Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron has identified his five best potential free agent values and, on the other hand, five most worrisome open-market landmines. Those posts are always interesting and are well worth a read as we wait for the market to get started in earnest.
Here are a few free agent notes on Thanksgiving Eve:
- The Mariners have engaged with free agent outfielder Jon Jay, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link). It “seems as though there’s some momentum there,” he adds, while also cautioning that there isn’t a deal in place at present. Jay checked in just inside the top forty players on MLBTR’s ranking of the top fifty free agents, with a predicted contract of two years and $14MM. Last year, he slashed .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs while seeing time across the outfield. It seems unlikely that the left-handed hitter would command everyday time in Seattle, but might effectively step into the place in the rotation vacated by fellow free agent Jarrod Dyson.
- It’s possible the Mets will “move soon” to add to their bullpen, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. He suggests right-handed free agent Bryan Shaw as a name to watch for the organization, which has indicated an interest in beefing up its relief corps in part to reduce the workload on a rotation that has dealt with health issues of late. Shaw, 30, is about as steady and reliable as relievers come. He carries a 3.13 lifetime ERA through 446 1/3 innings across seven seasons. Shaw has handled at least 64 frames in each of the past five campaigns and has never finished a season with an earned run average over 3.52 (last year’s mark). He has also paced the American League in appearances in three separate seasons for the Indians, including each of the past two. MLBTR rated Shaw the 25th-best free agent available and predicted he’d score a $21MM guarantee over three years, though there’s likely some contractual upside beyond that mark.
- Though Todd Frazier has spent most of his career at third base and is still capable of manning the position, Feinsand reports that his representatives are pitching the veteran as an option at either infield corner. The 31-year-old Frazier turned in a solid 2017 campaign, split between the White Sox and Yankees, in which he posted a .213/.344/.428 batting line with 27 home runs. While that represented a big jump in the on-base department over his prior two seasons, Frazier also wasn’t quite as prolific in terms of power as he was after swatting 35 and 40 long balls in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Odds are that the team to sign Frazier will mostly value him as an option at third, particularly given that there are a fair number of other options available at first base, but the openness to both positions certainly won’t hurt his market outlook. Frazier landed ahead of the two players listed above on our free agent board, with a predicted three-year, $33MM contract placing him 17th on the list.