There's a limit to how much 38-year-old utility men can earn, and Melvin Mora is doing everything within his power to push that limit as he heads for another round of free agency. He's hitting well and playing all over the place as the Rockies make their annual charge towards the postseason. Here's the outlook for Mora this winter:
- Mora is batting .286/.363/.404 this year, a significant improvement from the 2009 line he posted in Baltimore (.260/.321/.358).
- The Rockies called on Mora to be their everyday third baseman when Ian Stewart hit the DL on August 26th and Mora has responded by posting an .873 OPS since then, proving that he can still play every day if necessary.
- He has played first, second, third and left field this year.
- He won't cost a draft pick, since he doesn't project to be a ranked free agent.
- Mora turns 39 before the season starts, so his chances of winning another Silver Slugger or clubbing 27 homers in a season again are slim. He's a role player at this point in his career.
- His batting average on balls in play is the highest it has been in five years, despite a career-low line drive rate. Those numbers suggest Mora has benefitted from some good luck on balls in play.
Mora is not getting a multi-year deal this winter, barring a major surprise, but he has likely earned himself a raise from his current $1.275MM salary. It seems like Mora's in line for another one-year deal this winter, but he could earn $2-3MM this time around.