We’ve already checked in on the free agent market for starting pitching and outfielders, and today’s offering also contains some solid names that might’ve gone off the board already in other years. As of January 20th, there’s still a good bit of infield talent left to be found in free agency:
- Ian Desmond — Demand for Desmond has always looked iffy, with few big spenders needing shortstops, and his rough 2015 season is certainly cause for hesitation. But, he has quite a lot of upside with a fairly lofty, established MLB ceiling and still has the athleticism required to play anywhere on the diamond.
- Howie Kendrick — He’s not a flashy player and might’ve lost some market steam with some injuries late in 2015, but Kendrick is a dependable, high-quality regular who could still make for a very nice addition.
Potential Major Contributors
- Pedro Alvarez — We all know that Alvarez is a major negative with the glove and has limited on-base abilities, but his power is legitimate, he dominates right-handed pitching, he’s not yet 29, and there’s arguably impact to be had in the right situation.
- David Freese — A respected veteran who has been reliably average in the field and at the plate, Freese’s production has been steady but unspectacular over the years. That dependability is precisely what might make him so interesting to a contender that needs to plug a hole at the hot corner.
- Dae-ho Lee — The Korean slugger is coming off of a big year in Japan’s NPB, but he’ll turn 34 in June and all his potential value is tied up in his bat. There’s no way of knowing how capably he’d adjust to Major League pitching, but his lifetime .901 OPS between the KBO and NPB is intriguing.
- Justin Morneau — He showed enough with a late-2015 run to think he can still deliver a high-OBP bat with just enough pop, and he could make for a nice finishing piece to some rosters.
- Steve Pearce — He’s always handled the glove well at first and even showed he can play some second last year, and even a partial rebound towards his 2014 numbers could make Pearce a great value.
- Jimmy Rollins — A moribund shortstop market is not helping the veteran, who remains a surehanded defender. He could make a good bit of sense as a heavily-used utilityman, particularly for a team with an unproven shortstop.
- Juan Uribe — The 36-year-old just keeps chugging along. He produced at slightly-above-average rates in all facets of the game last year and is valued for his clubhouse presence. Defensive metrics continue to reflect favorably on his glovework at the hot corner as well.
- Ike Davis — Struggled in his latest chance with the A’s but has still yet to turn 29. He bashed 32 homers as recently as 2012.
- Corey Hart — It’s been a long time since he’s been healthy, and his status remains unclear heading into 2016. Prior to multiple knee surgeries, Hart was a consistent 25-30 homer threat.
- Chris Parmelee — It’s never quite translated to the majors, but Parmelee has generally hit well in the upper minors. The former first-round pick isn’t even 28 yet.
- Gaby Sanchez — The 32-year-old’s plans are unclear after a middling season last year in Japan, but he has a history of hitting left-handed pitching well.
- Carlos Corporan — If you want a backstop with reasonably extensive, recent MLB experience, Corporan is the safest option in free agency.
- Wilin Rosario — Rosario has never replicated the offense he posted in his rookie year, and defensive questions have led to increased time at first base and in the outfield. There’s been mention of Rosario possibly headed to the KBO, though no Korean team has announced a signing to this point.
- Dan Uggla — The veteran continued to struggle in his age-35 campaign, though he offers the type of veteran presence that teams love.
- Rickie Weeks — He signed with the Mariners as an outfielder, and that just didn’t work out as Weeks failed to repeat a promising 2014 season.
- Conor Gillaspie — He’s shown glimpses in the past, isn’t yet 29, and can be controlled for future arb years, but he needs to hit a good bit more since his glove isn’t held in high regard.
- Casey McGehee — It’s hard to put a positive spin on McGehee’s 2015, but he was quite solid the year prior.
- Clint Barmes — While he’s never done much with the stick, Barmes is typically a wizard in the field. But his metrics have dropped off in the last two seasons.
- Jeff Baker — Things didn’t work out last year in Miami, but Baker should still get a look elsewhere. His career numbers against lefties are impressive.
- Willie Bloomquist — He just didn’t hit enough to stick on the Seattle roster last year, and the 38-year-old didn’t play in the season’s second half.
- Alberto Callaspo — He’s struggled at the plate with the A’s, Braves and Dodgers over the past two seasons, but he’s a switch-hitter with extensive experience at second and third.
- Jonathan Herrera — The 31-year-old has never hit much, but his glove rates well at second, and he can handle shortstop and third base as well.
- Maicer Izturis — Izturis hasn’t played since early 2014 due to serious knee and shoulder injuries.
- Skip Schumaker — His two-year deal with the Reds yielded little in terms of on-field value, but a club could value the 35-year-old’s experience.