price dealt with consistency issues all season long. He finished with a 7-5 record, a porous 4.28 ERA - which led to a mere 1.8 WAR. A wrist injury cut Price's season short, and at age 34, it's easy to believe that his best playing days are behind him.
7 Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper's stats weren't exactly horrible by any means, but the Philadelphia Phillies simply expected better from the 2015 NL MVP. They gave him an MLB record 13-year, $330 million contract in free agency, and the 27-year-old was supposed to help them reach elite status in 2019.
But Harper finished with a mere .260 patting average, well below his career .276 average. Though Harper hit 35 home runs and 114 RBI, he struck out 178 times (the highest total of his career). The Phillies finished 81-181 and missed the postseason for the eighth straight year.
6 Robinson Cano
The New York Mets traded a boatload of young talents to acquire All-Stars Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners in the offseason. Though Cano entered 2019 with five years and $120 million left on his contract, the Mets believed that the 36-year-old was a final piece needed to help them reach the postseason.
Instead, Cano tuned in the worst batting average of his career (.256), and he clubbed just 13 home runs and 39 RBI. The .736 OPS was well below his career total of .843, and the 0.3 WAR was the second-lowest of his career.
Did we mention the Mets missed the playoffs? And that Cano will be 37 in 2020? And that he still has a ton of money remaining on his deal? It's not looking good for the Mets, folks.
5 Khris Davis
The Oakland Athletics slugger had an impressive stat of batting .247 in four (!) consecutive years. That streak, as you'd expect, came to an end here in 2019. And that was bad news for the Athletics.
Davis batted a mere .220, and he hit just 23 home runs after hitting 48 in 2018 (and 40-plus in the previous three years). He was also a huge liability on defense, posting a -0.9 WAR.
Despite his struggles, the Athletics won 97 games to earn the top wild card spot in the American League, though they fell to the Tampa Bay Rays. The A's can only hope that Davis will regain his star form in 2019.
4 Manny Machado
With a promising young core and arguably the top farm system in baseball, the San Diego Padres saw the 2019 offseason as their chance to go for it. So they inked All-Star third baseman Manny Machado to a 10-year contract worth $300 million, hoping he'd help them reach that next level in 2019.
Machado's numbers weren't terrible by any means, but they weren't close to the MVP form that we saw in Baltimore for six and a half years. Machado tuned in a career-worst .256 batting average, and he set a career-high in strikeouts with 128.
Machado did club 32 home runs and 85 RBI with a 3.1 WAR, but the Padres are going to need him to get back to his Baltimore form if they want to justify spending so much money on him. We'll see if he can turn it around in 2019.
3 Joey Votto
The Cincinnati Reds entered 2019 with pretty low expectations, but they were at least confident that six-time All-Star slugger Joey Votto to piece together another MVP-like year.
Instead, the Canadian superstar recorded just 15 homers, 47 RBI while batting .261 - the second-worst of his career. Not only that, but Votto drew just 76 walks while striking out 123 times. He also carries a career .941 OPS, but Votto's 2019 OPS was a disappointing .768.
Votto will be 36 years of age when next season starts, and the rebuilding Reds will be counting on him to bounce back in 2020. But Votto's not getting any younger, so it's safe to wonder if he's finally beginning to slow down.
2 Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz asserted himself as one of the game's elite closers for the Seattle Mariners in 2018, posting a whopping 57 saves, a 1.96 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 73.1 innings pitched. But the M's decided to rebuild during the winter, so Diaz and the aforementioned Cano were sent to the New York Mets in a blockbuster trade.
Diaz didn't come anywhere close to performing like his All-Star self in the Big Apple. He went 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA. He also posted just 26 saves, and Diaz managed to blow seven on the year, after recording just 12 combined through his first three years.
The Mets narrowly missed the playoffs in 2019. If Diaz had performed like his usual self, maybe they would have sneaked in. OF course, he's still relatively young and in his prime. There's plenty of reason to believe that he'll turn it around in 2020.
1 1.Chris Sale
After leading the Red Sox to a World Series in 2019, All-Star pitcher Chris Sale was rewarded with a five-year extension worth $145 million. The 30-year-old was entering the final year of his contract, but Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski thought he hit a home run by retaining Sale long-term.
Instead, Sale endured the worst season of his career. He posted a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA (both the worst totals of his career). An elbow injury limited Sale to 25 starts this season, too.
His contract only kicks in next year, and given his age and injury history, one has to think Sale may be will past his All-Star form. Dombrowski was also fired by the Red Sox before the season ended, and the decision to hand out such a mammoth extension to Sale probably played a factor in his dismissal.