Print and Go Back SweetSpot [Print without images]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Another year, another team for Lopez, Stairs

By Matt Philip

If it seems as if Felipe Lopez changes teams every year, well, it's because he very nearly does. Shortly before spring training began, the 30-year-old infielder signed a minor league contract with the Rays, who would be his eighth team, and that's not counting two tours with St. Louis. Plenty of players have worn out their welcome suited up for that many teams, of course. What makes Lopez particularly impressive (from a certain point of view, anyway), is that he has done it in only 10 seasons. That puts him seventh among active players in that most unheralded of sabermetric stats, teams per year:

Lopez, who shares an agent with Albert Pujols, still has time to also challenge the all-time record for most different teams, co-owned by the perennially packing 42-year-old Matt Stairs. That's not really far from the case, either: Stairs has worn the uniform of 12 teams -- tied with Ron Villone and Mike Morgan -- in a career spanning 18 seasons over 19 years. If Stairs makes the Washington Nationals (he signed a minor league deal this winter) it would be his 13th different team. (It should be noted that modern players have an advantage, insofar as they have more possible employers -- consider Waite Hoyt, who played for seven teams when baseball had only 16.)

So your trivia question of the day: How many of Stairs' employers can you name? Hint: Try listing the teams he hasn't played for.

Matt Philip writes Fungoes, a blog about the St. Louis Cardinals.