East Coast bias? No, just the way this list shapes up.
Steve Pearce – 1B/OF. — To be honest, MLB.com has Pearce listed as a 1B/OF guy but he could easily be a utility guy for a team who saw what Ben Zobrist did for the Royals and Cubs and say, “I want a piece of that action.” Pearce is also great against left handed pitchers, which also makes him attractive to teams who need some variety in their lineup.
Jeremy Hellickson – P. — Hellickson was able to salvage his career in Philly this season. Will he be able to continue on this new path, or will he return to his not-so-great stats next season?
Mark Trumbo – 1B/OF. — Trumbo, like Edwin Encarnacion, should remain in the American League to contribute by being a designated hitter. Trumbo’s glove is sometimes a liability, as Orioles fans saw this season. But as everyone knows, Trumbo also mashed 47 home runs this season, and shows no sign of slowing down at the plate. (Also, I hope I run into him in Baltimore so I can have a small heart attack. Pssst. Hey, Mr. Trumbo. I’m cute and single.)
Matt Wieters – C. — Wieters, whom many scouts have said is a bust (hehe), will not be getting the QO from the Orioles this season as he did last year. The Orioles do have Caleb Joseph waiting in the wings, so they can afford to get rid of the poorly performing Wieters. Personally, I think Joseph is a better pitch framer, but what do I know? I don’t really watch that much AL baseball, we all know that! Wieters is a switch hitter, which adds to his value. And as I mentioned in regards to Wilson Ramos, the catcher market this year is so-so at best. Wieters will get a deal somewhere.
Jason Castro – C. — Would you look at that? Not an Oriole! Rather, another catcher. Unlike the aforementioned Wieters, Castro has tremendous value at backstop. Over the last three season, he’s been responsible for at least 11 framing runs each year, and ranked among the top three in the league last year in pitch framing. However, Castro isn’t so great at the plate. However, he is a lefty, and would work well in a platoon situation.
Join us tomorrow when we finish up the list!