Similar to that, now we have Brian Dozier to the Nationals, Jed Lowrie to the Mets and DJ LeMahieu to the Yankees, the free-agent second basemen all of the sudden dropping like fruit flies.
The second-base market was all the time going to be intriguing given the depth of free brokers out there on the place, and it was made much more fascinating when the Mets traded for Robinson Cano and the A’s traded for Jurickson Profar. The Twins jumped on Jonathan Schoop on a one-year deal, the Padres scooped up Ian Kinsler and the Rockies signed Daniel Murphy to a two-year contract to play first base.
That left Dozier, Lowrie and LeMahieu because the remaining targets. Let’s take a look at their offers …
DJ LeMahieu to Yankees for 2 years, $24 million
2018 numbers: .276/.321/.428, 15 HR, three.zero WAR
The large query: Does this take the Yankees out of the working for Manny Machado? We’ll get there in a second.
First of all, LeMahieu is an fascinating participant. He was as soon as one of essentially the most excessive opposite-field hitters within the majors — whereas additionally hitting quite a bit of floor balls, mainly your anti-launch-angle hitter. He is modified his recreation considerably the previous couple of years and hit a career-high 15 house runs in 2018 as he pulled the ball extra typically and hit extra fly balls:
Floor balls are dangerous, and DJ LeMahieu looks like he is attempting to cease doing it. pic.twitter.com/x9sU76OniQ
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) January 11, 2019
After hitting .348 to win the batting title in 2016, nevertheless, he hit .310 in 2017 and .276 in 2018. A .276 common in Colorado is not spectacular. That .348 season appears to be like like a stone-cold fluke anyway. Verify out his park-adjusted wRC+ (weighted runs created) figures:
We’ve a below-average hitter with one massive season. He is nonetheless been a strong participant, nevertheless, thanks to his protection (he won Gold Gloves in 2014, 2017 and 2018). I’m wondering how his recreation will translate to Yankee Stadium. He nonetheless hits the ball quite a bit to proper area, which might result in some low cost house runs, however it might additionally lead to quite a bit fewer hits, because the outfield space is way smaller than at Coors, which means there’s much less room for his line drives to drop in. He additionally might proceed hitting the ball within the air extra and hit extra house runs — he is 6-foot-Four, so there might be some hidden energy to unlock.
Anyway, the Yankees now have LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and Troy Tulowitzki within the infield, with Didi Gregorius coming back from Tommy John surgical procedure someday in the summertime. All people appears to be flipping out about what this implies for Tulo. In any case, only a week in the past, basic supervisor Brian Cashman mentioned the crew was dedicated to Tulo at shortstop till Gregorius returns.
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OK, however which means Tulowitzki has to each keep wholesome and produce. He did not play in any respect in 2018 and wasn’t good in 2017, so it has been three years since he is performed each. And if Tulo is wholesome? High quality, there’s a lot of Dodgers-like flexibility right here. He’ll want days off even when he is taking part in nicely, so Torres can play some shortstop together with second base. LeMahieu strikes to third base and even performs some first base. Andujar, who by the metrics rated as one of the worst fielders within the recreation final yr, nonetheless performs a bit third or possibly strikes to first and sees time at designated hitter (with Giancarlo Stanton taking part in extra outfield).
Does this imply no room for Machado? It definitely appears to recommend going to New York is much less seemingly, however I would not fully rule out that risk. Cash is not a problem — if the Steinbrenners don’t need it to be a problem — and the Yankees might roll out this lineup:
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Aaron Decide
3B Manny Machado
LF Giancarlo Stanton
SS Gleyber Torres
DH Miguel Andujar
C Gary Sanchez
1B Luke Voit/Greg Chicken
2B DJ LeMahieu
That leaves Tulowitzki and Brett Gardner on the bench, and you’d have to transfer issues round when Gregorius returns, however too many components is OK, particularly when factoring in accidents. If this nonetheless feels too crowded, possibly Andujar turns into a primary baseman or commerce bait.
And if that lineup feels too right-handed? How about Bryce Harper coming to the Bronx as a substitute of Machado?
Jed Lowrie to Mets for 2 years, $20 million
2018 numbers: .267/.353/.448, 23 HR, Four.Eight WAR
The Mets signal participant and the consensus response on Twitter was, “The Mets have too many infielders!” If Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth returned from their graves in prime situation and signed with the Mets, I feel Twitter would discover a means to complain.
