It’s an MLBTR tradition to maintain a list of not only the immediately pending group of free agents, but also those next in line. As part of the festivities, a certain number of folks fail to read the headline and prefatory language closely, thus prompting vehement protestations about players wrongly included or excluded.
To forestall that outcome to the extent possible, we just ran through the full 2020-21 free agent class on a position-by-position basis. (Catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, third basemen, corner outfielders, center fielders, designated hitters, starting pitchers, lefty relievers and righty relievers.) Please explore those lists for the players who’ll be on the open market after the 2020 season.
What follows is a list of second basemen who are presently slated to qualify for free agency after the 2021 season. We’ve already run through the amazing group of shortstops, some big-name veteran backstops, and star first basemen coming to the market. It’s important also to understand that this list is far from exhaustive, in that many second basemen set for free agency in 2020-21 will ultimately ink one-year deals that put them back on track to return to the open market post-2021.
This is how the 2021-22 second base market shapes up at this point (season-age for 2022):
Top of the Class
- Kolten Wong (31): If he can repeat his 2019 campaign, Wong will suit up again for the Cardinals in 2021 on a $12.5MM club option. That’d put him on track to potentially lead the ensuing free agent class. At his best, Wong contributes solid value across the board; last year, he turned in a 108 wRC+ with excellent glovework and baserunning.
Other Established Veterans
Most of these players have substantial experience at other positions, but could conceivably end up as candidates for regular or partial time at second base in the 2021-22 offseason.
- Starlin Castro (32): The Nats were convinced by Castro’s mid-2019 turnaround (first half 60 wRC+; second half 129). If he performs as they hope, he’s still young enough to be a factor in his return to the open market.
- Eduardo Escobar (33): Though he’s better-known for his work at the hot corner, Escobar’s flexibility is a nice asset. He owns a .270/.327/.501 slash over the past two seasons and is generally regarded as an average defender.
- Wilmer Flores (30): If Flores plays well in 2020, he’s a pretty good bet to be picked up on a cheap $3.5MM club option. That’d make him a part of this class, where Flores would again be a bat-first utility infielder. He’s an average hitter against righties who destroys southpaw pitching.
- Greg Garcia (32): A true utility infielder who can be thrown into just about any spot, Garcia has spent most of his time at second base. He’s an approximately league-average hitter for his career, with little power but an uncanny ability to draw free passes.
- Danny Santana (31): He has either been really good or really bad at the plate in the big leagues, but last year Santana was firmly on the upswing. He adds value on the bases and can play most anywhere on the field.
- Eric Sogard (36): If the Brewers pick up his $4.5MM club option, Sogard will join this class. He’s a left-handed hitter who can jump in anywhere in the infield. Sogard was a quality offensive performer in 2017 and 2019, but had a miserable intervening season.
- Donovan Solano (34): Solano put up a surprising 116 wRC+ in 81 games with the Giants last year, so perhaps he could end up on a late-career run.
- Chris Taylor (31): The value here lies in the combination of extreme versatility, including substantial experience at shortstop and in center field, with a quality bat. He has trended down offensively since his breakout 2017 season but remains an above-average hitter.
End of an Era?
- Dustin Pedroia (38): While he’s still holding out hope of a return, Pedroia’s persistent efforts to get his left knee back to playing shape just haven’t worked out. Odds are, he’ll hang ’em up at the end of his deal even if he’s somehow able to make it back to the MLB diamond.