Free Agency as Thirst Trap

This year’s free agency list is a who’s-who of Guys You Want(tm) on your team. From big names to key role players to out and out studs, the players who are available this offseason is like waiving a donut in front of a sugar starved dieting person.

According to many observers, the top ten MLB Free Agents this season are:

  1. Manny Machado
  2. Bryce Harper
  3. Patrick Corbin
  4. Michael Brantley
  5. Craig Kimbrel
  6. Dallas Keuchel
  7. Nelson Cruz
  8. Nathan Eovaldi
  9. Adam Ottavino
  10. Wilson Ramos

Now, a few of the names on this list are questionable to me; Eovaldi’s performance after the World Series will make Boston probably more likely to make moves to keep him, while Nelson Cruz is closer to forty than thirty and could just as likely retire as resign anywhere. That leaves us with two can’t miss young sluggers, one young power arm, a former Cy Young winner who haven’t hit those heights again, a catcher with injury issues, an ace reliever who has gone through a lull, a hot-and-cold outfielder and a sometimes starter sometimes reliever who’s seen more ups and downs than the Wild Mouse.

Still, we’re looking at a bunch of guys on this list that could make a young team stronger or a veteran team deeper, as well as a few actual clubhouse game changers.

We’re not even talking about other guys who are going to be tip-toeing into FA-land, guys like Mike Moustakas, JA Happ, David Robertson, Joe Kelly, Charlie Morton, Josh Donaldson, Yasmani Grandal, Adam Jones, and D.J. LeMahieu.

Then, there are players like Clayton Kershaw who are expected to somehow reconfigure their current contracts with their teams and not head out into the unknown.

But we just don’t know! And that’s the fun of it all.

Every team has a list of guys they want and/or need; positions to be filled, or people they are willing to take a flyer on. I know that in my team’s case – Atlanta – we need a catcher, we need an outfielder, and we could use a couple of veteran arms, but especially relief pitching. Old friends Brian McCann and Craig Kimbrel are now available, but do we go after them again? Or do we try something new? Do we try to get folks on the cheap or do we go hunting for big game? For funsies I’d like to kick the tires on Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson, and go hard after Joe Kelly and Adam Ottavino, and maybe try to get Kimbrel back where he belongs – in a Braves uniform. But I’m not a general manager, and I don’t know what type of deals are brewing in trade opportunities. I’m just saying what I’d like to see show up rocking the A in Spring Training.

What about your teams? Who would you like to see wearing your colors when the Grapefruit or Cactus Leagues resume? Who would you rather pass you by? Are there any hidden gems that we need to know about?

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18 thoughts on “Free Agency as Thirst Trap

  1. First of all, I want to pay respects to Willie McCovey. I saw him play, quite a few times, as a kid against the baby Mutts. Willie and Willie, back to back. I still remember the rifle shot sound of him making good contact. He hit balls so hard it’s just as well Statcast wasn’t around yet; the bar would’ve been set where even the Iron Giant would’ve had problems reaching it. Rest in peace, Stretch. Not many really earn their myths.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m with you 100% on McCovey, Gator. The man was the master of the line drive and knew how to take a walk. It was hard to get noticed behind Willie Mays, but he managed it. By the accounts I have seen, a solid citizen, too.

      Liked by 1 person

        • McCovey Cove. Yeah, well, he hit them that far with ridiculous regularity. Those massive arms gave his swing superhuman torque. Quite a few years ago I was on my way home from San Francisco to Miami and he walked past me in the American Airlines ticket lobby at SFO. Every second person was turning around to follow him as he went by. There was no way to miss him, he was that big, towering above everyone else like one of the coastal redwoods at Muir Woods. He already had a slight hobble, carrying the freight of his career orthopedic issues on his aging frame which would put him in a wheelchair for most of the last decade of his life. But even at that time, in his early sixties I calculate, his preternatural power still haunted him like an aura. He picked up on everyone who recognized him, which out there was just about everyone anyway, and had a nod and a smile for them. My mouth was probably hanging open because I think he may have laughed to himself at the sight of me. He gave me the smile and the nod too. Tremendous warmth.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Now to business. For the Astros, Realmuto at catcher. (Although I have the feeling it will end up more like Wilson Ramos when they decide not to empty out the farm).

    Convention says they need a left fielder, but I would prefer to see them pick up a center fielder and move Springer out of CF. Something along the lines of AJ Pollack would be a dream scenario, but I think they will move Kyle Tucker into left (assuming he is not a Marlin) and keep Springer in CF.

    A #3 lefty to replace the probably-soon-to-depart Keuchel.

    And I think Marwin Gonzalez has priced himself out of their plans, so move Gurriel to utility, put White at first, and pick up a convertible first baseman to DH. Something along the lines of Steve Pearce if he hasn’t let the WS MVP go to his head. Gattis is history in Houston.

    Oh, and a setup man. You can never have too many setup men.

    Okay, that’s it for STex fantasies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My team won’t likely break any banks trolling for free agents, but outside a starter and maybe a solid closer, I’d prefer them to save their nickels and bring up some of that raw talent percolating in the minors. Called up at the end of the season, pitcher Sean Reid-Foley, catcher Danny Jansen, 1B Rowdy Tellez and catcher Reese McGuire have already shown promise.

    Then there is Vlad Guerrero Jr., who is currently tearing it up in the Arizona Fall League, as is RHP Nate Pearson, who hit 104 MPH during an inning of relief.

    Interestingly, the Jays’ top 30 prospects list reads like a “Baseball: The Next Generation” cast list… Vlad Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Griffin Conine are all in the top 16.

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