Sure, Lowrie is a former shopper of new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen, however he is additionally an excellent participant, coming off his greatest season at age 34, and $10 million per season will probably be a discount even when he is a 2.Eight-WAR participant as a substitute of Four.Eight. He is a switch-hitter and supplies defensive versatility. He is primarily performed second base in latest seasons, however performed shortstop earlier in his profession and might deal with third as nicely. As with the Yankees, it is all about positional flexibility.
So far as having too many infielders, this is a reminder that the Mets gave infield begins final season to Jose Bautista, Luis Guillorme, Phillip Evans, Jack Reinheimer, Ty Kelly and the ghosts of Jose Reyes and Adrian Gonzalez. There’s room for depth additions. For example, this is how the video games might line up, holding in thoughts that Lowrie additionally might play second or Cano might play first base:
Cano: 145 video games began at 2B
Amed Rosario: 140 GS at SS
Lowrie: 110 GS at 3B, 20 GS at SS
Todd Frazier: 80 GS at 1B, 25 GS at 3B
Peter Alonso: 90 video games at 1B/DH
Jeff McNeil: 27 GS at 3B, 17 GS at 2B, 2 GS at SS, 40 GS at OF
Given their ages, Cano (36) and Lowrie would profit from a couple of further days off. McNeil hasn’t performed a lot outfield (simply 65 innings within the minors), however the Mets say they will strive him out there. If he can deal with a nook, he might platoon with Brandon Nimmo (.946 OPS in opposition to right-handed pitchers, .742 in opposition to left-handers), or Nimmo or Michael Conforto might slide over to middle 10 to 15 occasions a season. Once more, there’s tons of flexibility, and that is earlier than factoring in accidents.
(Sure, I am ignoring Dominic Smith. For those who’re a member of the Dom Smith fan membership, I apologize.)
Brian Dozier to Nationals for one yr, $9 million
2018 numbers: .215/.305/.391, 21 HR, 1.zero WAR
From 2015 by 2017, Dozier ranked fourth amongst MLB second basemen in WAR, averaging 35 house runs per season along with his pull-happy strategy. He fell off final season with the Twins and Dodgers, hitting .215 with 21 house runs. We might attribute that to age — he was 31 — however late within the season he revealed he had performed by knee soreness since April, after struggling a bone bruise. This looks like a terrific buy-low alternative for the Nationals. At one yr, they don’t have anything to lose, and if Dozier has a giant season he can re-enter the free-agent market as a extra a fascinating participant.
After seven seasons in Colorado, DJ LeMahieu is heading to the American League after reaching an settlement on a two-year, $24 million contract with the Yankees, sources instructed ESPN.
With the big-name free brokers nonetheless in the marketplace, we ask whether or not it is higher for groups to have a balanced payroll than to splurge on a star.
From the free brokers set to money in to the big-name stars certain to come up in commerce rumors all winter lengthy, sustain with all of the most recent motion.
His FanGraphs projection continues to be a fairly conservative .242/.328/.433 with 22 house runs. I feel he’ll do higher. Even with out Harper, the Nats ought to have an imposing lineup:
SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
2B Brian Dozier
1B Ryan Zimmerman / Matt Adams
C Yan Gomes / Kurt Suzuki
CF Victor Robles / Michael Taylor
And if Harper finally ends up again in D.C.? Eaton turns into commerce bait for prospects or bullpen assist.
The second-base market nonetheless contains Asdrubal Cabrera, who can nonetheless hit however most likely profiles as extra of a backup as of late due to his lack of vary, and Josh Harrison, who is not actually a first-division starter anymore. The Giants are additionally wanting to deal Joe Panik. The one contending crew with a gap at second is the Brewers, who’ve Hernan Perez, Cory Spangenberg and Tyler Saladino as choices. FanGraphs presently charges the Brewers 29th in projected WAR at second base.
Their high prospect is second baseman Keston Hiura, nevertheless, and he might be prepared by midseason. In addition they might convey again Mike Moustakas and play Travis Shaw at second, however they most likely don’t need to block Hiura, and the Yasmani Grandal signing already has pushed their payroll increased than ever.
The Dodgers do not essentially have a gap at second base — in the event that they’re dedicated to Alex Verdugo within the outfield, Chris Taylor traces up at second. In addition they might nonetheless signal Harper or A.J. Pollock, and that additionally might place Taylor at second. If Taylor is required within the outfield, they weren’t afraid to slide Max Muncy over to second. Nonetheless, they seem to have an open roster spot. I might see Cabrera touchdown in L.A.