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Big league nomads? 10 players in reach of mark

Former reliever Dotel holds record of 13 Major League teams played for
MLB.com

Bartolo Colon looks to extend his storied Major League career to a 21st season in 2018 after signing a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training with the Rangers. Should Colon pitch in the Majors for Texas in the upcoming season, it will mark the 11th MLB franchise for which the 44-year-old right-hander has taken the mound.

That figure is not far from the all-time record for most teams played for by an MLB player, held by Octavio Dotel, who pitched for 13 franchises from 1999-2013.

Bartolo Colon looks to extend his storied Major League career to a 21st season in 2018 after signing a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training with the Rangers. Should Colon pitch in the Majors for Texas in the upcoming season, it will mark the 11th MLB franchise for which the 44-year-old right-hander has taken the mound.

That figure is not far from the all-time record for most teams played for by an MLB player, held by Octavio Dotel, who pitched for 13 franchises from 1999-2013.

Dotel's place in history could be in danger thanks to Colon and some other big leaguers -- all pitchers -- who have traveled nearly as much as the record-holder himself.

Here's a look at the top 10 active players who have played for the most MLB franchises:

Edwin Jackson, RHP, free agent: 12
Jackson has played for 12 franchises, the most among active players, in 15 seasons. His next team will be his 13th, unless the 34-year-old signs with the Rays, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, D-backs, Braves, Cardinals, Padres, Nationals, Marlins,Tigers or Orioles.

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.

Video: WSH@NYM: Jackson whiffs Aoki to start the 1st

Bartolo Colon, RHP, Rangers: 10
No active MLB 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, and now that he has signed a Minor League deal with the Rangers, he could make that 11 teams with a Major League appearance for Texas.

Colon, who turns 45 in May, has come to be known as an ageless wonder. Despite a 6.48 ERA in 28 starts between the Braves and Twins last season, he is just a season 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.

Fernando Rodney, RHP, Twins: 9
Rodney joined his ninth franchise -- and sixth since 2015 -- when the Twins signed him to a one-year, $4.5 million deal earlier this offseason. Minnesota hopes he will continue to be effective despite turning 41 in March; Rodney had a 114 ERA+ with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings for the D-backs last season.

Prior to pitching for Arizona, Rodney had been with the Tigers, Angels, Rays, Mariners, Cubs, Padres and Marlins.

Jason Grilli, 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.

Video: TEX@LAA: Grilli works out of a tight spot in the 8th

Chad Qualls, RHP, free agent: 9
Qualls has pitched for nine franchises in 13 Major League seasons, the most recent being the Rockies. The 39-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: 8
Benoit would be entering his age-40 season in 2018, but he is just a year removed from a 2.81 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 51 appearances between the Mariners and Blue Jays. Last season, he appeared in 52 games between the Phillies and Pirates, with a 4.65 ERA.

Video: LAD@PIT: Benoit works out of bases-loaded jam in 10th

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

Matt Albers, RHP, Brewers: 8
Albers signed a two-year deal with his eighth franchise, the Brewers, earlier this offseason. The 35-year-old was very good for the Nationals in 2017, posting 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.

Zach Duke, LHP, Twins: 8
Duke, who turns 35 in April, signed a one-year deal with Minnesota in December, making the Twins his eighth franchise. He has been solid out of the bullpen since 2014, posting a 2.85 ERA and 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings for the 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.

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, free agent: 8
The Braves released Boyer during Spring Training last year, and he signed a Minor League deal with the Red Sox. In 32 appearances for Boston, the 36-year-old posted a 4.35 ERA (105 ERA+). Boyer had pitched for seven teams prior to the Red Sox: the Braves, Cardinals, D-backs, Mets, Padres, Twins and Brewers.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Emilio Bonifacio, Marlon Byrd, Dana Eveland, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Grilli, Edwin Jackson, Kelly Johnson, Chad Qualls