5 Teams In 1 Year For 1 Player; And It's Not A MLB Record

Aug 9, 2013
Originally published on August 9, 2013 1:04 pm

Reading in the Chicago Tribune that outfielder Casper Wells had been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies and is now with his fifth major league team this season made us wonder:

Could he play for more teams in one season than anyone else ever has?

Well, according to the Baseball Almanac, the record (shared by 13 players) is four teams in one season.

But ...

The records refer to players who actually played for the teams they were with. According to's stats pages, Wells didn't make it into a game for the team he started the season with — the Seattle Mariners. Nor did he take the field for the Blue Jays after Toronto picked him up.

Wells did get into three games while he was with the Oakland A's. Then, with the Chicago White Sox, he played in 37 games — most famously appearing as a relief pitcher in a game against Cleveland. The White Sox were outscored 19-10 and didn't want to waste another of the team's relievers in the top of the ninth inning. Wells, unlike the Chicago pitchers before him, held the Indians scoreless during his brief time on the mound.

So, the 28-year-old Wells needs to get into a game with the Phillies to be given credit for having played with three teams this season — and then move to another team (other than the Mariners, Blue Jays, A's or White Sox, we assume) and play for it just to tie the MLB record.

Not that we would wish all that upon him. Judging from his Twitter page, Wells seems like a good guy. Here's his first tweet today:

By the way, the Almanac says the record for most teams played for in a career is 13. It's held by pitcher Octavio Dotel, who's now with the Detroit Tigers. He turns 40 in November. No other current players are within two teams of his record.

Update at 2 p.m. ET. Don't Forget Matt Stairs:

As reader Steve Lisle notes in the comments thread, pitcher Matt Stairs played for 12 different franchises during his career — but for 13 different teams if you count the Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals separately. The Expos moved to Washington before the 2005 season.

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