I'll start out with the Philadelphia Phillies, the five time defending NL East Champions who came into the season with three of the best starting pitchers in the game. Of course, they started the season without there best two offensive players, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but overall they have underachieved all season and will be perhaps the biggest surprise being on the outside looking in at the 2012 postseason.
If you want to talk about the team that won the offseason "on paper" award; the so called Philadelphia Eagles 2011-2012 "Dream Team" distinction, which of course is dubious, I think there is more of a discussion. The team that has completely not put anything together would be the Miami Marlins. This team was set up for big things, as they opened up their wallets to sign free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell, bring in manager Ozzie Guillen and open their new ballpark. Many people jumped on this bandwagon, looking at the Marlins as a favorite to overtake the Phillies in the NL East. From the very start, it didn't seem to work out for the Marlins. The lack of attendence led to yet another firesale. Its safe to say that this was a collossal disappointment, but was this the biggest one?
Though there is still a chance the Los Angeles Angels will make the postseason, there was no team who seemed to have as much firepower as the Angels, both in the lineup and in the starting rotation. A lineup that already included Mark Trumbo, Tori Hunter, Vernon Wells and Howie Kendrick would already have the much awaited return of DH Kendry Morales. They then added Albert Pujols to the mix, lengthening their lineup. A starting rotation that included Jared Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana added LHP CJ Wilson, making it one of the deepest in the game. Many were picking the Angels to win the AL Pennant even before the emergence of top prospect Mike Trout amd his transformation into a star. Add the trading deadline deal for Zack Greinke, and there is little excuse for this team to not be dominating the league.
I think a case could be made that the Angels have been an even bigger disappointment than the Marlins. Yes, the Marlins are in last place in the NL East and the Angels have a winning record. But, the Angels had the more dominant team on paper, an essential team of All-Stars. The Marlins had several good players, but cases could be made that the Phillies and possibly Nationals were better teams.
Another disappointment has been the Boston Red Sox. They are now well on their way to their first losing season since 1997. This is a team with a ton of star power, and obviously everything that could possibly go wrong has. Perhaps one could vote this way, as things have not gotten worse for a team with such high expectations.
I honestly think a case could be made for all four teams. I have enclosed a poll, so you can vote on which team has been the biggest disappointment of the 2012 season.