Everyone in baseball are making moves to boost pitching because there is barely anything of substance in the hitters’ market. Adding free agents Yoenis Cespedes (35 HR/105 RBI/7 SB/.291 BA) and/or Justin Upton (26 HR/81 RBI/19 SB/.251 BA) could help make for a dream outfield. Between that and first basemen Chris Davis (47/117/2/.262) — who is the biggest bat on the market — and Pedro Alvarez (27 HR/77 RBI/2 SB/.243 BA) there is nobody on the market that can truly help a team win, or least satisfy a fan base during the hot stove season.
First of all, there are no starting catchers left on the market. The closest to one is Alex Avila, who signed with the Chicago White Sox. With a bunch of backup catchers remaining, the best risk to take this offseason is J.P. Arencibia. The 29-year-old spent much of last season in Triple-A Durham but had a good showing with the Rays in September by hitting .310 in 24 games with six home runs. He’s always had some pop but now it seems that he has improved as an overall hitter.
At first base, there is a substantial supply of power but that’s it. Besides Davis and Alvarez, there’s Chris Carter, who at this point is no different than what Carlos Pena was to the Rays. He’s good for at least 20 home runs, but that is it. There’s also Justin Morneau, who despite an injury riddled 2015 season, he still managed to hit .310. There is the Colorado factor to worry about when it comes to signing the 34-year-old slugger. Michael Cuddyer won the batting title in his first season with the Rockies in 2013, but wasn’t nearly the same when he signed with the New York Mets. Mike Napoli is available but with his age, he’s limited to the American League as a designated hitter.
The Chicago Cubs picked up Ben Zobrist to be their new second baseman. What’s left is Howie Kendrick (9 HR/54 RBI/6 SB/.295) and Daniel Murphy (14 HR/73 RBI/2 SB/.281). Neither of them are coming back to their respective clubs and both can hit for contact and get on base. Steven Drew hit 17 home runs last season, his highest since 2008, but Yankee Stadium usually inflates one’s penchant for hitting home runs.
The New York Mets signed Asdrubal Cabrera so all that’s left is Ian Desmond (19 HR/62 RBI/13 SB/.233) and Alexei Ramirez (10 HR/62 RBI/17 SB/.249). Both bats have been declining in recent years but Ramirez is still a great fielder and worth starting if a team absolutely needs one.
As for third base, all that’s left is David Freese, who has really been living off his World Series performance in 2011. Last year with the Los Angeles Angels, the 32-year-old batted .257 with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs.