Free Agent Grab Bag – Infielders

moneyThe money trucks will soon be trucking money to all the lovely places that money trucks truck money to.

Don’t you wish you had money trucks trucking money to you?

As the title suggests, this particular post will focus on the infielders among this year’s free agents.

This is easily the least star-studded group of players, but infielders need jobs too.  Some of the bigger names in this group are Ben Zobrist, Ian Desmond, NLCS god and WS goat Daniel Murphy, and our own beloved Matt Wieters.

By far the biggest bat in this group is Chris Davis, who will likely get one of the bigger contracts given out to position players this offseason.

Which, if any, free agent infielders would you want on your team?

29 thoughts on “Free Agent Grab Bag – Infielders

  1. Chris Davis for the Astros. AJ Reed is waiting at Corpus Christi for a chance at first base. But Chris could play third or DH if Reed works out. The Astros need to cut bait on Jon Singleton, Chris Carter and Evan Gattis.

    While we’re raiding Baltimore, how about Wieters? The Astros’ number one catcher is a slightly above Mendoza guy and absolute disaster with lefties. Their #2 catcher has the yips on any throw to a base.

    Personally I’m a huge fan of Zobrist, but I see no fit in Houston. Of course he came up through the Houston organization. If they hadn’t been idiots, he would have been their SS/2nd for ten years.

    Astros need a third baseman, too. But I don’t see one on the list that particularly warms my heart.

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  2. I expect Chris Davis to get a massive, massive contract. While he had a terrible season last year, and he’s at risk of a major suspension if he fails to get an adderall exemption, he has lead the league in home runs two of the past three seasons. He is a big swinging, good fielding first baseman, who can also play some in right if need be. He’s basically exactly what MLB is in love with at the moment.

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    • If it’s big, I expect Houston to be in the mix. First base held them back. If it is massive massive I’m not so sure. They have other needs.

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      • I wonder if the Pirates might make a move on Park Byung-ho, given the success they had with Jung-ho Kang and the fact that 1B is probably the biggest offensive need they have to fill this offseason.

        The two of them were actually teammates in Korea, the whole reunion thing might appeal to both of them (I don’t actually know if they were friendly teammates or Bonds/Kent teammates)

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      • Only reasons I could see Pirates having little interest are 1) the price may be higher with Kang’s success, and 2) they have Josh Bell knocking on the door with no where to play but 1B.

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      • Other than 1st base, Park Byung-ho can also play 3rd, I saw him in action playing that position via Spotv and he handled that position very well. Back when Kang Jung-ho was still in the KBO… the two of them were one of the most feared combo in that 3 and 4 slot lineup in the league. They are very close, I can tell you that, back in the MLB regular season, the “friends” who delivered homerun snacks to Kang Jung-ho were Park, Seo Geon-chang and Lee Tae-kyun (Park was the one who planned it all that time). So yeah, if the Pirates went for Park, and also knowing that those two are always competing with one another in the field, no doubt there will be some great/improved offensive production in that team.

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  3. I’d love to have Zobrist back, and wouldn’t mind having a power hitting 1B like Davis instead of Loney (who the Rays owe just under $10M).

    We ain’t gettin’ either of ’em though.

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  4. I can’t see the Jays needing anything from this crop of FA. We have a pretty damn good infield that is locked up for a few years yet:

    Josh Donaldson for 3 years
    Troy Tulowitzki for 5 years
    Ryan Goins for 5 years
    Devon Travis is still a rookie – probably good for 5 years
    Chris Colabello for 4 years
    Russell Martin for 4 years

    The only infield position that is not locked up completely is first base, but consider the following:

    Justin Smoak is a free agent following next season, as is Edwin, but Smoak made $1 million in 2015 (he’s arb eligible for 2016, but I can’t see his price going up significantly), Edwin is making a relatively paltry $10 for 2016, and Colabello is making around the league-minimum salary.

    In light of this, why would they back up the money truck for Chris Davis when the platoon of Edwin/Smoak/Colabello at first base combined for 72 home runs, and Edwin beat Davis in BA and OPS, and had comparable numbers for hits, RBI and walks, with fewer than half the strikeouts. Even Colabello had a better BA and OBP than Davis did.

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  5. It’s pretty damn hard to see the Cubs shopping in this department.

    Rizzo is signed to one of the most team-friendly contracts in the game, with 4y/$30M guaranteed and a pair of $14.5M options in 2020 and 2021.

    Bryant, Russell, and Baez will all be making what amounts to the change you find in the bleachers after each game.

    Castro has a pretty friendly deal as well, 4y/$37M remaining guaranteed with a $16M option for 2020. Considering the sorry state of middle infield options available in free agency, and the fact that Castro is still just 25 years old….teams could do a lot worse than trading for him.

    I expect another fairly major push to trade Castro this offseason. Then again, Baez might have more value depending on who Theo is doing business with. I wouldn’t mind taking Sonny Gray off of Oakland’s hands….

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      • That’s just at the major league level.

        Cubs minor league player-of-the-year Willson Contreras, current Cubs top prospect Gleyber Torres, trade-bait and future DH Dan Vogelbach, and Jeimer Candelario could all be pushing for a spot in the majors within a year or two.

        Or one of more of them could completely fall apart. It seems like it’s bound to happen sooner or later, considering the success rate the Cubs have had promoting young players in recent years. It looks like Arismendy Alcantara is the only one that’s been a bust so far.

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  6. I’d be warmer to Zobrist in St. Louis were he a couple of years younger, due to his positional flexibility, which IMO generally has more value in the NL. Of course, I picked him to stay with the Royals on our Bean Bag Free Agency contest.

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  7. The Tigers won’t need much work in the infield. Kinsler is great and Little Sexy Fire is solid. Miggy won’t be leaving 1B for awhile. Really, our biggest infield problem is 3B — Easy Out Castellanos is awful, but they are clearly sticking with him. I think they liked his promise too much. Anyway, he’s terrible on defense and his offense is streaky. I would love an upgrade there, but I don’t think that’s happening. We need a new utility guy, as Josh Wilson is going FA. Lettuce is a good bench piece, and Wilson was a good veteran option (though not great). IDK if they will gamble that Skippy Machado is ready to be a regular bench guy; probably so. That wouldn’t be a bad idea, as it would give him some seasoning without dumping every day responsibilities on him yet. I expect once he’s proven himself a little, they’ll trade him. If he had more of a bat, he might be an option to replace Easy Out. Obviously, though, we have no crushing issues with the infield at this point. Maybe pick up a utility guy and we’re good.

    The exception to that is catcher (which I guess you’ve lumped in here with the others). The Tigers are obviously letting Avila go, which I am not happy about. McCann is clearly the new every day catcher, but you have to have a solid backup. Brian Holaday is NOT that. Avila is much better, and Holaday has proven not to be a great asset behind the plate in tough situations. The team is afraid of losing him if they don’t move him up, for some reason. I know Avila won’t last forever, but Holaday is not worth trying to hold onto like this. I wish they’d leave him in Toldedo and bring Avila back to back up McCann. They can look for a new backup during the season/next offseason (when the more pressing issues have been patched) or keep priming someone to move up to Toledo when Holaday goes. Sh!t, Pena is FA again and we let him go and he was better than Holaday (though not that much). At least Pena is a switch hitter.

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