Free Agent Stock Watch: First Basemen

MLBTR’s Connor Byrne recently previewed the upcoming offseason market for catchers, foreground that there’s effectively one perform option, a series of potential regulars and various backups/ role players who could still help in the latter theatres of their respective vocations. The busines for first basemen is even thinner, though there are still some intriguing honours for fraternities searching a veteran to replenish that role.

A Free-Agent in Name Only?

Jose Abreu: The 32 -year-old Abreu would be the top first base option on the open market — if somebody reputes he’s actually going to explore volunteers from all 30 squads. The mutual affection between Abreu and the organization has been covered ad nauseum throughout years of him being registered as a possible busines applicant. Both White Sox GM Rick Hahn and Abreu himself wishes to speak regularly about the desire to work out an extension, with Abreu representing his most unmistakable explanation to date just last week.” Like I said before, if the team doesn’t sign me, I’m going to sign myself now ,” Abreu told Daryl Van-Schouwen of the Sun-Times. Abreu later added that owner Jerry Reinsdorf has strongly suggested to him that he’ll be with the Sox beyond 2019. The large-hearted human is hitting. 284/.323 /. 503 with 28 homers, but the smart money is on him staying with the South Siders.

The Top Option

Justin Smoak: With Abreu not likely to change outfits, the switch-hitting Smoak becomes the best bet on the open market. Traditionalist will bristle at Smoak’s paltry. 216 batting average, but he’s in the midst of a third straight-shooting season with a. 350 OBP or better. He’s homered 20 -plus meters in each of those seasons and posted an ISO( slugging minus batting average) above. 200 four times in the past five years( including this year’s even. 200 mark ). Smoak is sitting on a career-high 16.6 percent stroll charge and has cut his strikeout rate to 20.4 percent. Smoak may never pair 2017′ s total of 38 large-hearted flies, but he’s a switch-hitting on-base threat with above-average pop who can play a respectable first base.

Platoon/ Bench Bats

David Freese: Turning to the suddenly surface of the platoon, the 36 -year-old Freese( 37 next April) has never had a below-average offensive season by measure of wRC +. He’s long affliction left-handed pitching (. 301/.380 /. 468 in 1180 PAs) and has more than propped his own against same-handed antagonists over the past couple seasons. Freese’s character with the Dodgers has been extremely limited in 2019( 163 PAs ), but there’s little indication that his offensive abilities are diminishing. His age and part-time role in recent seasons will probably prevent him from coming a full-time gig in the offseason, but Freese would be a terrific veteran addition to the bench of many competitors. Mitch Moreland: Soon to turn 34, Moreland has sucked generally positive critiques for his security at first base. It’s a big reason that Boston has deployed him at its own position over the past three seasons, most recently inking him to a two-year deal prior to the 2018 season. Moreland has all of 36 plate looks against left-handed pitching in 2019 — spoiler alarm: they haven’t pas well — but he’s clobbered righties at a. 265/.341 /. 556 wire through 189 plate expressions. He’s missed period due to back and quad hurts this season, and it’s possible that those maladies have contributed to his uncharacteristically below-average defensive ratings. Moreland’s history of plus glovework and still-potent bat against righties should acre him a big league pact. Steve Pearce: A postseason superstar in 2018, Pearce has had an entirely sad season. A back harm has limited him to 99 dish appearances, during which time he’s announced a putrid. 180/.245 /. 258 production. Pearce doesn’t glance healthful and, foreman into his age-3 7 season, will almost certainly need to settle for a minor league deal. His excellent 2018 establishing and lifetime. 264/.347 /. 491 order against right-handed pitching are points in his favor. Neil Walker: As of this writing, Walker’s batting course is effectively league median( 100 wRC +, 96 OPS +), meeting last year’s season with the Yankees the lone phenomenon on an otherwise strong track record. He’s no longer an daily option at second base, but Walker can direct first, second, third and some corner outfield work while giving professional at-bats from the two sides of the dish. He had to settle for a$ 2MM guarantee on a non-contender this season, but a better explain at the plate in 2019 (. 267/.344 /. 394 with a pitcher-friendly home park in Miami) should convince sororities he has some mileage left. Martin Prado: Walker’s teammate, Prado will soon turn 36 and is coming off various seasons broke by hamstring and quadriceps injuries. Those questions have relegated him primarily to first base obligations. The actuality that each of his slugging percentage, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all check in south of. 300 doesn’t bode well for Prado. But, in 81 tours to the plate against lefties, he’s hit. 311/.346 /. 378 with an eight percent strikeout frequency. Prado is, by all chronicles, a boon to any clubhouse into which he steps foot, but interest is going to be limited.

Veterans with Club Options

Anthony Rizzo: Dream on. Rizzo’s $14.5 MM club option is among the easiest calls in the game. He won’t sniff the open market. Eric Thames: The $7.5 MM option on Thames’ contract comes with a$ 1MM buyout — preparing him a $6.5 MM decision for the Brewers. The onetime KBO superstar’s bat looked to be on the downswing in 2018, but he’s rebounded back in 2019 and is currently sporting a insolent. 256/.355 /. 508 reduce with 19 dingers and double-dealings apiece in 379 layer appearances( plus a couple of triples ). Thames is best paired with a right-handed-hitting platoon partner, but his production against righties ogles to be worth this modest price. Ryan Zimmerman: Nationals icon or not, Zimmerman won’t have his $18 MM club option employed on the ends of an injury-shortened year that has currently consisted of a. 246/.311 /. 390 output through 132 layer forms. It’s possible that the Nats will bring him back at a( much) lower pace, but Zimmerman will turn 35 years old next month. He’ll have to earn his channel back into a full-time role regardless of where he’s playing. Matt Adams: Another Washington first baseman, Adams has a$ 4MM mutual option( or a$ 1MM buyout) for next season. It’s safe to usurp at this point that Adams is never going to be much of a threat against opposing lefties, but he’s hit righties at a. 243/.300 /. 514 clip this year. This is his third straight-shooting 20 -homer season, although that differentiate is accompanied by heretofore invisible contact issues( 33.1 percentage strikeout proportion ). Adams will turn 31 on Saturday, which, paired with his platoon issues, would have been able prevent him from signing a multi-year deal if he returns to free authority. But he’s an established at-bat against righties who can probably be had on an economical one-year offer this winter.

Depth Options

Yonder Alonso, Mark Reynolds, Lucas Duda and Hanley Ramirez are still secreted this season. Alonso is hitting well as a Rockie. Ramirez underwent shoulder surgery. Reynolds has yet to latch on elsewhere. Duda was cut loose for a second time earlier this week.

The Phillies have a trio of options who can handle first base in Brad Miller, Sean Rodriguez and Logan Morrison. Of the assortment, Morrison is the wild card who could be of the greatest intrigue. A rip labrum in his trendy devastated LoMo’s 2018 season, but he decimated Triple-A pitching this season to earn another look in the big league and hit hard by well through a minuscule sample of 15 PAs in Philly. Morrison region 38 home run as recently as 2017 with Tampa Bay.

Logan Forsythe had a hot start with the Rangers but has ensure his bat tail off in recent months. He’s not a prototypical first baseman but can play all over the infield and has generally administered lefties well. Gerardo Parra isn’t a first baseman by nature, either, but he’s seen some time there with the Nats this season and been reasonably beneficial in a limited role.

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