Let’s take a look at left fielders destinated to become free agents at year’s end. It goes without saying, but this position requires a slugger.
2006 League Averages for Left Fielders:
AL: .280/.347/.449 (.796 OPS)
NL: .277/.359/.478 (.837 OPS)
Cliff Floyd – The injury-prone 33 year-old hit just .244/.324/.407 this season. With Lastings Milledge, Endy Chavez, and Ben Johnson under contract for next year, the Mets won’t retain Floyd. Maybe Floyd will take a Jermaine Dye type deal – two years, about $10MM plus an option. Cubs GM Jim Hendry goes way back with Floyd, so the team is a possible suitor.
Shannon Stewart – Stewart is 32 now and made $6.5MM in the last year of his deal with the Twins. Plantar fasciitis knocked him out in late May and for all of June. He returned to the DL in mid-July and missed the rest of the season. He’s just a bad buy this offseason in every way, shape, and form. Stewart could have shockwave therapy on the foot.
Preston Wilson – The Astros were able to hedge their bets with Wilson last offseason, signing him to a $4.5MM contract for this year with an option for $24MM over the following three seasons. He turned 32 this year and posted a lousy .263/.307/.423 line with the Astros and Cardinals.