Every time October comes around, North American sports fans find themselves with plenty of games to watch, with the most meaningful of those games of course coming from the MLB postseason. Of all the professional sports, baseball has the longest regular season with 162 games, and like every sport, there are a handful of teams who are considered to be championship contenders before the season even starts, but there are also quite a few teams that people know have zero chance of winning their division, let alone a World Series title. With that being said, however, every single team makes mistakes, no matter how close they are to winning a championship.
When it comes to making mistakes in professional sports, each one can have terrible consequences down the line, whether it be a poor draft pick, a bad trade, or a free agent signing who turned out to not be worth the money. All of those possibilities can occur in baseball. In fact, they tend to happen pretty often, and in every instance, the team in question looks as if their front office does not know what they are doing. No team wants to make mistakes, because smaller mistakes can cost your team wins when it really matters, while bigger mistakes tend to cost people their jobs. Varying degrees of mistakes happen every single year to every single team, and that trend definitely continued this season, and this list will identify the most regretful recent mistake that every MLB has made.
30 Arizona Diamondbacks: Not Extending J.D. Martinez
This year we saw the Arizona Diamondbacks take a small step backward, and anyone who watched them had to notice that they were missing something important: J.D. Martinez. It is true that the right fielder was only in Arizona for 62 games last year following a trade with Detroit, but he is a proven offensive threat. Arizona should have re-signed Martinez in the offseason but decided that he was too expensive, which is why he is now in Boston, where this season he hit .330 with 43 home runs and 130 RBI.
29 Atlanta Braves: Missing Out On Moustakas
The Atlanta Braves were one of the worst teams last season, but this year, they managed to become a playoff team, which shows how much potential their young roster has, but they could have benefited from some more experience in their infield. Johan Camargo is a good player, but he would not have even been given a shot this year had the Braves gone after Mike Moustakas instead, who is a proven postseason player. Considering he signed a one-year, $5.5 million extension with Kansas City in the offseason, it means that Atlanta missed out on a very affordable 28 home runs and 95 RBI this season.
28 Baltimore Orioles: Not Starting Their Rebuild Sooner
In baseball, you cannot put off a rebuild by a year, because if you do, that rebuild could very well last an extra two years at least, and that is what the Baltimore Orioles did this season. Coming into the season, the Orioles were aware that for the most part, they were not going to be good offensively and defensively, and they knew that their starting rotation needed an overhaul, which is why it is surprising that they did not just tear it all down. They may have traded Manny Machado, but they would have likely gotten more for him in terms of quality prospects if they had traded him during the winter.
27 Boston Red Sox: Not Addressing Their Bullpen
It goes without saying that the Boston Red Sox had a great year, what with their impressive starting rotation and an incredibly potent offense that earned them a whopping 108 wins. If there is one glaring issue for the team, though, it is their bullpen, which has been reliable all season, but not when dealing with left-handed batters, as their best lefty, Brian Johnson, had an ERA well above 4.00 this season when pitching to lefties. Boston had an entire year to address this, and they did not, a decision that they may regret (or have already regretted) come the postseason.
26 Chicago Cubs: Signing Yu Darvish
Last year, The Dodgers were considered to be World Series favorites, especially once they acquired Yu Darvish from Texas to further bolster their starting rotation, a move that would have worked out if Darvish did not stink in the World Series. Despite that poor performance, the Chicago Cubs decided to sign Darvish to a six-year, $126 million contract, and so far, things do not look good. Thanks to injuries, Darvish pitched in just 8 games this year, where he posted a 4.95 ERA in 40 innings of work.
25 Chicago White Sox: Not Dealing Avisail Garcia In The Offseason
For the past two years, the Chicago White Sox have been selling off their best players in order to get their rebuild on track, but for some reason, they refrained from trading Avisail Garcia. Last season, the right fielder hit .330 with 80 RBI and 171 hits over 136 games, which would have made him a prime trade candidate who would have garnered a great return. The White Sox decided to keep him, though, and this season he only played in 93 games, where his batting average fell to a lowly .236, a performance that essentially ruined his trade value.
