This offseason, there are plenty of options on the free agent market, and teams will join the frenzy soon. So, today I am going to examine the free agents that haven’t gotten a ton of love, and tell you where I think they’ll land.
C: Jonathan Lucroy, Rockies (1yr/$10M)
Lucroy had a disappointing 2017, after being acquired by Texas for Lewis Brinson and others. Fortunately, he fit nicely with Colorado in a August deal. I can see him returning on a one year deal, and attempting to rebuild his value.
1B: Logan Morrison, Mets (2 yrs/$30M)
After hitting 38 home runs last season, Morrison has become a highly sought-after power hitter. The Mets, looking to shake off a rough 2017, could be a fit. Having him and Cespedes in the middle of the order gives them a strong power threat.
1B: Yonder Alonso, Rays (3 yrs/$39M)
Yonder Alonso broke out in 2017 for the Oakland Athletics, hitting 28 home runs with 67 RBIs. His powerful performance could land him on the Rays–where they are seeking a first baseman. Jake Bauers, acquired in the Wil Myers trade, should be ready to replace him after the contract is through. Also, either player could occupy the DH spot if Corey Dickerson plays left field.
2B: Neil Walker, Brewers (2 yrs/$20M)
Walker has been a model of consistency throughout his career, and would be a solid addition to many teams. While the Angels and other clubs will certainly be interested, the surprising young Brewer team could use someone of Walker’s caliber on a short deal.
SS: Alcides Escobar, Padres (1 yr/$6M)
Although he improved towards the end of the season, Escobar had a disappointing 2017, hitting just .250. Fortunately, the Padres are looking for a one-or-two year fix until top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready. He would be a solid stopgap for the rebuilding club.
3B: Eduardo Nunez, Angels (3 yrs/$24M)
With Upton in the fold, the Angels’ attention now shifts to the infield. With Luis Valbuena and Kaleb Cowart listed as starters, there is much room for improvement. Nunez can play all over the place, at third base, second base, shortstop, and even left field. Not only would he improve the offense, but he’d be a flexible piece.
OF: Jay Bruce, Indians (4yrs/$64M)
Much like Jonathan Lucroy, Bruce had a boost in success after a change of scenery. I have Bruce, who plays yed great down the stretch, settling down in Cleveland on a four year deal.
OF: Jon Jay, Rangers (1 yr/$7M)
Jay, a respected leader and solid ballplayer, doesn’t get a ton of attention, but will likely find a part-time role somewhere. Jay has expressed interest in returning to Chicago, but with Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and Jason Heyward vying for time, it seems less likely to happen. The Rangers could look to Jay as a utility outfielder, covering all 3 spots.
LHP: Jason Vargas, Orioles (1 yr/$14M)
Vargas had a hot start to the 2017 season, posting a 2.62 ERA in the first half, but fizzled later in the season. Despite this, he should get a solid contract, and Baltimore, a club that had awful starting pitching, is a great fit.
RHP: Bryan Shaw, Red Sox (3 yrs/$21M)
Shaw has been one of the more unappreciated bullpen workhorses over the last few years, and would help out a Red Sox team looking to one-up the Yankees’ powerful team.
RHP: Brandon Morrow, Rockies (2 yrs/$20M)
After battling injuries in Toronto and San Diego, Morrow bounced back with a 2.06 ERA and 50 Ks in 2017. I have him returning…to the NL West. Morrow would fit nicely in Colorado, working as a swingman, and bolstering their ‘pen. Plus he can start every once in awhile.
RHP: Jhoulys Chacin, Padres (1 yr/$8M)
With Chacin saying he enjoyed San Diego, and his stats being surprisingly good there (1.79 ERA at home), this looks like a match made in heaven. Expect a short deal, but more money than last year.
RHP: Lance Lynn, Rangers (4 yrs/$60M)
The Texas Rangers underperformed last season due to some offensive struggles but mainly lackluster pitching. Enter Lance Lynn. The veteran right-hander should get a lot of attention in the pitching-starved market, but Texas could scoop him up for 3 or 4 years.
RHP: Alex Cobb, Twins (4 yrs/$52M)
Being another dependable pitcher in high demand, Cobb shouldn’t have any problem with suitors, but I believe the best fit is in Minnesota. The Twins were shockingly good last year, led by Ervin Santana, Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Byron Buxton, and Miguel Sano. Adding a solid #2 starter could make them contenders for the division title or first wild card.
RHP: Andrew Cashner, Giants (2 yrs/$22M)
Cashner struggled in San Diego and Miami, but finally showed off his stuff in Texas. His success should pay off, as I see him heading to San Francisco. The Giants, while already having Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore, and more, depth won’t hurt them
Free Agency is upon us, but the hot stove needs to hurry up. I miss you, baseball.
(Photo credit: https://www.google.com/amp/s/reviewingthebrew.com/2017/08/24/milwaukee-brewers-neil-walker/amp/)