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20 Worst Players for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Kelley has been a fan of Major League Baseball since the 1960s, and his favorite team is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

ten-worst-dodger-bums

The Dodgers have had too many bums!

In the days of the old Brooklyn Dodgers, fans affectionately called the team “Dem Bums,” until they finally won a World Series in 1955. Then there were no more cries of “Wait ‘til next year!” But since the Dodgers came west in 1958, a Dodger bum is just that—a player who either didn’t earn his salary, caused too much trouble or made mistakes at critical times in post-season Dodger games.

Most of the players on this "bums list" were signed as free agents by the Dodgers, though not all of them. However, many of these players came with at least great potential—and then, in the vernacular, stunk up the joint.

Therefore, you won’t find on this list pinch hitters, utility infielders or crafty veterans trying to tack on one more season. Few people expect much from such players. Nor will you find any young players that came up from the Minor Leagues for a short time and then disappeared. There are way too many of those players to be put on any such list. And they aren't bums either, because everybody can't play Major League Baseball. Furthermore, out of respect for the departed, the names of no deceased players are found on this list.

Now here’s the list of the 20 Worst Players for the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Trevor Bauer, as Giants' fans told him to GET LOST, so he did!

Trevor Bauer, as Giants' fans told him to GET LOST, so he did!

1. Trevor Bauer

In February 2021, the Dodgers signed free agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to a three-year, $102 million contract that included player opt-out options for the final two seasons. This was truly a sweetheart deal—for Bauer—but the Dodgers got screwed blue and tattooed! Midway through the 2021 season, after compiling an 8 and 5 record with a 2.59 ERA, Bauer was placed on administrative leave for allegedly assaulting a woman, and now, as of April 2022, he’s been suspended for two full seasons!

Too bad the Dodgers hadn’t heeded the warnings before signing Bauer. He had a history of being abrasive with players and sexually harassing women while online. Sure enough, during the 2021 season, his behavior was erratic, if not bizarre, as he would sheath an imaginary sword after striking out batters. (Some people may have called him a hotdog or, in this case, a Dodger dog?)

Anyway, Bauer will be gone from MLB for a long time and almost certainly will never again play for the LA Dodgers. Let’s hope Big Blue eventually learns that acquiring troublesome players are nearly always bad options—as this humble list will attest!

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2. Andre Ethier

Please make a note that Andre Ethier had some good years for the Boys in Blue, especially 2009 when he batted .272 with 31 homers and 106 RBIs, enough to get some MVP votes. Then during the 2012 season the Dodgers signed Ethier to a five-year extension at $17.5 million per year, which raised some eyebrows, because many thought he had passed his optimum output, which, sadly, turned out to be true.

In fact, Either’s last good year was 2012 when he hit .284 with 20 HRs and 89 ribbies. Thereafter he had forgettable years from 2013 through 2015 and, in 2016 and 2017, because of serious injuries, played in a total of only 38 games, impressing few if any folks with his extremely limited performance. Ethier seems like a good guy, but the last five years of his career were decidedly weak!

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3. Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford, nicknamed “The Perfect Storm,” is an outfielder who came to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox in August 2012. Keep in mind, at the end of 2010, Crawford had signed a seven-year, $142-million deal with the Red Sox. But Crawford had Tommy John surgery just days before the deal was made and wasn’t even able to play when the Dodgers got him! Well, maybe he never should have played at all for Big Blue because, other than showing a few flashes of his former self, offering a good combination of speed and power, Crawford did nothing but disappoint.

When he could play, he’d knock in runs and steal bases, but he spent most of his time on the disabled list. It seems Carl Crawford was another MLB player who couldn’t stay healthy beyond the age of 30. The Dodgers cut Crawford in June 2016, even though they still owed him about $35 million on his contract. It seems “The Perfect Storm” was—for the Dodgers at least—nothing but a tempest in a toilet bowl!

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4. Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, alias “The Beard” for one obvious reason, started his Dodger career pitching set-up at the end of the 2013 season, and he was pretty much “lights out” as they say, posting a 0.66 ERA in 13 innings. Not bad for a guy who had two Tommy John surgeries. So the Dodgers signed him to a one-year contract plus an option year.

