With the 2020 regular season having reached its end, there will be more and more talk about free agency during the upcoming weeks. MLBTR has already taken a look at the catchers and first basemen due to reach the open market soon. We’ll now turn to the shortstop position, where a few household names are without contracts for 2021.
- Marcus Semien (30): It has only been a year since Semien was a superstar-level producer, as the A’s shortstop posted 7.6 fWAR in 2019. This regular season didn’t go nearly as well for Semien, though, considering he wound up with a .223/.305/.374 line (good for a wRC+ of 91 – down 46 points from his previous figure) and seven home runs over 237 trips to the plate. Semien’s Statcast numbers, including an expected weighted on-base average that tumbled from .367 to .274, also plummeted. It’s now up in the air whether the low-budget A’s will issue Semien a qualifying offer once the season ends. It’s tough to believe it has even become a question for someone who was coming off an MVP-type campaign around 12 months ago.
- Didi Gregorius (31): Gregorius starred as a Yankee for much of his Bronx tenure from 2015-19, but he underwent Tommy John surgery before the last of those seasons and missed significant time as a result. Sir Didi also saw his production fall off a cliff when he was healthy enough to play, but after signing a one-year, $14MM contract with the Phillies last winter, he got back on track. Gregorius slashed .284/.339/.488 with 10 home runs in 237 plate appearances as a Phillie, and he struck out in a mere 11.8 percent of PA. He’ll be a QO candidate before a potential trip to the market.
- Andrelton Simmons (31): Left ankle problems have weighed down the defensive virtuoso since 2019, when he also struggled at the plate. But, despite not finishing with a single home run, Simmons rebounded this year with 127 plate appearances of .297/.346/.356 hitting. The Angels will now have to decide whether to hand a QO to Simmons, who was a five-fWAR player as recently as 2018.
- Freddy Galvis (31): He’s not the most exciting option, but a team could certainly do worse than Galvis. The versatile infielder, who has tons of experience at short and second, turned in another passable regular season at the plate in 2020. The switch-hitting Galvis concluded with a line of .220/.308/.404 and seven HRs across 159 PA. He has recorded a wRC+ of at least 85 three times in a row.
- Ehire Adrianza (31): Adrianza gave the Twins league-average production on offense a season ago, but he struggled mightily this year, hitting .191/.287/.270 without a home run in 110 PA. He’s not about to hit free agency at an ideal time, then, though that could make the multi-positional Adrianza an intriguing buy-low candidate for many teams.
- Eric Sogard (35): Like Adrianza, Sogard had a very fine 2019. Sogard signed with the Brewers for $4.5MM after that, but everything went south from there. Along with hitting a woeful .209/281/.278 with one HR across 128 PA, Sogard’s xwOBA dove from .342 to .250 in a one-year span.
Club Option Decisions
- Jose Iglesias (31): Typically known as a slick fielder with an unimposing bat, Iglesias went wild at the plate this year as a member of the Orioles, winding up with a .373/.400/.556 mark and three homers in 150 PA. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about that performance, including a .407 batting average on balls in play that checks in 99 points above his lifetime BABIP, but Iglesias should still be a useful player in 2021 even if his offense returns to its previous form. Therefore, for $3.5MM (compared to a $500K buyout), it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the O’s exercise their option over Iglesias.
Orioles would be crazy not to pick up the option for Iglesias. I expect his offensive numbers to go back down but he still would be worth picking up just for his D alone
Still rebuilding. Iglesias’ steadiness is important to the Orioles. His defense will help pitchers develop.
Phillies should work hard on keeping DiDi. From game 1 to game 60. He was the most consistent
They cant afford to keep him and fix other holes
If they don’t keep him, they’ll have one more hole to fill. Like 13Morgs13 stated, he was their most consistent player. Strength up the middle is a must. I would sign Didi, bring in McCann to share the catching duties with Knapp, and find an adequate. Pitching needs work too, so I would expect some kind of trade. Arrieta being gone should give them some salary relief. Just don’t give out any stupid money.
That should have read find an adequate CF.
Abso-effin-lutely. Loved Didi. And, hopefully, next year we’ll get to see his face. Wore a mask all the time. Looked like we had Zorro playing SS
I expect Semien to be the perennial AA 1 year make it or break contract this offseason
Where’s he gonna play? The infield is already filled.
It would have to be 3B.
I don’t know why they’d spend to get the premier FA SS though and then move him out of position. If they’re going to do a 1 year big FA it should be Bauer or a pitcher.
