Free Agent Market For Left Fielders

Left field is traditionally a power position, yet Pat Burrell is the only free agent who hit 20 home runs in 2010.  The Rays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Reds, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Padres, and Giants may be looking for help at the position.  Let's break down the free agents.

The Big Name

Carl Crawford's name will be all over this website for the next several months.  Here's our stock watch post on him.  Crawford is so good that teams I did not name above, such as the Red Sox and Yankees, are expected to at least kick the tires.

Solid Regulars

Burrell put himself back into the "solid regular" conversation by hitting .266/.364/.509 with 18 home runs in 341 plate appearances after signing with the Giants.  There could be one other left field 20 home run bat available if the Twins choose Jason Kubel's $350K buyout over his $5.25MM club option, but I think they'll pick up the option.

Aside from Crawford, Jonny Gomes and Scott Podsednik were the only other free agents to log at least 1,000 innings in left field this year.  Gomes, who has a $1.75MM club option with a $200K buyout, is a decent source of power.  Podsednik's game is all about speed; he has the ability to void the Dodgers' $2MM option. 

Looking For DH Jobs

Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon tallied fewer than 600 left field innings between them, and both figure to seek designated hitter work in 2011.

Useful Bench Bats

Andruw Jones, Bill Hall, Marcus Thames, Austin Kearns, and Corey Patterson all played 100+ innings in left this year and had their moments.  Thames and Jones were particularly useful offensively.  Willie Harris, Jeremy Hermida, Randy Winn, and Reed Johnson will also be vying for utility roles.

Non-Tender Candidates

Scott Hairston, Matt Diaz, Melky Cabrera, Conor Jackson, and Ryan Langerhans are among the left fielders who may be non-tendered on December 2nd.  Laynce Nix and Lastings Milledge are candidates as well, but were useful enough to be tendered contracts for 2011.  Hairston, Diaz, and Cabrera were quality players in 2009, but they'll have to earn their playing time.

Summary

For teams that don't have $100MM for Crawford, the free agent market for left fielders is weak.  Burrell, Gomes, and Podsednik may find regular left field work, while Manny and Damon may still dabble at the position.


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36 Comments on "Free Agent Market For Left Fielders"


Reaper87
4 years 9 months ago

would love to see pat the bat stick around in orange and black a bit longer, but may have to look at maybe picking up an infielder and resigning huff to play left

slr5607
4 years 9 months ago

I think that Burrell on a cost-effective, 1 year deal would be a good fit. Cody Ross is likely to be the starting RF for the Giants next season and Huff likely to be signed as the 1B man. The Giants have Brandon Belt who tore the cover off of the ball waiting to get a chance to prove he can hit better pitching in AAA early in the 2011 season…if he does, I expect a call up to the Biggs and then Huff would become the LF.

Giants need is not an outfielder, unless it is a leadoff type with plus OBP and plus Speed. Otherwise, SS will be the #1 focus. Obviously if Huff does not resign, then that changes a lot.

JTrea81
4 years 9 months ago

Jayson Werth can also play LF.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

MLB Free Agency just keeps getting worse and worse

Sniderlover
4 years 9 months ago

Word.

It’s almost like, you don’t really want to pick up anybody after the first few FA.

baseballdude
4 years 9 months ago

scott possednik is a really good player .

Slopeboy
4 years 9 months ago

Aren’t you the guy that bought that bridge in Brooklyn..?

Jason_F
4 years 9 months ago

…that accumulated a robust 0.4 WAR this season.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

and didnt do anything since he became a dodger.

baseballdude
4 years 9 months ago

yeah but he can hit for average steal basses and play good left field

NYBravosFan10
4 years 9 months ago

When the heck are people going to stop calling Matt Diaz a non-tender candidate? He may not have had the best season this past year but he’s a phenomenal locker room presence. He’s not going anywhere and will most likely remain as he has been: a quality bat off of the bench that demolishes lefties and the Marlins. I want Crawford or Werth on the Braves so badly it’s not even funny. Burrell might be a soft option and yes I am of full mind when I say this…why not Andruw? What harm could it do? He’d be a cheap signing if we can’t land the big boys and while he’s not who he used to be he had a solid season this past year.

4 years 9 months ago

Players don’t generally earn their paychecks for being “phenomenal locker room presences”. Matt Diaz has holes in his game, he’s taking up a spot that a more productive player could fill. He may be worth having on the team but usually locker room type signings make it on the team as th 25th man coming out of spring training on a team that’s built well everywhere else, like a Mike Sweeney or an old Ken Griffey Jr. Essentially if you want Diaz on the team because of his clubhouse presence that’s fine but you’ll be passing up potential upgrades in the process.

