With Jason Heyward finally off the board, the rest of the outfield market can begin to shift into place, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. Here’s a sampling of what Crasnick sees shaping up around the league:
- The Royals would like to bring back free agent Alex Gordon at the right price, but they could also jump into the market for one of the Rockies outfielders. Per Crasnick, Carlos Gonzalez would require a serious haul – perhaps one or both of Raul Mondesi or Miguel Almonte. He doesn’t believe Charlie Blackmon or Corey Dickerson would require either player. I’m not sure I agree with this assessment. While Gonzalez is definitely the more recognizable name, Dickerson and Blackmon cost less, are younger, and come equipped with more club control. It’s also arguable as to which of the trio is expected to be best over the next few years. In any event, with the Royals window wide open, they do match up well for one of the Rockies outfielders.
- If the Royals fall short of Gordon or a trade asset, an outfielder like Denard Span, Gerardo Parra, or Dexter Fowler should help to keep the pressure off Jarrod Dyson. All three would cost substantially less than Gordon, but they also carry assorted warts including platoon issues and checkered injury histories.
- The Angels and Giants would like a quality outfielder, but they have multiple positions to fill with limited resources. If the Giants go in on another starter like Mike Leake, they’ll be out on top outfielders like Justin Upton. Similarly, the Angels still need to address second base and left field. Their barren farm system will force them to use the free agent market.
- The Reds have only received a couple of feelers on outfielder Jay Bruce. Entering his age 29 season, Bruce has been a below average hitter in each of the last two seasons. This despite hitting in one of the friendliest parks for hitters. While I do think a team will eventually roll the dice on Bruce, it won’t be until after more quality outfielders leave the marketplace.