24 Cincinnati Reds: Not Trading Joey Votto
The Cincinnati Reds are a bad team, and they are in a tough spot in terms of their rebuild because of how hard it is to trade their best player, Joey Votto. Votto is in the middle of a 10-year, $225 million contract, which means that not many teams would be able to afford him, especially if they already have a cheaper first baseman in the lineup. With that being said, they should have traded him before the season started, as he would have still garnered a decent return, especially if the Reds were willing to pay a good chunk of his salary.
23 Cleveland Indians: Letting Too Many Players Go In The Offseason
The Cleveland Indians essentially had their division won by May, which goes to show how little competition they faced over the course of the season, and that lack of competition helped to conceal the fact that the team was missing quite a few pieces. Over the offseason, Cleveland ended up losing Jay Bruce, Austin Jackson, Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, and Joe Smith, who each contributed to the team's 107-win season last year. When you lose that many players at once, it is hard to replicate legitimate success, which is why they had such a hard time with the Astros in the ALDS.
22 Colorado Rockies: Spending So Much On Relievers
They may have had a great regular season, but that did not stop the Colorado Rockies from getting swept by Milwaukee, which goes to show that spending a lot on your bullpen does not guarantee that you will win championships. During the offseason, the Rockies spent roughly $106 million on their bullpen, which would have been fine if their bullpen was not the worst in baseball for most of the season. At one point, the bullpen had a combined ERA of 5.65, which is terrible, especially since their biggest signings were the biggest contributors to that huge ERA.
21 Detroit Tigers: Holding On To Michael Fulmer
It is obvious that the Detroit Tigers need to rebuild, but for some reason, they are taking the dumbfounding long route, which is why they did not trade Michael Fulmer during the offseason. The starting pitcher debuted in 2016 and was named that season's AL Rookie of the Year, and last year he played in his first All-Star Game, which means that he had significant trade value. They kept him though, and his value has now dropped considerably, thanks to the 3-12 record and 4.69 ERA that he posted this season.
20 Kansas City Royals: Not Trading Danny Duffy
2015 saw the Kansas City Royals win the World Series, but now, just three years later, the team is preparing to rebuild once again, thanks to them losing so many pieces over the years. Danny Duffy was part of that championship team, and although he is not a No. 1 starter, he would fit perfectly as a No. 2 or 3 on many teams, and he is under contract for another four years. The smart move would have been to trade Duffy before the season started because his trade value has diminished since going 8-12 with a 4.88 ERA.
19 Houston Astros: Trading For Roberto Osuna
The Houston Astros are an amazing team, which is why they won it all last year, but even championship teams look to improve themselves, which is why they acquired Roberto Osuna. The Blue Jays were left with no choice but to trade Osuna after he ran into some off-field issues, and the Astros have had to deal with the backlash, which will only be worth it if they win it all again this year. Even with another championship though, Osuna's off-field baggage will continue to follow him, and no team wants off-field issues to ever affect their on-field product.
18 Los Angeles Angels: The Zack Cozart Contract
There is no doubt that the Angels have the best player in all of baseball, but if they want to win anything, they will have to surround Mike Trout with a better lineup. With that in mind, the Angels thought it was a good idea to sign third baseman, Zack Cozart to a three-year, $38 million contract during the offseason. The contract may be very affordable, but he missed over 100 games this season due to injury, and when he was healthy, he managed to record an awful .219 batting average.
17 Los Angeles Dodgers: Not Bringing Curtis Granderson Back
Last year, the Dodgers lost in Game 7 of the World Series, and following that heartbreaking loss, they went on to lose several players, including Curtis Granderson. The veteran outfielder is now with the Brewers, only because the Dodgers believed that he did not perform well in the postseason, but his presence in the clubhouse is irreplaceable. Granderson is regarded as a great guy, and considering how close the Dodgers came to missing the postseason this year, they could have benefited from his kind of veteran leadership.
