Teams That Could Look For An Upgrade At DH

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.

30 Responses to Teams That Could Look For An Upgrade At DH Leave a Reply

  1. 04Forever 5 years ago

    the sox need one the most, the yankees have plenty of hitters that can fill that slot. i wonder where one will come from if they elect to not go with lowell or martinez and get a new catcher

  2. Yankees can just have Posada DH.

    Cervelli is mashing the ball and is a better defensive catcher.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      As long as Cervelli is hitting sure, but he does have a BABIP over .400, and basically been hitting singles all year.

  3. quintjs 5 years ago

    I think this post may show that the professional DH is coming to an end.

    How many sides with a full time DH have had no issues in that slot in the last 3 years?

    Teams are going to use the DH slot in the future to rest players and keep it open for fading veterans.

    • capncasey 5 years ago

      If that’s the case, maybe there has been no better time to revisit getting rid of the DH. Expand the rosters to 26 and maybe the players union would go for it.

    • JD 5 years ago

      I was thinking the total opposite. Teams have been trying to avoid to pay guys who’s only skill-set is the ability to hit the baseball with power and get on base.

      Now teams are looking for guys who can just hit the baseball with power and get on base. Twins signing of Jim Thome has honestly been one of the best offseason signings thus far, and he’s a guy no one was trying to get.

      Keeping DH open for guys who can’t hit (Griffey, Ortiz, etc) is absolutely embarrassing. The fact that NL lineups have a higher OPS than AL lineups this year is something that should just never happen.

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        I would have to sort of agree with you about thome but I would say he is the second best signing so far. Andruw Jones Clearly is one of the best signings this season, bases on the money from the sox, the hitting, defense, and the steals so far…Everyone knew what thome would do and there were teams that wanted him I bet but he just didnt fit into what those teams were trying to why the whitesox let him go.

  4. bomberj11 5 years ago

    I think maybe Delgado could be a nice pickup for the Red Sox.

    • AirmanSD 5 years ago

      He might seem like a nice addition but he would create multiple problems as well. I know that they could simply remove either Lowell or Ortiz to free a roster spot, but thats not the issue for the Sox this year. The issue is lux tax. The Red Sox are right up against the limit of 170 million (remember its payroll plus benefits) If they had anyone it would have to be for about the league min, cause releasing either Lowell or Ortiz does not remove their money from payroll. The Red Sox are stuck this year, unless they are willing to pay the luxury tax for the 3rd time total, which is 40% or 68 million in addition to their 160 plus million dollar payroll. The Red Sox pretty much going to have to play with the team they have unless they can shed payroll from somewhere.

      • AirmanSD 5 years ago

        Sorry I made a mistake, its 40% of what they are over the cap, not 40% of the whole payroll. So it would be much much less then 68 million. But it still something the Red Sox have said they didn’t want to do.

        • bomberj11 5 years ago

          I forgot about the luxury cap. I mean, I’ve said it again and again, but Mike Lowell really deserves a shot. I believe he could put up good numbers in the DH spot, and not have to worry about playing defense. (Well, only if they really need him to play defense, obviously.)

  5. Chris Mitchell 5 years ago

    What about Elijah Dukes?

  6. how would any of these teams like brad hawpe as their DH?

  7. galloway84 5 years ago

    The Rays have options like Dan Johnson or better yet, Hank Blalock. Rays can call up Blalock from AAA (signed for the league minimum) anytime. Blalock is a better option go with and a better upgrade than Burrell at this point. Blalock can be a DH/1B for the Rays.

  8. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    I thought Andruw Jones was tearing it up? Or have the Sox been sending Quentin out from the DH spot?

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Jones is doing really well they are probably referring to kotsay, quentin, and the occasional pierre/vizquiel that shade DH occasionally.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      they’re probably referring to kotsay and the occasional pierre/vizquiel DH.

    • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

      I think Jones rotates between field and Dh

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      Recently it has been Juan Pierre Dh’ing along with Mark Kotsay and up untill recently they both have not been hitting the ball like at all

  9. The DH was designed for career hitters who couldn’t play anymore. I’m still one who doesn’t like it. It takes a lot of strategy away from the game both in how you manufacture runs and how your pitching staff is used. I really think they ought to do away with it.

    • baseball1 5 years ago

      I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like watching pitchers SUCK at hitting or bunting every at bat. It is just plain boring to watch, and half the time the teams are more worried about their pitcher getting hurt than his actual success at the plate. And yes, I understand the strategy involved, but It’s not like the AL doesn’t use any. I admit, I’m an AL team fan (O’s), but we pinch hit, make switches, etc, all the time too. It has become a game more where you just need a good bench (something the Orioles don’t have)

      • bomberj11 5 years ago

        Totally agree. You don’t wanna pay as much as you pay now, to sit and watch a pitcher bat. And, why did they put the DH in the AL, but not the NL? I don’t get it.

        • ELPinchy 5 years ago

          It was meant as an experiment that was supposed to end. I’m just guessing but at the time it might have been when the NL was the dominant league which would address ‘why the AL?’.

      • jphenix2002 5 years ago

        I like the DH for the added offense myself, but it is nice not having to worry about a pitcher getting hurt while at bat or running the bases. They can just focus on pitching.

  10. nhsox 5 years ago

    Do DH shortages around the AL increase value for DH types? Maybe this is an indication that their value has been short changed recently. It will be interesting to see the type of contracts offered to DH’s next offseason.

  11. Just_MLB 5 years ago

    I see Omar waving a sign that says u can have GMJ for free once/if Beltran comes back !
    we’ll take your worst low A prospect and pay the rest of his salary ( 1mil this year, 1 mil next year )

  12. gs01 5 years ago

    You forgot to mention Adam Lind, he’s batting just .230,.312.402 and is tied for the lead in k’s.

  13. crings 5 years ago

    Brian Cashman had an awful off season.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 5 years ago

      I think Cashman did the right thing and made the Yankees a helluva lot more athletic in the field and is doing wonders for the pitching staff. Now I won’t argue that Winn, Thames (with the exception against lefties), and Johnson have been terrible at the plate.

  14. jwsox 5 years ago

    If you get rid of the DH then the league should be restructured and be like the NBA/NFL/NHL have two conferences and divisions in the conferences….easiest would be east and west like the NHL/NBA

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