But in 2014 The Beard wasn’t the same pitcher, as he seemed to have lost his 98-mph heater, becoming a junk pitcher in the process. His ERA soared to 4.66 and he gave up 49 hits in 48 innings. After the end of the season, the Dodgers decided to eat the $11 million player option—guaranteed money the following season for a pitcher they didn't even want! Yum-yum, eat ‘em up, Dodger Blue! So what’s a more accurate nickname for The Beard? The Bust, what else?

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5. Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish was traded to the Dodgers before the trading deadline on July 31, 2017. For the rest of the regular season, Darvish went 4 and 3 with an ERA of 3.44. Not bad stats, of course, but the Dodgers acquired him so he could help them win in the post season, which he did, winning a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS and another one against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS.

However, in the World Series Darvish was terrible: he started two games and didn’t pitch past the second inning of either game. The Dodgers lost both of those games. A pitcher can’t lose two games in the World Series, especially when one of them is game seven, and not end up on this terrible list.

In defense of Yu Darvish, the Houston Astros have been implicated in MLB’s sign-stealing scandal, which led to firings, a huge fine and loss of draft picks. So, if the Astros were stealing signs and some of that was done during the 2017 World Series, maybe Darvish’s pitching wasn’t so terrible!

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6. Jonathan Broxton

Jonathan Broxton threw a pitch that seemed to equate with his 6-foot-4, 300-lb frame: a 100-mph heater on which few hitters could lay wood. Oh, yeah, and he also threw a slider. A very average bender. Then, in July 2008, when Broxton became the Dodgers’ closer, he impressed just about everyone, especially when he tossed that unhittable blazing fastball. Nevertheless, even with his best pitch, Broxton blew two critical saves—one in each series—against those fightin’ Phils in both the 2008 and 2009 NLCS.

JB pitched in the All-Star Game in 2010, saving the game—barely—but he was never the same afterwards. Why? He lost his fastball. In 2011, elbow trouble plagued JB throughout most of the season, after which he became a free agent. Simply put, Jonathan Broxton was a one-trick pony who came up lame!


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7. James Loney

James Loney looked like a winner when he came up with the Dodgers in 2006. He hit for a good average, showed some power and played good defense. In 2007, Loney hit .289 with 13 homers and 90 RBIs, generating great optimism with Dodger Blue. Perhaps Loney’s biggest claim to fame while a Dodger was hitting a grand slam in game one of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs in 2008. Loney continued putting up good numbers—though not stellar ones—until 2011 when he hit .288 with 12 homers and 65 ribbies.

These were very disappointing numbers, as everybody thought Loney would—like most ballplayers—continue to get better. Then in 2012, Loney really tanked, hitting a lackluster .254 with 4 HRs and 33 RBIs. No wonder the Dodgers shipped him to the Boston Red Sox in August 2012. Seemingly, the best thing about Loney was that the Dodgers never signed him to a long-term contract. As for Loney’s nickname, many Dodger fans may have called him James “Loony.”

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8. Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers in July 2008 and quickly endeared himself with fans of Big Blue, providing plenty of homerun pop, ribbies and batting average, and leading them to the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Dodger fans soon labeled him “Mannywood,” and a section in the left field bleachers was named after him. Yes, Dodger fans certainly loved Manny in those halcyon days! Then, after the end of the 2008 season, Manny signed a two-year $45 million contract. At the beginning of the 2009 season, Manny began the season looking fairly good, though he no longer seemed the phenomenal slugger from the year before.

Then in May 2009 “Mannywood” was suspended for 50 games for taking performance enhancing drugs. After the suspension, Manny continued playing moderately OK, ending the season at .290 with 19 homers and 63 RBIs. But again, the Dodgers were defeated in the NLCS. In 2010, Manny became a singles and doubles hitter, hitting only 8 home runs and landed on the disabled list three times with leg injuries.

Clearly, Mannywood was now past his prime. Maybe more “juice” could have helped him! At any rate, on August 30, 2010 the Dodgers traded Manny Ramirez to the Chicago White Sox, ending the short era of Mannywood. If Manny had led the Dodgers to the World Series, perhaps he wouldn’t have ended up on this list.

