Top Free Agents Available Heading to Spring Training
With Spring Training starting this week, MFST takes a look at available free agents and predicted landing spot(s) for each player.
SP Cliff Lee (37)
DNP in 2015 due to an elbow injury. (2014 before injury) 13 Starts 4-5, 3.65
Lee has said to be looking for the “perfect fit” most likely with a contender. Lee who has pitched well in has past 2 seasons to prior to his injury, owned a 2.87 ERA in 2014, as well as being named to the All-Star game and coming in sixth in the NL Cy young voting. But Lee has been reportedly seeking a deal in the $6-8 million range, with incentives included. But teams may be reluctant to dish out that type of guaranteed money, in a deal worth so much with the south-paws recent injury issues.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): COL, WSH, TOR
SP Tim Lincecum (31)
GS: 15, 76.1 IP, 7-4, 4.13ERA
A tale of two stories, had a 2.08 in first 8 starts. 7.53 in his last 7 starts before season ending hip surgery. Lincecum who has 2 Cy-Young awards to his name, could be a solid pickup for a team if he stays healthy and can duplicate similar numbers to his first 8 starts. If Lincecum can deliver a bounce back season, and stay healthy he could become of the biggest bargains of the offseason.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): NYY, BAL, COL
SP Yovani Gallardo (29)
GS: 33, 184.1 ip, 13-11, 3.42
Gallardo who enjoyed a good season for the Texas Rangers, declined their Qualifying Offer and will turn 30 before the season starts. Gallardo owns a career 3.66 ERA, supporting his string tract record, and could be a solid addition for a team. But his biggest hurdle is being attached to a draft pick that many teams are reluctant to give up, where first round picks valued higher than ever.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): BAL, TEX
3B David Freese (32)
.257 14 HR, 56 RBI
It’s fascinating to me that David Freese is still available. Freese is an above-average defender, and is a known run producer as he’s driven at least 55 runs since 2011. He was also named to the NL All-Star game in 2012 when smashed 20 homers and drove in 79 runs. Look for Freese to have another productive year, and reward the team that signs him.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): CLE, MIL, LAA, ATL
OF Dexter Fowler (29)
.250, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 20 SB
Fowler enjoyed a great year for the Cubs as their leadoff man as he hit a respectable .250 and swiping 20 bags. But Fowler’s biggest eye-popping stat was that he mashed 17 homers for the Cubbies, all while staying healthy playing in a career high 156 games. Though teams shouldn’t expect Fowler to retain his power, as this season marked just his third hitting the double-digit mark in home runs. Fowler never hit more than 13 homers and that was back in 2012, with the Rockies. But Fowler entered a free agent class filled with outfielders, and like Gallardo, Fowler declined his QO from the Cubbies also tying him to a draft pick.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): BAL, CHC, CWS, LAA
1B/DH Pedro Alvarez (29)
.243, 27 HR, 77 RBI 131 SO’s
Alvarez was projected to make $8.1 million in 2016, and with a cheaper option in Josh Bell, the Pirates non-tendered the lefty slugger. Alvarez committed 23 errors last season for the Bucs, after being moved to first base. Which makes him a defensive liability, and why he could be destined for an AL team as a DH. Alvarez is known for his monstrous power, as not too long ago he was an All-Star, as he mashed 36 homers and drove in 100 runs in 2013, just a year after mashing 30 homers in 2012. Defense aside, Alvarez like many power hitters, has a tendency to strike out a lot. Alvarez has struck out 180+ times twice in his career (’11,’12) as well as 131 times last season. But if Alvarez could be had cheap, he’d be a great power option for an AL squad.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): BAL, MIL, NYY
3B Juan Uribe (36)
.253, 14 HR, 43 RBI
Juan Uribe is 36, and seems like he’s been playing forever. But the Dominican still has it, as he hit 14 homers, while driving in 43 runs for the Braves and Mets. After being traded to the Mets, Uribe was a great veteran club guy for a young squad that was able to reach the World Series. He provided good defense, and was able to knock 6 homers and drive in 20 runs. Uribe’s price is said to vary, depending on whether teams plan on using him as a starter or a bench player. The Indians have reportedly
Predicted Landing Spot(s): CLE
SS Ian Desmond (30)
.233 19 HR, 62 RBI 27 Errors
This season marked as Desmond’s worst year, as he was a consistent offensive force for the Nationals hitting at least 19
home runs in the past four seasons. Desmond also made an All-Star appearance in 2012, where he hit .292, 25 HR and 73 RBI. But Desmond is prone to striking out a lot, as the past two seasons he has struck out 183 and 187 times. Desmond has also struggled on the defensive side, committing at least 20 errors in the past three seasons. Desmond’s agent has been trying to sell him off as a utility man, similar to Zobrist who can player over the field. Yet there has been no biters, and again like Fowler and Gallardo, Desmond is attached to a draft pick. Making his signing that much more of a risk, with losing the draft pick.
Predicted Landing Spot(s): CWS, TB, OAK, COL