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 CSNPhilly.com'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.
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.
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.
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.