Free Agent Market: Second Basemen

Today let's take a look at the free agent market for second basemen.

  • Chone Figgins deserves his own bullet.  He hasn't spent significant time at second base since 2005, but his work at the hot corner this year suggests he'd be fine moving back.  He's a Type A free agent with a robust .402 OBP and the versatility to handle many positions.  Jerry Hairston Jr., also a free agent, is a poor man's Figgins.  Mark DeRosa fits somewhere in-between. 
  • Plenty of other solid OBP options: Felipe Lopez at .369, Jamey Carroll at .367, Craig Counsell at .362, Akinori Iwamura at .361 (club option), and Orlando Hudson at .356.  OBP alone won't guarantee a job, though – Ray Durham had a .380 rate in '08 and did not play this year.
  • Second base is not a power position; best you'll find is DeRosa with a .445 SLG.  Freddy Sanchez is at .434 (club option), Counsell .423, Lopez .421, Hudson .419.  Ronnie Belliard (.473), DeRosa (.457), and Hudson (.450) showed decent pop last year.
  • Defensively, John Dewan of The Fielding Bible considers Hudson, Placido Polanco, and Adam Kennedy among the ten best second basemen in the game.  UZR/150 points to Carroll, Counsell, Juan Uribe, Polanco, Belliard, Sanchez, Lopez, and Iwamura as above-average this year in limited samples.  Last year Kennedy and Uribe ranked highly.
  • Iwamura's club option is for $4.25MM with a $250K buyout, while Sanchez's is for $8MM with a $600K buyout.  The Rays have the depth to let Iwamura leave, while the Giants could keep Sanchez to help justify their trade of Tim Alderson.
  • Lopez joins Figgins as a Type A free agent; Polanco and DeRosa are currently Bs.
  • Lopez and Alex Cora are represented by Scott Boras.
  • Looking to convince a shortstop to play second base?  Orlando Cabrera, Bobby Crosby, Adam Everett, Khalil Greene, Marco Scutaro, Miguel Tejada, and Jack Wilson (club option) are among those available.

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