Designated hitter usually isn't a position that you'll see teams go out and spend big bucks to fill. Most of the 14 AL clubs have an older and fading player still under contract that can't play the field anymore, so a lot of times he'll get the spot by default. Think David Ortiz and Eric Chavez. Even when a team does go into the free agent market for a DH, they usually won't commit more than one year to a player.
Here are a few a clubs getting below average production from a roster spot designed to do nothing but hit…
- Angels: After a hot start, Hideki Matsui has tailed off, and overall the team's DH's are hitting .207/.305/.342.
- Athletics: Chavez isn't getting the job done, posting a .235/.284/.318 batting line.
- Mariners: Mike Sweeney and Ken Griffey Jr. have gotten most of the DH at-bats, and overall the team has gotten just .189/.250/.207 worth of production. They've been rumored to have interest in Jose Guillen.
- Rays: In the second year of his two year deal, Pat Burrell is hitting .222/.321/.375, which is actually an improvement from 2009.
- Red Sox: Ortiz has gotten most of the action at DH, but is hitting just .178/.265/.411.
- White Sox: Chicago's DH spot has been a revolving door, but overall they've hit just .204/.297/.310.
- Yankees: Nick Johnson was signed in the offseason to fill this spot, but he hit .167/.388/.306 before landing on the disabled list with a wrist issue.
If any of those teams want to upgrade their current DH situation, they could turn to the free agent market, where Carlos Delgado (recovering from hip surgery), Jermaine Dye, and Gary Sheffield reside. The trade market could also prove fruitful, as players like Guillen, Lance Berkman, and Luke Scott could be made available.