Free Agent Market For Right Fielders

The Tigers, Angels, Phillies, Nationals, Pirates, Cardinals, and Giants may be in the market for a right fielder this winter.  Let's examine the free agent options.

The Big Name

Though his agent Scott Boras keeps talking about center field, Jayson Werth has mainly played right in the Majors.  Werth, 31, is the marquee right-handed bat on the free agent market and plays strong defense as well.  In the opinion of's Jim Salisbury, "it’s clear that the starting price will be something in the range of the seven-year, $120 million deal that Boras client Matt Holliday received from St. Louis last winter."  Werth will also cost a draft pick if a team other than the Phillies signs him.  The Tigers, Angels, and Nationals could be contenders for his services, and despite full outfields most expect the Red Sox and Yankees to check in.

Solid Regulars

Magglio Ordonez and Brad Hawpe might be solid regulars next year, but there are concerns.  Ordonez, 37 in January, is represented by Boras and was limited to 84 games this year due to ankle surgery.  Will he take one year and a sizeable pay cut despite a solid offensive performance?  Hawpe, 31, slipped to .245/.338/.419 and was cut by the Rockies in August.  If UZR is any indication, he's better suited for a DH role.

Jason Kubel was pressed into right field duty this year; like Hawpe, he's better off at DH.  Kubel's off-year still looks pretty good compared to other free agents, but the Twins may pick up his option at a $4.9MM net price.  Xavier Nady played right field fairly regularly in 2008, but may not have the arm for an everyday gig after a second Tommy John procedure in July of '09.

Part-Time Players

Jose Guillen, Andruw Jones, Gabe Kapler, Randy Winn, Austin Kearns, Willie Bloomquist, and Jeremy Hermida all tallied 100+ innings in right field this year.  Jones and Kearns flashed decent OBPs, while Jones and Guillen showed some pop.

Non-Tender Candidates

The non-tender candidates don't add much to the discussion.  Jeff Francoeur is the main name, but he hasn't hit much since 2007.  He'll have to take a part-time role or minor league deal, as will Gabe Gross, Jason Repko, Ryan Church, Delwyn Young, Brett Carroll, and Travis Buck.


For clubs that don't have $100MM+ to spend on Werth, Ordonez and Hawpe are decent offensive-minded alternatives.

23 Responses to Free Agent Market For Right Fielders Leave a Reply

  1. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    Anyone that gives Werth the contract that Holliday received is insane. Holliday was younger and is the better player, and even he wasn’t worth giving that excessive of a contract.

  2. 2011 Magglio Ordonez could be the 2010 Vladimir Guerrero

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      2011 Vladimir Guerrero could be the 2010 Vladimir Guerrero

    • Pawsdeep 5 years ago

      Minus an injury mags probably was on pace to keep up with or do better than vlad this year
      On pace for 100+ rbis, less strikeouts, a much better projected BA and he would have scored a bunch more runs batting in front of Cabrera.

  3. vin050 5 years ago

    if the birdnals sign ordonez for 1 year and under 9 mil id be happy

  4. vtadave 5 years ago

    Hilarious. 7/120? I’d always thought Werth was in line for more like Jason Bay money. 4-5 years at $14-16 million per. The Red Sox are paying close to $22 million for J.DL Drew and Mike Cameron next year, otherwise I’d say he’s a no-brainer to wind up in Boston.

    With all the money they are shedding this winter, I’ll guess Detroit – 5 yrs. $80 million

    • Yeah, Werth’s age probably rules out 7 years and Holliday isn’t really worth Holliday money. Bay seems more comparable unless some GM goes nuts. Nothing against Holliday but I think Mozeliak got taken advantage of, Amaro isn’t likely to have that happen given the situation. Werth doesn’t mean as much to Philly as Holliday meant to St. Louis, plus they probably don’t have the budget to consider giving him Holliday money.

  5. Very limited selection of outfielders on the free agent market this winter. Crawford, Werth, and take your chances with a player that is probably better off as a DH.

    The Tigers need to replace Magglio and Damon just to break even, but the way that Dombrowski is talking, you’d think that getting just one “middle of the order bat” is enough. It isn’t. (Nor is one guy for the bullpen when you’re taking Coke out, nor is moving Coke to the rotation enough). Ordonez put up a staggering line of .300 avg/ .378 OBP/ and was on pace for 20 HR and 100 RBI before he went on the DL. The man can flat out HIT! Either bring him back, or replace that kind of production, and THEN you can dream about your lineup being upgraded.

