The realities of being in Major League Baseball are tough. Often times, one is left feeling powerless and pushed around. But no matter what, it’s all for MLB. Or so one can say. Whether it is Kevin Padlo or the 5-times-DFAed-quadruplets, the stories are heart-wrenching. Also, you’re so wrong if you think it’s only the players.

Even managers have been caught up in this bubble trouble. No matter the perks, there are drawbacks. Starting from being DFAed in the middle of a car drive to a new location or in the middle of a holiday, the nature of this is inherently brutal. Sometimes it feels like, “.. your life’s over”.

Kevin Padlo: The Third Baseman Who Was Designated for Assignment 6 Times in His Career


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Kevin Padlo has a unique journeyman status in Major League Baseball. He wears the badge of the third baseman who has been designated for assignment six times during his career. The Tampa Bay Rays drafted him in 2016, and that’s when Padlo saw his first taste of the major league in 2021. However, it lasted only for a brief stint. With a low batting average, he ping-ponged throughout 2022, bouncing between the Seattle Mariners, the San Francisco Giants, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite the hops, he never quite found a long-term spot on a big-league roster. But he was never short of potential.

Despite the constant roster churn, in Triple-A, Padlo displayed impressive hitting stats, including .298/.388/.596 average in 2021 with the Tacoma Rainers. He even managed a three-home run game for the Sacramento River Cats in 2022. But bringing that success to the big leagues proved challenging. And yet again, Padlo struggled to consistently produce at the plate.

The Los Angeles Angels took a leap of faith in Padlo in 2023. They signed him to a minor league contract. It so happened that he received a brief call-up to the majors in June of that year, but was again designated for assignment. This was merely after three games. Surprisingly, this cycle did not end there. He is yet to find a home in MLB.

All that said, as of now, Padlo signed a minor-league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And this included an invitation to spring training. Could this be his gateway into the big leagues’ pomp and show? While the answer to that remains unclear, it’s time to shift one’s attention to another interesting perspective.

The Quadruplet of Diego Castillo, Lewin Díaz, Jake Reed, and Bligh Madris With Five Instances of Being Out of Favors

It is said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” And for this group of four players – Diego Castillo, Lewin Díaz, Jake Reed, and Bligh Madris – the end could not have been more awful. Actually, one can’t even tell for sure if it’s an end. The villain here is designation for assignment (DFA). This dubious quartet has all been DFA’d a shocking five times in their careers. Call this a constant state of baseball purgatory? Sure.

These DFA transactions are brutal. They signal a team’s lack of confidence, leaving players in limbo as they wait for a new opportunity, often with minimal communication. Castillo, for instance, was claimed by four different teams in a single offseason before finally being released. This is just a small fragment of the story.

Lewin Díaz, a young first baseman with great potential, spent most of 2022 bouncing between the Miami Marlins and their Triple-A affiliate. Although he displayed flashes of brilliance in the minors, he grappled to produce that success in the majors. His five DFAs this past offseason became a symbol of the constant churn. Another name comes to mind.

Read More: New York Yankees Officially Announce Marcus Stroman Deal, 26YO Dominican Outfielder DFA’d to Make Way

Jake Reed, a right-handed pitcher. Reed’s story is one of perseverance. He hasn’t been able to secure a permanent position in the majors despite several attempts. In 2022 alone, he was designated for assignment five times, bouncing between the Los Angeles Angels, the Seattle Mariners, and the Tampa Bay Rays organizations. It’s the hope that’s keeping him driving. Another player shares a similar story.

Bligh Madris has found himself on the wrong side of roster decisions on five separate occasions. One of his DFAs came during the holiday season in late 2022. Madris, like the others too in this group, experienced the emotional rollercoaster of getting called up, only to be DFAed soon after. If this didn’t blow your mind enough, you should listen to Kyle Tyler’s story.

Know How Kyle Tyler Was DFAed Four Times in His Career

Kyle Tyler’s story reflects life on the fringes of MLB. Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016, the skilled pitcher boarded a rollercoaster ride in 2022 without even knowing. It was in three weeks during spring training; he was DFAed four times! That’s right, four times! He bounced about from the Los Angeles Angels to the Boston Red Sox to the, San Diego Padres, and then back to the Angels.

This constant churn not only left him with no time but also exhausted him, affecting his skills. Under the surface, there’s the mental toll of unpacking bags, learning a new team’s playbook, and barely getting settled before being DFAed again. This is the flux that does not only spare players but also managers.

Stephen Vogt: The Manager Who Knows How Designated for Assignment Hurts


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Owing to his personal experiences, Stephen Vogt has empathy for players who are designated for assignment (DFA). The dreaded three-letter acronym affected the baseball career of the current manager of the Guardians thrice.


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Vogt has been vocal about the confusing nature of being DFA’d. He shares that it is a period of self-doubt and questioning. One particularly difficult DFA came during a 13-hour car ride, leaving him feeling “you feel like your life’s over”. These experiences have inevitably shaped his approach to managing. Perhaps prioritizing clear communication with players, especially when delivering difficult news like a potential DFA, is the key.

Read More: $92,000,000 Yankees Disappointment’s Cryptic Behavior Triggered Explosive “DFA” Rumors Before Anti-climatic End