The most traded players in MLB history

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

May 20th, 2021

No major American professional sport features more trades than baseball, in large part because of the large rosters, minor leagues, and 162-game seasons.

Let’s take a look at the five players who have seen their address change the most via a trade during their MLB careers.

Drew Butera

MLB teams: Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies
Number of times traded: 6
Years active: 2010-present

Butera is the most recent addition to this list, as his sixth trade took place this month. 

He was drafted in 2005 by the Mets and was dealt to the Twins before he made it it to the big leagues in 2010. Butera spent five years with the Twins, then was  dealt to the Dodgers. Eighteen months later, he was traded to the Angels, then went to Kansas City six months after that.

Butera spent most of his time bouncing between Triple A and the major leagues, but he was the backup catcher for the Royals in 2015 and caught the final pitch of their World Series-clinching Game 5 victory. He stayed with the Royals until the trade deadline in 2018, when the Rockies traded for him.

Butera found himself dealt yet again this year, when he moved from Texas to Anaheim. At 37, he could still move up the list, but his time in the bigs is nearing an end.

Tyler Clippard

MLB teams: New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Oakland A's, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins
Number of times traded: 6
Years active: 2007-2020

Drafted in 2003, Clippard has played for 10 different and played consecutive seasons for just two.

After he broke into the major leagues in 2007 with the Yankees, Clippard was traded at the end of the season to the Nationals, where he played until 2014.

From there, Clippard became a nomad. Between the 2015 and 2017 seasons, he played for six different teams and was traded five times. He was dealt from the Athletics to the Mets, to the Yankees, to the White Sox, and then to the Astros. Since then, he has signed one-year deals with the Blue Jays, Indians, Twins, and this year with the Diamondbacks, where he is on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Edwin Jackson

MLB teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A's, Toronto Blue Jays
Number of times traded: 7
Years active: 2003-2019

Jackson came into the  MLB as a highly touted prospect, drafted by the Dodgers as an outfielder in 2001 and converted to a pitcher.

He made his debut in Los Angeles in 2003 and pitched a few seasons before he was dealt to Tampa Bay in 2006. In 2008, he was moved again, this time to the Tigers, where he pitched one season, before another trade took him to Arizona.

Jackson pitched half a season before they moved him to the White Sox, where he again lasted just a year. He was dealt twice on the same day in July of 2011, first to the Blue Jays and then to the Cardinals.

'That would be Jackson’s final trade for years, as he signed a one-year deal with the Nationals, then signed a four-year contract with the Cubs. After his release in 2015, Jackson signed a series of one-year and minor-league deals over the next few seasons.

He was traded one final time, when the Blue Jays acquired him from Oakland in 2019, his final season in the major leagues.

Jesse Chavez

MLB teams: Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A's, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs
Number of times traded: 8
Years active: 2008-2020

Chavez is a relief pitcher with a losing record and an ERA of 4.52, but he has been dealt repeatedly in his 14-year career.

After he was traded by the Rangers in 2006, he broke through with the Pirates in 2008. He played two seasons in Pittsburgh before a trade sent him Tampa Bay in November of 2009. The Rays moved him a month later, to Atlanta. After a terrible season, he was dealt at the trade deadline in 2010 to the Royals, where he pitched even worse.

After he was waived and claimed by the Blue Jays in 2011, he was traded the following season, to Oakland. Chavez found success with the A's and became a starting pitcher with them over the next few seasons. In 2015, he was dealt back to the Blue Jays after the season ended.

He struggled again, and was moved in August to the Dodgers. He bounced around a few teams over the next few seasons, and in 2018, he signed with the Rangers, who moved him in July to the Cubs for his eighth trade. Chavez is now on a minor-league deal with the Braves, in what may be his final stint in baseball.

Cameron Maybin

MLB teams: Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets
Number of times traded: 9
Years active: 2007-present

There was a tie for first on this list, until this week. ]On Tuesday, the Cubs traded Maybin to the Mets, which makes nine trades in his career.

Maybin spent his first season with the Tigers in 2007, before he was dealt to the Marlins. He played with the Marlins for a few seasons, then was moved to the Padres. In 2015, they sent him to the Braves, who later that same season sent him to the Tigers. Detroit traded Maybin the following offseason to the Angels.

Maybin was waived the following season, joined Astros, then signed with Miami. In 2018, he was dealt to the Mariners, and in 2019, he signed with Cleveland. The Indians later traded him to the Yankees. In 2020, he signed with Detroit again, and for the third time, the Tigers traded him, this time to the Cubs.

On Tuesday, Maybin was traded from the Cubs, who he signed a minor league deal with in March. The Mets acquired him for cash — a whopping fee of one dollar. Maybin could very well be dealt again, which would add to his new title as the most traded player in MLB history.