Darren Dreifort (right) and fan

Darren Dreifort (right) and fan

9. Darren Dreifort

Darren Dreifort had one of the greatest sliders of all time and a 95-mph fastball. When he started pitching for the Dodgers in 1994, he was a short reliever, and then in 1999 they moved him to the starting rotation, a move they probably never should have made. As a starter, Dreifort never won more than 13 games a season, and never had an ERA below 4.00. Nevertheless, apparently seeing unhittable sliders in their minds’ eyes, before the 2001 season the Dodgers signed Dreifort to a five-year $55 million free-agent contract.

Then Dreifort started having injury trouble, including two Tommy John elbow surgeries, as well as hip, shoulder and knee trouble. Whew! You’d think the guy had fought in Iraq! During that entire contract, he never won more than four games in any season and didn’t even pitch in two out of five of those seasons. If the Dodgers had kept Dreifort as a reliever, maybe his body would have held up better. Maybe. As for Darren Dreifort’s nickname, Don Drysdale was known as Big D and Don Sutton was Little D. Therefore, forevermore, Darren Dreifort will be nicknamed "the Big Dump."

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10. Delino DeShields

Delino DeShields never lived up to the Dodgers’ expectations of him becoming a quality leadoff hitter in the middle 1990s. After the 1993 season, Delino was acquired in a trade with the old Montreal Expos in exchange for—get this!—Pedro Martinez, one of the best starting pitchers in recent decades and perhaps all time.

During Delino’s three seasons with the Dodgers, he never hit above .256, though his on-base percentage stayed around .350 until his final season, when it plummeted to .288. It seemed that Delino would have a good week and then lie fallow for another.

Also, during the playoffs in 1995 and 1996, Delino was a nonentity. He just never got it going for the Dodgers and, of course, the infamous and lopsided comparison with the player for whom he was traded will haunt him forever. Therefore, should he be crowned Delino “De Bum”?

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11. Jason Schmidt

Jason Schmidt will almost certainly go down in Dodger history as one of the worst free agent signings of all time, and that list includes lots of stinkers! After the end of the 2006 season, this hard-throwing, right handed, starting pitcher signed a three-year, $47 million dollar contract. During the 2007 season, Schmidt compiled a record of 1 and 4 with a 6.31 ERA—a dismal return on the Dodgers’ investment. But Schmidt had an excuse—his shoulder gave him trouble all season.

Then, during the 2008 season, Schmidt didn’t pitch at all!

Two operations later and numerous rehabs in the minors and Jason Schmidt finally made it back to the Dodgers in 2009. He compiled a 2 and 2 record with an ERA of 5.60. As slow as Jason’s fastball was—85 to 87 mph—he might as well have been throwing with Miley Cyrus' arm! Think about this: Three wins in three years for a total of $47 million dollars!

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12. Hee-Seop Choi

South Korean import Hee-Seop Choi was traded from the Florida Marlins to the Dodgers in July 2004, a deal involving six players. Then the Dodgers gave Choi, a left-handed-hitting slugger, the job at first base, where he was supposed to provide middle of the order power hitting . Unfortunately, Choi, in limited playing time with the Dodgers, hit zero home runs and had 6 RBIs, at which point fans may have called him “Hee-Seop the Flop.”

But in 2005, Choi provided 15 home runs, 40 RBIs and a .253 batting average. Not terrible stats, actually. But he didn’t hit left-handers well, was as slow as a golf cart on the bath paths and played average defense at best. In spring training the following year, the Dodgers signed free agent Nomar Garciaparra to play first base, after which they waived Choi and he never played in the Majors again.

Choi was a player who could hit home runs, but do little else. Why the Dodgers didn’t spot his deficiencies before they traded for him is probably a great mystery to many Dodger fans. However, in favor of Choi, at least the Dodgers didn’t spend mega bucks on him!

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13. Odalis Perez

Starting pitcher Odalis Perez was traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Dodgers after the 2001 season; his record was 15 and 10 with a 3.00 ERA. Then in 2003 he won 12 games, two of them one-hitters. Not bad production for Odalis! After the 2003 season, the Dodgers signed Perez to a three-year contract worth $24 million. But from 2004 through 2006 Odalis won a total of 18 games for the Dodgers, a time when some fans began calling him “Odious” Perez!

Eighteen victories for three years of work is not impressive production for a starting pitcher, especially when he’s making $8 million per year. After being relegated to the bullpen, Perez said the Dodgers were “treating him like trash.” Then during the 2006 season, when Perez was 4 and 4 with an astronomical ERA of 6.83, the Dodgers traded him to the Kansas City Royals, where he was equally bad.

