Free Agent Stock Watch: Shortstops

Operating under the safe assumption Derek Jeter re-signs with the Yankees, who's the best available free agent shortstop after the season?  As usual, it's an unimpressive group.  2011 age is in parentheses.

  • Orlando Cabrera (36) - He's got a $4MM mutual option with a buyout of $500K or $1MM depending on who declines.  Whether you're looking for offense or defense, Cabrera's numbers don't impress.
  • Adam Everett (34) – Everett still has defensive skills, but his bat deteriorated to the point that the Tigers recently designated him for assignment.
  • Alex Gonzalez (33) – He hit for good power in the season's first month, and might be doing enough to get his $2.5MM option picked up by the Blue Jays after the season.
  • Cesar Izturis (31) – He's a defense-first type, at least in reputation, and a big negative with the bat.
  • Edgar Renteria (35) – He's currently on the DL with a hamstring injury, but at least holds a .372 OBP for now.  The Giants are unlikely to exercise his $10.5MM option, making him a tolerable choice in a poor class.
  • Jose Reyes (28) – He's been lousy this season, but at least appears healthy.  The Mets would be hard-pressed to decline his $11MM option.
  • Juan Uribe (31) – Not the ideal defensive shortstop anymore, but he's hit well since returning to the NL last year.  Uribe might be the best stopgap shortstop available on the free agent market.
  • Felipe Lopez (31) – Like Uribe, he's a solid, versatile bat who can pass as a shortstop if needed.
  • Cristian Guzman, Nick Punto, and Miguel Tejada aren't playing shortstop this year, but could potentially be moved back for 2011 if a team is so inclined.

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15 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Shortstops"

5 years 2 months ago

orlando cabera’s value is so much more than numbers; but providing leadership and a winning approach that influence younger players to play the game the right way isn’t supported in the box score, therefore a player like cabrera couldn’t possibly provide “impressive” value

5 years 2 months ago

Funny how we hear these types of intangible arguments so often about guys who are not good players.

5 years 2 months ago

he’s clearly on the downside, but to imply he doesn’t provide value is foolish. clearly, he and rolen have had an influence on the way the reds play baseball. but it would involve actually watching games to notice the difference compared to previous years.

does a player like cabrera bring the same value to a cardinals or redsox type club that has veteran influence and pennant race experience? absolutely not.

has he positively changed the way this reds team approaches the game? yes. and i have a feeling that’s why walt jocketty signed him, not hoping he could restore himself to “impressive” offensive and defensive numbers.

the same intangible argument can be made for gomes, whose numbers do qualify him as a “good player”. gomes brings entusiasm, attitude and mental toughness to a team that lacked all of those attributes.

ignoring a character dynamic is just ignorant when building a roster that is going to have to respond to adversity over 6+ months… baseball men like walt jocketty know this, people who link to walt jocketty stories do not

5 years 2 months ago

Because if you make more than 5m than you no longer love the game and you are automatically a selfish, self-absorbed player.

5 years 2 months ago

Is this the same argument that got Nick Punto an 8m contract?

5 years 2 months ago

During Wednesday’s Cards-Reds game on ESPN, the announcers were going on and on about how O-Cab and Rolen brought winning intangibles and professionalism to the Reds and crediting their “outside of the box score” contributions for the Reds surge this season.

5 years 2 months ago

absolutely…votto has said in many interviews that the dynamic has changed because of rolen and cabrera’s professionalism and approach to the game.

votto has also said that the team feeds off of cabrera’s enthusiasm and and credits cabrera’s baserunning influence to the reason why the reds are going 1st to 3rd so often.

if the reds had a better option in their system or could afford a big splash, then there are more desirable options than cabrera, but they needed a stopgap SS on the cheap and also needed a presence…they received both from cabrera and I believe management is happy with the signing by the result on the field not his individual line on a box score.

his (and rolen, etc) influence on the young core of the reds will far outlast his contract.

there are many players like cabrera and many teams in the same position as the reds, that need what those players provide.

5 years 2 months ago

Couldn’t agree with you more on that statement. Cabrera is a great leader, he brings fire every day to the park and he has even gotten Votto to show some fire himself and let loose. I love watching the Reds play this year because of Rolen and Cabrera’s influence.

And 1.3 mil for a player who already has 27 rbi’s, 13 2B’s, 3 HR’s, and is 8/8 on SB’s is well worth it.

5 years 2 months ago

A lot of baseball left this season, but Felipe Lopez has probably played himself into a decent free agent contract as a full-time starter somewhere. The Cards will need to pinch pennies in preparation for the Albert re-signing, so for better or for worse, Brendan Ryan will probably be handed back the starting SS gig.

Lopez will probably want a two-year deal at least if he keeps up his current success, which would indeed make Uribe the best stopgap SS available for a team looking for a one year solution.

5 years 2 months ago

I agree with rayking, Felipe Lopez is the best option here. O-Cab, for all his veteran presence, doesn’t do much on either side of the ball, Alex Gonzalez won’t keep it up with the bat, Edgar Renteria is unreliable, you never know what kind of season you’ll get from him, Juan Uribe is better suited for third base, and the rest are no stick/all glove guys who are better options off the bench.

5 years 2 months ago

Felipe Lopez as the best option is scary though, he’s never put up similar numbers in back-to-back seasons, his OPS basically changes 60-90 points every year.

And since when does he have defense for SS? He was horrible there in 05-07

5 years 2 months ago

With respect, why should Juan Uribe accept a one year deal? He’s smacking the heck out of the ball and playing decent shortstop baseball. I’d be amazed if the Giants don’t re-sign him to a multi-year deal. He deserves it.

5 years 2 months ago

This FA class is brutal

5 years 2 months ago

Alex Gonzalez could be useful on a 1 year contract *IF* the jays don’t pick up that 2.5M option, otherwise? The rest of these guys will be waiting a LONG time to find a job next year. Combination of can’t hit, can’t filed, or in a couple cases.. Both combined.

4 years 11 months ago

man, this list sucks. I, as a die hard Yankee fan, am one of the few who see Jeter as a deteriating liability, who I do NOT want signed for 4 more years. That being said, there is no one besides Jose Reyes on this list who perks my interest, and I’m sure the Mets will pick that option up.

Now what do we do….?