Friday, June 9, 2017

Off-Season Preview

With arbitration signings wrapping up, Ichiro is about to head into free agency. Although the FA list isn't filled with A-list stars, it certainly isn't lacking in talent. Here I will go through each position singling out top FA options.


I don't see any long term fixes here, but certainly some guys who can fill in for a short time. Top 3 guys, Adeiny Contreras , R.A. Towles , and Harvey Jones will garner the most interest. Jones has the best bat, but Towles and Contreras can swing the lumber a little and play solid defense. On the trade block there is only Orval McCorley , who is similar to Jones defensively, but has a much better bat. He is coming off a horrendous arm injury that cut short his season 41.

1st Base

Not much to look at here free agent wise. Perhaps 1B/DH Alex Christensen is the best option, coming off a 34 HR 106 RBI season. The trade market is much stronger, headlined by last season's big FA signing Gabe Delmonico, did his normal thing in his first season in Milwaukee with 55 HR's, 130 RBI, and a .962 OPS. No shortage after him of capable guys including Geraldo Amezaga who has hit at least 30 homers in all 7 ML seasons, Alfredo Latos, who batted over .300 last season with an OPS over .800, and Dweezil Hayes, who is the cheapest option with a career .850 OPS in over 1500 at-bats, mostly against righties. Hayes was pushed to the bench following the Delmonico signing and one of those two will probably go.

2nd Base

Studly Esteban Delgado headlines the 2nd base class, coming off yet another strong season with 25 stolen bases, 95 runs scored and a strong OPS of .873  along with his 3rd above .300 average in 9-plus seasons. Shawn Stephenson is no slouch either. The left handed hitter had one of his best seasons in the bigs with a .281/.346/.491 slash line to go with 28 dingers and 107 RBI. Not much on the trade market, but Felipe Bueno played well down the stretch after a disappointing season 40.


Ignacio Gonzalez will be in high demand more than likely.  He has had an OPS above .800 for 6-plus seasons and sports nifty glove and a good arm. Alving Navarro can be had on the trade market with a similar glove to Gonzalez but not quite the same bat.

Third Base

Dave Bush and Tomas Portillo lead the 3rd base class. Bush the younger option also has more pop in his bat, but Portillo can still get it done at the plate and on the field. Steve Boskie is a natural 3B who is similar to Portillo. 2B Bueno on the block can also play third base quite well.

Right Field

Plenty of options in RF this winter. William Nomura is maybe the best hitter on the FA market. It would be nice to see how he fares in more of a hitters ballpark. Yunel Gutierrez, career OPS above .900 will surely get some interest and Richard Cousins can flat out crush the ball, hitting 40 dongs last season.

Center Field

Most FA CF's you will have to sacrifice either the glove or the bat for, but there are two on the trade block. Mateo Javier has two years left on his deal and is by far the best option out there. Julian Cruz
came out of nowhere last season and could help a team for a season, maybe two in center.

Left Field

LF is another position where there isn't much on the FA market, although other position players can always fill in here. The trade market has some names to look at. Denny Shibata is listed as a LF, but his bat may play better at 2B. Luis Gil had a stellar season 41 with 26 homers and 94 RBI. It was surprising to see Yorman Guerrero's name being dangled out there as trade bait. Still young, his rookie season two seasons ago saw him hit 33 homers with 106 RBI. Last season was a step back, but not bad.

Starting Pitcher

Ageless wonder Bruce Ochoa still has plenty in the tank and has now notched 224 career wins. More long term fixes are the ever consistent Edgardo Seanez and Paul Truby who has surprised me by not performing better throughout is ML career. Cory Clement is a fine option on the trade market, coming off his best ML season with 15 wins and a 1.23 WHIP in over 200 innings.

Relief Pitcher

I probably missed a few names at other positions, but here I will miss quite a few. I will mention all-time save leader Alfredo Wilfredo is still kicking and hoping to sign with someone. Surprisingly coming off a career best 54 saves last season. Best option is on the trade market by far, with Juan Zapata available. At 30 years old, he already has 309 saves.

As I mentioned, I am sure I missed a few. Either way it looks like and fun few days ahead in Ichiro.