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14. J.D. Drew

The Dodgers signed free agent J. D. Drew to a five-year $55 million contract after the 2004 season. Unfortunately, Drew spent most of the 2005 season on the disabled list. That year he hit a tepid .286 with 15 home runs and 36 RBIs.

Nevertheless, the following year he hit .283 with 20 home runs and 100 RBIs. These weren’t stellar stats, but at least the Dodgers were getting a good return on their investment. But, during the off season, Drew took advantage of an “opt-out” clause in his contract and became a free agent, eventually signing with the Boston Red Sox. Drew seemed happy to be a Dodger, but then he threw them a wicked curve ball!

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15. Andruw Jones

Andruw Jones who could be called Mr. Whiff, because in 2008 he struck out more times then he got with base hits or walks, as well as batting an abysmal .158 with 3 homers and 14 RBIs in 209 at-bats. Such a spectacular fiasco has never been seen during the age of free agency. Naturally, the Dodgers expected more after signing Jones to a two-year contract at $36 million, and the “boo birds” at Dodger Stadium serenaded Andruw every chance they got.

What the Dodgers received for their money was a slow-afoot, Pillsbury doughboy who couldn’t hit his shoe size. Andruw Jones is yet another baseball player who lost his pop in his early 30s. There have been quite a few of those. Remember Eric Karros and Will Clark?

But at least those guys contributed in other ways. In fairness to Jones, he did have some knee trouble, which probably affected his performance. Anyhow, Dodger fans must wish Mr. Whiff had stung somebody other than the Dodgers for 36 million smackers. Ouch! (The Dodgers released Andruw Jones on January 15, 2009.)


Dodger Stadium at night

Dodger Stadium at night

16. Carlos Perez

After being traded to the Dodgers late in the 1998 season, left-handed starting pitcher Carlos Perez pitched well enough to impress Dodger management, and the following off season the Dodgers signed him to a three-year $24 million contract. Unfortunately, as bad luck or bad baseball juju would have it, by the next season the 29-year-old pitcher had lost at least 5 mph on his fastball. Consequently in 1999, Carlos posted a limp-wristed 2 and 10 record with a 7.47 ERA, the highest ERA that year among starting pitchers in the National League.

The next year, Carlos continued to appall Dodger management and fans, throwing a 5 and 8 record with a 5.56 ERA, giving up 192 hits in 144 innings! In spring training the following season, the Dodgers had seen enough and sent Carlos packing, while taking up the backside the final $8 million on his contract!


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17. Milton Bradley

Milton Bradley was a switch-hitting outfielder with power and the ability to hit for a high batting average, as well as good defensive ability and base-stealing speed—a five-tool player according to some analysts. The Dodgers made a trade for Milton at the beginning of the 2004 season, quite possibly smacking their lips. But they soon learned why the Cleveland Indians had grown tired of him. Milton had a very bad temper and an outspoken nature. (Milton had had an altercation with Cleveland’s manager, prompting his exit). His first year with the Dodgers, Milton put up some decent numbers—19 home runs and 67 RBIs and a .267 batting average.

However, in 2005, because of injuries, Milton’s at-bats dropped precipitously and so did his numbers. But his bad behavior paved the way for his departure. During a ballgame at Dodger Stadium, Milton, while playing right field, got into an altercation with a fan who had thrown a water bottle at him. The game had to be stopped and Milton led from the field while yelling at the fan. Milton was suspended for the final five games of the season and then traded to the Oakland Athletics. So, what’s Milton Bradley’s nickname? Milton Bummer, of course, or Milton Ballistic, take your pick!

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18. Darryl Strawberry

Darryl Strawberry was the so-called Straw that Stirs (the offense). Eventually the Dodgers would learn the inaccuracy of that nickname. The Dodgers signed Strawberry as a free agent after the 1990 season. The contract: five years for a total of $22 million. At the time, this was a monster deal. Strawberry was regarded as one of the greatest sluggers in baseball, having hit at least 26 home runs per year while playing eight seasons for the New York Mets. Many thought he would surely make it to the Hall of Fame. His first year with L.A., Strawberry hit 28 homers and knocked in 99 runs. Nothing great but certainly acceptable production.