16 Miami Marlins: Trading Giancarlo Stanton
The Miami Marlins had a single bright spot last season: Giancarlo Stanton, but thanks to new ownership taking over and wanting to shed salary, the team ended up dealing the defending NL MVP to the Yankees. This season saw Stanton record 38 home runs and 100 RBI, so saying that Miami misses his offense would be an understatement, and the team's attendance has continued to suffer. The Marlins got a big haul for Stanton, but so far, none of the pieces look as if they will amount to anything special.
15 Milwaukee Brewers: Missing Out On Jake Arrieta
It is fair to say that the Milwaukee Brewers have been the hottest team in baseball the last two months, and it helps that they have a great roster, but they would have had an even better one if they had added a starting pitcher. During the offseason, the Brewers were linked to several free agent pitchers, including Jake Arrieta, who was arguably the most coveted arm last year. Jake ended up going to Philadelphia though, where he put together a 3.96 ERA in 31 starts, which may sound average, but he did help the Phillies take a huge step forward.
14 Minnesota Twins: Firing Paul Molitor
Managers are no longer as important as they once were, but that does not mean that they are completely worthless, because a good manager will be able to properly manage his lineup and bullpen. Paul Molitor had a Hall of Fame playing career, and he is regarded as a very smart baseball guy, and many people were surprised when the Minnesota Twins relieved him of his managerial duties. Molitor was named AL Manager of the Year last season, and he was essentially the scapegoat for the team's losing season, despite the fact that several players got off to slow starts.
13 New York Mets: Their Offseason Acquisitions
The New York Mets are only a few years removed from their last World Series appearance, and since then, they have not played that well, and there is a particular reason for it. Instead of fielding a younger team, the Mets decided to go old. which is why they brought in players like Jason Vargas, Jose Reyes, and Adrian Gonzalez, who are 35 and older. This season, Vargas was on the disabled list more than once, Gonzalez ended up getting released in June, and Reyes hit .189 over 110 games.
12 New York Yankees: Losing Out On Gerrit Cole
The Yankees won 100 games this season, which means that they had a really good year, but throughout most of the season, the team knew that they needed to add another starting pitcher. When it was all said and done, they got J.A. Happ from Toronto, and Happ is fine, but during the offseason, they could have acquired Gerrit Cole instead. Cole ended up being traded to Houston, and in 32 starts he was able to go 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA and 276 strikeouts, whereas Happ had a 3.65 ERA with 193 strikeouts in 31 starts.
11 Oakland Athletics: Dealing Ryon Healy To Seattle
The Oakland Athletics are known for being able to field pretty competitive teams without having to pay a lot of money, but that means that they also make a bunch of trades, and last November, Ryon Healy joined the traded list. Oakland traded Healy to Seattle, a move that only happened because Matt Olson was given the starting third baseman job, and although Healy lit it up for a bit with his new team, both players finished the season with similar stats. The problem is that Oakland got Emilio Pagan in return, who has turned out to be a barely serviceable bullpen guy.
10 Philadelphia Phillies: Not Upgrading Their Outfield
Last offseason, the Philadelphia Phillies spent A LOT of money on new contracts, with just Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana getting deals worth a combined $135 million. Thanks to those deals, and the others that they made, the Phillies took a step in the right direction, but if they were willing to throw money around, they should have gotten themselves a better outfielder. J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain were the best outfielders available during the offseason, and they both went on to have impressive seasons, seasons that could have maybe helped the Phillies get a Wild Card spot.
9 Pittsburgh Pirates: Sending Shane Carle To The Braves
When the Pirates decided to trade Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen during the offseason, there were people who thought that the team was going to be bad, but they actually did not play that bad. The move that they will really regret though is trading Shane Carle to the Braves, as he has so far proven to be a good young pitcher. It is true that Carle has only played in 56 MLB games, but since joining the Braves, he has recorded a 2.86 ERA with 43 strikeouts.