4 years 9 months ago

Not to mention with the Braves strapped for cash they probably aren’t big on the idea of sending Diaz through a 4th round of arbitration. I won’t be surprised to see him non-tendered, but I also won’t be surprised if the Braves try to get him back immediately afterward for less than he would have made had they gone to arbitration.

jturn14
4 years 9 months ago

I think you’re undervaluing Diaz based on his poor stats this year. If Diaz is healthy, there are few better RH bats off the bench. And when he inevitably gets hot for a couple weeks, he can help carry an offense. Regarding his impending arbitration, the local paper quoted him as saying he doesn’t care about getting a raise through arbitration, and would play for the Braves as long as they offer him a Major League contract.

ukJaysfan
4 years 9 months ago

Surprised not to see Fred Lewis in that list. I know he’s got bunion surgery to sort through, but he’s a pretty decent overall player. I see him as a non-tender.

Reaper87
4 years 9 months ago

still a huge defensive liability who strikes out way too much for a leadoff hitter and cant consistently slug enough to be a middle of the order bat, but i agree, he should at least be on the list

4 years 9 months ago

Add Jason Bay

you don’t even have to pay the draft pick, just take his contract.

azdsnd
4 years 9 months ago

Haven’t the Mets been saying this about Luis Castillo for like two or three years?

In other words, good luck to ya.

4 years 9 months ago

Increasingly bad FA class. Almost no options for 2B, 3B, and SS. The outfield market doesent even look great. The 1B class is probably the best, and I’d rank it average to slightly above average. I think this is where teams start growing their own talent more seriously.

Ian_Smell
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t think that Lastings Milledge will be on the Pirates next year, even though he’s better than Jones, who will remain because he’s a “power threat.”

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

It would be stupid for the Yanks to after Crawford or Werth but if they did, I wonder what Gardner could fetch if he were dangled?

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 9 months ago

I wondered the same thing, but I would only trade him for a pitcher with solid upside

4 years 9 months ago

Reds would be insane not to be interested in Gardner if the Yankees got Crawford. They have depth at pitching as well and some solid position prospects. Gardner is exactly the LF/leadoff type the Reds are looking for.

4 years 9 months ago

I would want someone to replace Gardy on the OF, then. Todd Frazier?

jturn14
4 years 9 months ago

What would Braves fans think of Marcus Thames? His power is intriguing. He’s hit over twenty HRs 2 times in his career without ever cracking 400 PAs in a season. With a full season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he hit 40. Now he also will get on base at a sub-par clip (.311 for his career), but an .800 OPS is better than what we’ve been getting out of LF the last couple seasons.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

Would you really want to put him in the field? Austin Kearns might be a bit of a bargain guy to grab and he had a decent season @ .263/.351 w/ 21 dbls and 10 hrs in 400 ab. Plus he can play both corner OF spots.

jturn14
4 years 9 months ago

Honestly, I don’t remember ever seeing Marcus Thames play except for the occasional SC highlight of him hitting a HR so I have no clue how his defense is. But you’d be surprised how poor our LF have been offensively AND defensively the last couple seasons.

azdsnd
4 years 9 months ago

It actually would be extremely shocking if he hit 40 HR’s in one season because he’s a platoon bat with a horrendous glove. There’s a reason he gets so few PA’s – the offensive value he has against RHP’s is less than the value he takes away defensively in the OF.

I’m not going to deny that he’s had a wonderful season, but he shouldn’t be an everyday player.

jturn14
4 years 9 months ago

If you would like to talk about negative value in the outfield (offensively and defensively), I would like to introduce you to Garrett Anderson and Melky Cabrera who have both been regulars for one of the last two Braves teams. I’m sure Thames is awful defensively, but Braves fans’ standards for what’s acceptable has been lowered significantly at this point. :)

azdsnd
4 years 9 months ago

In all fairness to Cabrera, he has spent far more time in center field than he should have (i.e. he should have spent no time there at all). But his bat doesn’t play in a corner so it’s hard to justify throwing him there…

budman3
4 years 9 months ago

Podsednik would be a nice little pick-up for the Rays, who would have insurance if Jennings struggles at the major league levels and if at some point the rays move Upton at the deadline. Jennings is the heir apparent in CF anyway and not left field for the Rays. He fits their mold of having very good speed, steals bases, solid defense and makes contact.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 9 months ago

Am I the only one that thinks Bill Hall is a perfect fit for the Indians? An experienced bench player that can play multiple positions, plus he’s a right handed bat. Seems like he’d fill a spot that’s been vacant since Jamey Carroll went to LA.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

Problem with that is the Indians are not ready to compete and Hall can probably get a decent contract being that he’s a super utility guy w/ some pop (18 hrs). He doesn’t really play defense well enough at 1 position to warrant the money and years he can get on the open market.

slider32
4 years 9 months ago

Of all the Dh candidates I think MANNY is the most intriging. The Sox hav’nt won since he left. He could be the best Dh next yr, but he has some baggage. Teams like the Angels, Oakland, and Detroit might take a chance with a big pay cut.

TeamCropDusters
4 years 9 months ago

Burrell would be a perfect fit as a DH for the Rays….

4 years 9 months ago

Agreed.

Maybe they could sign him to a, say, 2 year, $18MM deal?