Simmons is far too likely to accept the QO. Let him hit free agency. Sucks for him but he’s the third best shortstop in this class at a time when not many teams are looking for shortstops. And next year’s class is ridiculous.
The Angels either wait for one of these guys to see his market drop OR slide Fletcher to short and take advantage of a flooded second base market. Either way they have options and should be able to land a quality player without breaking the bank.
Mets need to sign Didi and Bauer and hopefully a great defensive CF
Sure. No problem there. Easy.
Didi is fools gold.
Why would the mets sign didi when they have ,rosario,gimenez,guillome(?) At short and mcneil and cano at 2nd?
Our infield should be left to right: Rendon/Simmons/Fletcher/Walsh. Everyone under values Simmons’ bat as an Angel. He has been clutch for us. We would be foolish to not retain him. We don’t need position player holes to distract us from overhauling our pitching staff.
Bringing Simmons back is a decent idea, just not at 1 year and $18+ million with a QO.
Rendon/Fletcher/Cesar Hernandez/Walsh is also a solid defensive infield and carries more offense.
Take a look at the second base market, there’s value to be had there.
I haven’t looked at the 2nd base inventory because I love Fletch starting there. I think Simmons/Fletch up the middle could go up against any middle infield in baseball. Add Rendon at 3rd and our infield defense is elite. We may have no choice but for now it’s an option to retain Simmons so that’s my hope.
18m might be a bit steep, but 3/30 might be in line.
I also love Fletcher at second and that would be my preference. But on a team with multiple pitching needs and catching needs spending money wisely is key.
3/$30?? Sounds GREAT!! Unless your Simmons…I’m guessing if he signs a multi year deal it’s around $15m-20m/year. So 3/45 up to 3/60 using your 3year example, possibly 4-5 years max.
prov356. I agree. Since the Angels will need a starter at either 2B or SS, they might as well keep the proven commodity and pair him with Fletcher. I’ll never understand fans being okay with letting an elite defender walk. In this case, it’s one of the best defenders in baseball history. Simmons saves runs, which is like driving in runs in my book. He also saves wear-and-tear on a pitching staff simply be getting to balls other infields will not. The Angels still need pitching help, but Simmons will help improve the fortunes of those they already have. Letting Simmons walk would be a classic case of not appreciating what you have until it’s too late.
Right Cey, a defense that can save runs is equally important to offense. I think Simmons’ offense has been good for us. Add in his defensive runs saved and that’s why I want to keep him.
Our focus should be nothing but pitching.
As much as I am a fan of Simmons, you can’t give 15 million a year, to a guy who can’t stay on the field. Galvis would be cheaper and doesn’t block any of the middle infielders coming up. Namely Jackson. Jackson will probably need to be moved to second, do to his arm. But in a year if he hasn’t progressed, there will be more options available at SS.
I agree 15m per year is steep, but 10m per year for 2 or 3 is in line with Simmons’ value.
Galvis would be cheaper because he’s not nearly as good.
Prov356 Good call. People keep saying let Fletch slide over to SS. Let’s get Simba back. and leave Fletcher at 2B, We will have a rock solid INF. Also Walsh and Ward proved they can hit. .Arte needs to sign Bauer and another #1 or 2 SP. And it will make the whole pitching staff better. Whom ever doesn’t make the rotation from the starters we had this year can go to the bullpen.
If Ohtani has a normal ST. then he can become a MVP type player as 2 way. The Angels are 2 solid Starting pitchers away from being contenders for years to come. Maddon and Calloway did a lot of good things. And the we have some good position players coming up.
Contender for years to come? Not so fast. They couldn’t even make an expanded playoff field in 2020. Also, #1 or 2 starters don’t grow on trees. They are few and far between and seldom available. And let’s not tout Ohtani as an MVP contender just yet. He has a long way to go.
Re Bauer: The Angels are playing $116 million 202`1 dollars to Trout, Rendon, Pujols, and Upton. That doesn’t leave much leeway to add a well-paid pitcher. One option might be David Price. Though he opted out this year, he demonstrated in 2019 that he has plenty left in that tank. Considering the state of starting pitching throughout the game, you can bet there will be interest in Price this winter. The Dodgers have enough SP depth to let him go in a prospect deal. Not elites prospects, just someone Friedman sees as helpful in the future. The Dodgers have a track record of identifying such players. Since the Red Sox are paying half of Price’s salary, he would be owed $16 million per year for ’21 and ’22. If the Dodgers kick in say $4 million per, then he’s something of a bargain in this pitching market. That could possibly give the Angels room to add another quality arm even if it’s not Bauer.