8 San Diego Padres: Trading For Bryan Mitchell
Even though the Padres landed Eric Hosmer during the offseason, they still finished the year with the third worst record in the majors, and you can partially blame their terrible record on the deal they made with the Yankees. The deal in question saw the Padres acquire starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell, who the Yankees really wanted to get rid, and for good reason. This season, Mitchell got 7 starts before being moved to the bullpen, which is where he stayed until he got injured in June, but before going on the DL, he posted an amazing 5.42 ERA.
7 San Francisco Giants: Trading For Longoria & McCutchen
Based on their performance the last two seasons, it would appear as though the San Francisco Giants' championship window has finally closed, despite their best efforts to keep it open. During the offseason, the Giants acquired both Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen, and although the deals made headlines, they did not really amount to anything on the field. The Giants gave up a lot to get both players, but they soon realized that both players were not what they used to be, as Longoria had a terrible offensive year, while McCutchen was later traded to the Yankees.
6 Seattle Mariners: Not Dealing Felix Hernandez
For a good part of the season, it looked as though the Seattle Mariners could possibly compete for a division title, but things sort of fell apart in the final months of the year. The Mariners strongly believed that Felix Hernandez was going to be their ace for a long time, but in truth, he should have been dealt as early as 2016 in order to help the team complete their ongoing rebuild. 2016 is the last time Hernandez had a good year and based on the 8-14 record and 5.55 ERA that he posted this season, they will never get a good return for him in a trade.
5 St. Louis Cardinals: Their Offseason Bullpen Acquisitions
Even though they did not make it into the postseason again, the St. Louis Cardinals are still one of the best run teams in all of baseball, but even the best run team can run into trouble with a subpar bullpen. Prior to this season, the Cardinals tried to improve their bullpen by signing four relievers, including Greg Holland and Bud Norris, and that group did not perform well for a good chunk of the season, where at one point they had a combined ERA above 4.30. The team did play better in the second half of the season, but by then, the bullpen had already cost the team too many games.
4 Tampa Bay Rays: Taking So Long To Trade Chris Archer
The American League East is without a doubt the toughest division in baseball, but even with the Red Sox and Yankees being powerhouses, the Tampa Bay Rays are still an annoying team to play against, mainly because of their pitching. The Rays seem to constantly produce pitchers, including Chris Archer, who was good for some time, and who they should have traded during the winter. They may have traded him to Pittsburgh in July, but at that point, he had an ERA above 4.00, which is why they did not receive any high-quality prospects in return.
3 Texas Rangers: Their New Starting Pitchers
The Texas Rangers finished the year with one of the worst records in the majors, and when you look at their starting rotation, you can see why they were close to losing 100 games. During the offseason, they acquired Matt Moore from the Giants and signed Mike Minor and Doug Fister, all of whom have not had very much success lately. At one point, the combined ERA for the Rangers' starters was a whopping 5.46, and that was with Fister spending most of the year on the DL.
2 Toronto Blue Jays: Trading Donaldson When They Did
Coming into the season, the Blue Jays were in a tough spot, because they were not sure if they should re-sign Josh Donaldson, or risk letting him go to free agency, but that decision became a lot easier as the season went on with Donaldson underperforming due to injury. Normally, a team in this situation would bring the player back on a one-year deal and trade him during the season if he performs like he usually does, but Toronto decided to trade him when his value was essentially at rock bottom. As it turns out, Donaldson played well in Cleveland, while the Jays basically got an underwhelming pitching prospect in return.
1 Washington Nationals: Not Trading Bryce Harper
There are going to be a few players who are going to sign massive contracts this offseason, and although he only batted .249 this season, Bryce Harper is one of those players. Despite the rather low batting average, Harper is a huge offensive threat, which is why he is incredibly valuable, and the Washington Nationals missed out on a huge opportunity when they ended up not trading him. It is true that they tried to do it, but the deal fell apart and seeing as they are not willing to pay Harper, they are essentially going to lose him for nothing.