Big league nomads? 10 players in reach of mark

Jackson currently tied with former reliever Dotel after playing for record 13 Major League teams

December 31st, 2016

Edwin Jackson enters the free-agent pool this winter with a chance to make history. 

Jackson, coming off a useful stint for the 2018 A's beleaguered rotation, has already pitched for 13 Major League clubs in his long and winding career. If yet another club inks the right-hander, Jackson's 14th uniform would break a tie with former reliever Octavio Dotel, who also pitched for 13 franchises from 1999-2013, for the MLB record. 

With Jackson's upcoming decision in mind, here's a look at the top 10 active players who have played for the most MLB franchises:

, RHP, A's: 13

Less than a month after inking a Minor League deal with the A's, Jackson made his Oakland debut on June 25, 2018 -- extending his already active lead among current big leaguers by playing for his 13th club. The 35-year-old right-hander has also played for the Rays, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, D-backs, Braves, Cardinals, Padres, Nationals, Marlins, Tigers and Orioles during his 16 seasons.

On July 27, 2011, Jackson was traded twice, going from the White Sox to the Blue Jays and then to the Cardinals (in a deal with Dotel, coincidentally enough). Because he never played in a game for Toronto, the Blue Jays don't count toward Jackson's total, but even that might not stop him from topping Dotel.

, RHP, Rangers: 11

No active player made his big league debut before Colon, who did so on April 4, 1997, for the Indians against the Angels. Since then, he has played for 10 teams.

Colon has come to be known as an ageless wonder. Despite a 5.78 ERA in 28 appearances (24 starts) for the Rangers last season, he is just two years removed from posting a 3.43 ERA in 34 appearances (33 starts) for the Mets. Besides the Indians, Mets, Braves and Twins, Colon has pitched for the Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees and A's.

, RHP, Athletics: 10

Rodney joined his 10th franchise -- and seventh since 2015 -- when the Twins dealt him to the A's in a waiver deal on Aug. 9, 2018. The right-hander bolstered Oakland's formidable bullpen as the franchise clinched a surprise berth in the American League Wild Card Game, and Rodney's performances convinced the A's to pick up his contract option for '19. 

Prior to pitching for Minnesota, Rodney had been with the D-backs, Tigers, Angels, Rays, Mariners, Cubs, Padres and Marlins.

, LHP, Mariners: 9

The 35-year-old Duke made for a logical Trade Deadline acquisition for Seattle in July 2018 after he had not allowed a single homer over his first 37 1/3 innings of the season with the Twins. He has been solid out of the bullpen since 2014, posting a 3.12 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings for the Mariners, Twins, Brewers, White Sox and Cardinals during that span.

Prior to that stretch, Duke pitched for the Pirates, D-backs, Nationals and Reds from 2005-13.

, RHP, free agent: 9

Drafted fourth overall by the Giants in 1997, Grilli never appeared in a game for San Francisco, yet has still managed to pitch for nine clubs. He debuted for the Marlins in 2000 and has since pitched for the White Sox, Tigers, Rockies, Rangers, Pirates, Angels, Braves and Blue Jays.

The 41-year-old struggled in 2017 (6.30 ERA in 46 appearances), but he did post a 3.64 ERA in 46 appearances for the Blue Jays the prior season, following a midseason trade by Atlanta.

, RHP, free agent: 9

Qualls has pitched for nine franchises in 13 Major League seasons, the most recent being the Rockies. The 40-year-old spent his first four years in Houston and was traded to Arizona, where he played for the next two-plus seasons. Since 2010, Qualls has appeared in games for seven other teams.

Joaquin Benoit, RHP, free agent: 9

In his age-40 season, Benoit climbed this leaderboard after signing a one-year, Major League contract with the Nationals, his ninth club, in February. However, he spent the entire 2018 season on the disabled list with a right forearm strain.

Benoit is just two years removed from a 2.81 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 51 appearances between the Mariners and Blue Jays. In 2017, he appeared in 52 games between the Phillies and Pirates, with a 4.65 ERA.

In addition to the four teams mentioned above, Benoit has pitched for the Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Padres.

, RHP, Brewers: 8

Albers signed a two-year deal with his eighth franchise, the Brewers, prior to 2018. The 35-year-old struggled with Milwaukee, posting a 7.34 ERA over 34 apperances, but was very good for the Nationals in '17 when he compiled a 1.62 ERA and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 63 appearances. Prior to his lone season with Washington, Albers pitched for the Astros, Orioles, Red Sox, D-backs, Indians and White Sox.

Mat Latos, RHP, free agent: 8

Latos has made only 20 MLB appearances since 2016 (15 starts). Most recently, he made three starts and posted a 6.60 ERA for the Blue Jays in 2017 before being sent to Triple-A Buffalo and later released.

Latos is still only 30 years old despite having pitched for eight teams, and he has a track record of success while with the Padres and Reds. From 2010-14, he posted a 3.27 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

In the three seasons since, Latos has been with six teams: the Marlins, Dodgers, Angels, White Sox, Nationals and Blue Jays. Still, at his age and with his history, he could be a free-agent addition for a club looking for rotation depth.

Blaine Boyer, RHP, Royals: 9

Boyer signed a Minor League deal in February with the Royals, his ninth organization, and went on to make 21 appearances for the 2018 Royals. The 36-year-old journeyman hasn't spent more than one season with the same club since playing for the D-backs in 2009-10. Boyer has also pitched for the Red Sox, Braves, Cardinals, Mets, Padres, Twins and Brewers.