Cey- Ohtani does have #1 type starter stuff. He wasn’t supposed to pitch until May the earliest. The shutdown didn’t help. He never got a chance to progress into the season. Not excuses. Just facts. Hopefully The Ángels make a run at Bauer. True they didn’t get into the playoffs. They got off to bad start and the bullpen blew a lot of leads. And Upton was ice cold for far tooo long.
What Angels team are you talking about? Wouldn’t their #1 goal is add a lot of pitching. 3 starters and a new bullpen is hard to get in one year. They are still a few years away from contending.
arc89 – A few years? No. They need a healthy Ohtani to help Heaney, Bundy, Canning, and Barria in the rotation. The BP needs more work but not as hard to fix as a rotation. They can compete in 2021.
I’ve long postulated the Angels should send Adell or Marsh to Detroit for one of their top starting prospects. Detroit needs outfielders and has excess pitching, the clubs match up well.
Say Adell for Manning then sign Stroman. Now the rotation is Stroman, Manning, Bundy, Heaney, Canning with Barria and Detmers are depth. Looks a lot better and is in place for years to come, giving the farm time to hopefully draft and develop some college arms.
I’m done hoping on Ohtani. If he can pitch great. I’d rather prepare him for the grass and maybe see him out of the pen sometimes.
Arc89 I ask you the same question…
The Angels are not that far off. I know good % on this site have disdain for the Angels because they have Trout.
They need to trade for or sign a proven #1 front of the rotation SP
A Healthy Ohtani. would be a good #2. He has #1 type arsenal.
The Bullpen doesn’t have to be completely overhauled. Mayers, Buttrey and Adriese are good. Pena ,Hansel Robles, and Ramirez can be let go.
The Infield will be solid especially if we get Simba back
Trout in CF. in LF Upton, I don’t think anyone would take him. off our hands..
As far as RF Ward can play there until Adell is ready.
I’ve followed this team since 1972. I’ve seen the good and the bad.. Autry throwing out money to win.
Disney and their ownership.. They gave us a WS team and our baseball only stadium back.
Arte made some good moves when he first bought the team.
My problem with Arte is he hires a college buddy instead of “Baseball Minded” person of his to be the team President.
He does meddle too much. As someone said on Bleacher report yesterday., Someone or something is cannibalizing this teams progress.
This should be the #1 destination for someone to come here.
Instead it ranks in the lower 3rd in the league.
Pena and Ramirez don’t need to be let go Pena is our only long reliever and if Ramirez got off to a good start he have a 2.7 era his hits per nine are down but so are his strikeouts his walks are up to me he just didn’t get off to a good start
Barria is not gonna cut it in the Halos Rotation. We need two quality starters and late inning help. Pena, Sandoval and Barria all can add long relief and quality depth options. But two front line starters need to be added to Heaney, Bundy, Canning.
Not sure which team you were watching this season, but the bullpen was simply awful. Complete overhaul is needed. Keep Mayers and Buttrey but teach him another pitch please! Maybe a cutter? Andrese was terrible. Bedrosian is never good unless there is no pressure. I’d keep Pena, Sandoval and Barria as long relief/depth starter options. Let Robles go. Halos haven’t won since they have has a decent closer. Not sure why they have avoided this need for several seasons now.
I agree Red. The BP alone is why we aren’t in the playoffs this season. And I don’t understand everyone’s love affair with Bedrosian. He had one good season several years ago and hasn’t been able to come close to it since. If he takes the mound with a runner on, that runner will inevitably score. I rarely hear anyone discuss the “inherited runners scored” stat for relievers, which should be a big factor in evaluating their market value. I’m sure our BP this year would be at the top of the list.
Red, Barria as a starter, when he is left alone and let start, he has a sub 4 ERA. Now is he a top of a rotation starter? No, not even close. But he has more consistent than Heaney has. I would like to see him as the number 5 starter. Move Sandoval to the bullpen. Now if you are going to trade, Marsh or Adell for a pitching prospect. Trade for Hunter Green from the Reds.
Green is coming off TJ surgery and has never pitched above class A and he didn’t pitch very well there. He is at least a few years away and comes with question marks. I doubt he is the kind of pitcher the Angels would be looking to trade their prospects for.
