Last year I went through all of the World Series champions of the last 20 seasons and listed the players that were traded away in the year prior to that team winning the World Series.
I always felt sympathy for those players. They were on a team bound for a World Series championship but never joined the celebration because they were deemed disposable at some point along the championship run.
For the most part, these players are fringe guys -- backups, relief pitchers. But there are some prominent examples: Pedro Guerrero traded by the 1988 Dodgers; Nomar Garciaparra, traded by the 2004 Red Sox; and Carlos Lee, traded by the 2005 White Sox.
I'll list those unfortunate souls from 1988 to 2008 again. (If you want a little more -- but not much more -- detail, it's on this post):
1988 Dodgers: Pedro Guerrero
1989 A's: Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk, Luis Polonia
1990 Reds: John Franco, Ron Robinson
1991 Twins: none
1992 Blue Jays: Jeff Kent, Rob Ducey, Greg Myers
1993 Blue Jays: Kelly Gruber, Darrin Jackson
1995 Braves: Tony Tarasco, Roberto Kelly
1996 Yankees: Sterling Hitckcock, Bob Wickman, Gerald Williams, Ruben Sierra
1997 Marlins: Dustin Hermanson, Joe Orsulak
1998 Yankees: Kenny Rogers
1999 Yankees: David Wells, Graeme Lloyd
2000 Yankees: Chad Curtis, Jim Leyritz, Hideki Irabu
2001 Diamondbacks: none
2002 Angels: Jorge Fabregas
2003 Marlins: Charles Johnson, Preston Wilson
2004 Red Sox: Brandon Lyon, Casey Fossum, Nomar Garciaparra
2005 White Sox: Carlos Lee
2006 Cardinals: Hector Luna
2007 Red Sox: David Murphy, Kason Gabbard
2008 Phillies: Michael Bourn
So, it's time to see which player(s) will be added to the list after this year's World Series is through.
This year is like most years: there are no real notable players. The Phillies are the defending champions, so it's natural that they didn't make many trades. The Yankees are the Yankees. They spend money, they don't trade. So the pickings are slim.
Also, I discount players who were released or waived or sent down. Although this is a blanket statement and maybe not fair, players often have had a hand in their demise if they were released/waived/optioned. Case in point: Adam Eaton.
Now, if the Phillies repeat as "World Champions," which player will be added to the list? It will be backup catcher Ronny Paulino, who didn't even play a regular-season game for the Phillies. He was acquired from the Pirates in December and traded to the Giants in March. So, I don't think Paulino will be that heartbroken if the Phillies win.
If the Yankees win, I'm sure you've figured it out already. The player is the subject of the night card at the top, Wilson Betemit, the former Dodger. After a year-and-half with the Yankees, Betemit was dealt last offseason in the Nick Swisher trade.
At least Betemit has been to the postseason before. He tore up the Mets for 4 hits in 8 at-bats with the Dodgers in 2006 and is 5-for-10 overall.