Free Agent Market For Second Basemen

The free agent market for second basemen is short on big names and only offers a few players who would be considered solid regulars.  The Twins, Athletics, Mariners, Mets, Nationals, Astros, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Padres could be in the market for second base help.

Solid Regulars

Mark Ellis, Orlando Hudson, and Juan Uribe are credible options to start at second base.  Ellis, the only Type A free agent second baseman, has a $6MM club option.  The Athletics will entertain the idea of bringing him back somehow.  Uribe provides more power and versatility than Hudson.  Hudson is a better choice for OBP.  We're assuming Omar Infante's $2.5MM club option is picked up.

Fighting For Playing Time

Melvin Mora, David Eckstein, Cristian Guzman, Jerry Hairston Jr., Bill Hall, Adam Kennedy, Felipe Lopez, and Nick Punto will have to fight for regular playing time at second base.  Hall had a Uribe-like season, slugging .456 with 18 home runs and playing all over the place.  Mora had a nice year, posting a .358 OBP for the Rockies in 354 plate appearances.  He hasn't played a ton of second base in his career, though.

Utility Players

Most of the remaining free agents will be pushed into utility roles if they haven't already been: Willie Bloomquist, Ronnie Belliard, Craig Counsell, Akinori Iwamura, Julio Lugo, and others.  Several will have to settle for minor league deals.

Potential Non-Tenders

Last year Kelly Johnson was non-tendered by the Braves.  He signed as a free agent with the Diamondbacks and hit .284/.370/.496 with 26 home runs.  This year, Jose LopezRyan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Clint Barmes, Willy Aybar, and Jeff Baker are potential second base non-tenders.  Lopez, Theriot and Barmes are likely to be cut, though the Giants may retain Fontenot.  Barmes hit 23 home runs back in '09, while Lopez hit 25.  Aybar and Baker are more in the utility mold.

Summary

There won't be much money spent on free agent second basemen this year.  The 2012 class may be more interesting if Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Kelly Johnson, and Freddy Sanchez reach the open market.


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24 Comments on "Free Agent Market For Second Basemen"


Avi Miller
4 years 10 months ago

Since when is Melvin Mora a 2B?

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Since the Rockies played him at 2B many times this season after he signed as a utility man.

johnepdx
4 years 10 months ago

Uribe hasn’t played more than a handful of games at second since 2004.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

except for only 114 games over the past 3 seasons.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

The crop is so underwhelming, I would have to assume virtually every in house candidate for starting at second would be a better choice. Save your money here, don’t sign these guys.

twins33
4 years 10 months ago

I was thinking it was underwhelming as well. Our internal options are Punto & Casilla, so….

I’d want the Twins to re-sign Hudson for a year or look into Mora for a year before they go to Punto/Casilla. Those two guys are better than our internal options.

Plus, Punto will make like 5 million next year if they pick up his option, which would be just as boneheaded of a move as the contract was in the first place. Mora could probably come cheaper and provide better results. And if anything Hudson deserves that kind of money again more than Punto does.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Sadly, I’m not really sure there is anything good on the trade market either. The only guys that I can think of that might be available are Callapso/Kendrick (Angels), Figgins/J. Lopez (Seattle), L. Castillo (Mets), maybe Uggla (Marlins), and Scutaro (Red Sox). Factoring in salaries and defense, I might be happy just keeping Hudson too. The Twins have a good enough offense to compensate (especially if they resign Thome) and pitching is a much bigger concern for me.

4 years 10 months ago

Jose Lopez: non-tender…

4 years 10 months ago

Oh yeah, definitely. Will add him.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

Hall put up some decent power numbers as a part time player in Boston. He won’t get a big offer, but I think someone will see him as a platoon player, especially since he can play multiple positions. Gotta be a better option for the Twins than Punto.

4 years 10 months ago

He’d be well used as a regular utility man, giving a different regular a day off on most days of the week. 3B today, 2B tomorrow, LF the next day, you get the idea.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

That’s pretty much what Boston did, especially once the injuries started piling up. Kinda hoping the Sox try to keep him around, but there has to be another team willing to offer more guaranteed playing time.

Hermie13
4 years 10 months ago

Will be interesting to see what kind of gig Hall looks to go after. Utility guy for a contender? Or starting job for a non-contender?

I posted this on the Indians 3B thread….but Hall would be a perfect fit as a starter for the first half of the year.

Will he prefer a guaranteed starting gig (even if for only half a year) or a utility gig?

Hard to say. Should be other teams that will be willing to give him a starting job. Seattle could use a 3B/2B if they let Lopez go (move Figgins back to 3B and start Hall at 2B). Hall could bounce around there…..would be one of their best offensive players actually.

If Detroit fails to bring back Inge they could have a starting job….or if they decide not to go with the young guys at 2B. Or he could start in LF depending on what they do at DH and with Raburn/Boesch/Ordonez.

Rays could maybe use a 2B/DH guy with some pop. Hall could get lots of playing time there especially if Jennings struggles as a rookie in the OF.

The list goes on and on.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

god, that group is pretty disappointing.

although i did a little digging on Mark Ellis and found his Home/Away splits away from Oakland:

.316/.384/.442/.825

very impressive. He plays great defense as well.

4 years 10 months ago

Interesting, wonder how much he’s going to go for, I could see him setting the market.

4 years 10 months ago

Looks to me like if someone could get Ellis away from the Canyon he plays in now he could turn into the type hitter Mark DeRosa was for the Cubs in 2008. 20+ HR, .850ish OPS. Good numbers if they’re coming from your second baseman.

4 years 10 months ago

Not many good 2B these days. GM’s lock up your 2B before they reach the free agent market. But like the post above, if his option is declined, Mark Ellis should be a good options for some teams.

roman411
4 years 10 months ago

Dito para Los Mets!

Looks like our starting 2B next year will be a guy who barely hit over .210. At least his defense was stellar. And no…I’m not talking about the ball dropping wonder that is Castillo.

mrmet128
4 years 10 months ago

We should trade for Mike Aviles.

adropofvenom
4 years 10 months ago

I could see this being the year they finally offer Hudson a contract. Castillo is obviously on the way out with the organziation (one way or another) and Tejada doesn’t seem ready for the job. One year, similar amount as to what he made this year, seems like a good fit to me.

4 years 10 months ago

you realize that Tejada had negative defense at 2b this year, right?

4 years 10 months ago

I’d love to see the Cubs let Baker go and then pick up Uribe. Better stick, just as if not more versatile. Uribe could actually start at second and push DeWitt into the utility role which he may be better suited for anyway.

whitesox823
4 years 10 months ago

Wat about omar vizquel

BillB325
4 years 10 months ago

Fukudome for Figgins