    The DH list is much longer, and cheaper. Adam Dunn, Big Papi, Matsui, Vladdy, Manny being Manny, Huff, Konerko, Hawpe, Thome, Damon, and Berkman are all better off at DH.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      It’s hard for me to take Damon seriously at DH, given his lack of power.

      • Yeah, not your prototype DH, but he did put up a nice OBP- and that dropped once Ordonez hit the DL. The Tigers had a nice .357 OBP out of that 2 slot, which ranked second in the league. Figure a drop in Jackson’s BABIP (and consequently his OBP), Damon gone and Magglio’s .378 OBP gone, and there are many fewer RBI chances for Cabrera. Johnny could be a nice pick up for some team looking for a platoon OF’er or DH, but he’s definitely on the downslide at this point in his career.

    • Pawsdeep 5 years ago

      Dombrowski will resign mags for ridiculous money- but I agree with you that he can flat out hit. IMO he is probably the best all around hitter on the market and you are 100% correct on that before you can even think about making that lineup better, you are going to have to resign him first then add a bat.

  6. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Kubel will have his option exercised, and I’d bank on discussions of an extension as well. His stock is high with Gardy and the front office in spite of an off year.

    • If I were Mr. Smith, I would definitely pick up Kubel’s option at $ 5.25 MM, and try to get Thome back as well. By comparison with the cost of hitters like that on the open market, those guys were a real bargain for the Twins. I would also offer arbitration to Pavano, although I’m not sure he’d accept a one year deal this time around after a very nice season.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        Right, Kubel is a no-brainer. And he’s been a long-time development project for the organization, so they have alot of reputations invested into his success. Letting him go for nothing is not an option.

        Thome will come back if the price is right. If he wants over $5M, forget about it. But my gut says he’ll be back.

        Pavano is a wildcard. It depends on how we’re feeling about letting too much of our bullpen go. Even if Pavano would take a 1-2 year deal, keeping him could mean an extra reliever or two go – and Crain/Guerrier are priorities to bring back.

  7. O971 5 years ago

    That price for Werth just keeps going up, doesn’t it?

    • Nextyear34 5 years ago

      It almost reminds me of the offseason when the Giants signed Rowand for huge money because he was really the only good outfielder available. When there are only one or two guys worth signing their price goes high even if they aren’t as good as a Crawford. Simple economics I guess.

      • jb226 5 years ago

        Nothing about economics is simple. Pretty much your entire first year of economics study (and probably more) is spent under the first term they’ll teach you: “Ceteris paribus,” “all other things being equal.” Or, perhaps a better translation, “if this wasn’t the real world…”

        Smaller supply will drive up prices given the same demand — but driving the prices up will also lower demand, exerting downward pressure on prices. There’s also the fact that so many high-priced, big-year contracts lately are looking regrettable — and for the most part, even quicker than expected. Soriano’s performance didn’t match his salary the first year he was signed by the Cubs, and by and large the contract just looks worse and worse. Lackey, Bay, Figgins, and even Wolf all had atrocious first years under their new, big contracts. Some might rebound, some might not — but right now their teams have to be terrified. Vernon Wells had a decent year, pretty much his first one since his big contract and his teammate did so poorly under his that he was simply given away to the White Sox for the salary relief. Teams have got to start being afraid.

        Personally I think 7/$120MM is a dream and that as a starting point is a delusion. He’ll fall closer to the Bay range. I’m imaging him somewhere in the $80MM range, give or take 10% or so.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        The only good outfielder? How about some love to my HGH doping all-star GMJ?

        That was a rough off-season.

  8. hoagiebuchanan 5 years ago

    What is Jim Salisbury smoking?

  9. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Brad Hawpe will make a solid option at DH – assuming he is willing to accept a $3-5m deal. The pressure on the DH market is going to be extreme. Prices will be way down.

  10. camerondatzker 5 years ago

    I think that The Dodgers could be a player for Jayson Werth as they have alot of money coming off the books and he would make sense for the direction of the 2011 team.
    I feel that The Dodgers will try to go into the free agent market for a quality starter and possibly trade Catcher Russell Martin. I think that trading Matt Kemp would be a
    a horrible decision as this kid hasn’t reached his full capabilities.

    • Kemp has reached his potential… he is the most talented Dodger with his 5 tools… problem is he only shows up with two tools at a time. That ain’t gonna change.

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