Tigers have pitching prospects, but still need pitching more than an OF! With JaCoby Jones in CF, Victor Reyes in LF, and Daz Cameron and Riley Greene vying for spots, a veteran journeyman FA should fill their need in the OF.
The Angels need an ace #1…
Bauer is the one if it’s from the free agent market. Who knows what the trade market has to offer or what the new GM will do.
Look at all the playoff teams top 3 starters… if you had to pick from Bundy/Heaney/Canning to replace another playoff teams game 1,2,3 starter only Bundy would be selected and probably for the game #2-3 guy, not the #1.
Bundy/Heaney/Canning/Barria/Ohtani isn’t cutting it for 2021.
Bauer/Bundy(v2020)/Heaney/Canning/Ohtani has a shot.
Barria/Sandoval/Ohtani are 5th/spot starters.
Let’s not forget with Simmons $15m and Teheran $9m, they have some $$$ coming off the books that could go towards signing Bauer or another Ace SP.
Idk, I feel like him quitting the last week of the season signaled he wants to move on. Plus he will get more than the QO
it would be great to bring Didi back, but we have other holes we need to fill. that said, a depressed market and the presence of other good SSs could make a deal feasible.
If for some reason DJ price gets too high Yankees could bring him back
I love Didi but he’s not going back to NY to play 2B or them shifting Torres back there.
The Yanks would empty their checkbook to keep DJ.
No SS free agent discussion this off-season is complete without noting that three of the top (maybe THE top three) shortstops in baseball are on their walk year in 2021, and could easily be traded. If I’m a SS needy team, I’m not going near any of these guys until I know what the deal is with Lindor, Correa, and Story.
LOL @ cutting off specifically at three just so you don’t have to mention Javier Baez.
Correa one of the top 3 shortstops in baseball? Over guys like Baez and Tatis?
Javier Baez isn’t a top 3 SS. With the glove only, yes. But yes Tatis over Correa any day. Could make a pretty compelling argument for Baez over him too. As long as you think Baez can hit a little bit again.
I don’t know why he would suddenly not be able to hit, especially after a year where guys like Yelich, Bellinger, and JD Martinez also struggled heavily. MLB Network had Baez ranked #3 at SS and Correa #9 prior to this season.
A lot of it has to do with this being a 60-game season. If it was 162, these guys would have approached their usual numbers.
While no one was paying attention, Corey Seager wound up being baseball’s best SS in 2020.
Very little margin for error in Javier Baez’s high K low walk offensive game. This season is pretty much as bad as it gets but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you don’t see the Javy Baez of the last 2 years consistently moving forward.
Belly and Yelich look like silver sluggers compared to Báez this year. Javy Baez has been Mike Zunino offensively.
Of all those shortstops, Baez has the most to lose as he nears free agency. With those K numbers, he needs to really light it up in 2021 or risk becoming a fallback plan behind the other guys,
As underperforming as Martinez, Yelich, and Bellinger were this season, Baez was next level. His OPS was below 600.
Also Baez and Seager. Hell, Chris Taylor will be there and he is honestly a really intriguing option. I think given that, whichever major market team looks shortstop this offseason is either going to try to trade for Lindor, or sign someone on a one year pillow deal (Galvis, Gregorious, Semien would all be candidates), which would put them back in the mix with all those guys in 2021.
I think Lindor ends up being traded to Atlanta. The Braves have the advantage of being able to include Swanson in any package. While Swanson is no Lindor, he is a solid player that a team can win with. Swanson, one the top OF prospects (Pache or Waters) and a young arm for Lindor and Hand. Maybe more to it, but that would be a start to a trade that could be good for both sides.
Corey Seager was better than all of these guys in 2020, though I doubt he goes elsewhere.
Seager is a sleeper star at this point. his hype overshadowed him a bit but he’s still a heck of a player.
Is Simba starting to become a “sneaky” good player? I know he’s not elite, he doesn’t hit for a high ops, but he plays terrific/above average defense with a good average (don’t harp on me saying average, I like sabermetrics as much as the next). With his new chin-tucked stance he’s taken in 2020, he’s hit way more line drives (26% versus the 15% from 2019), but his strikeout rate has also risen to a career high 12.6% from 8.6% the year before. I like him as a pickup for a team like the Marlins, he can play short and either get traded at the deadline or stay if they get competitive. I like him as a pickup.
The Marlins will probably commit to Jazz Chisholm as their starting SS in 2021. It wouldn’t surprise me if they shell out for a big bat, possibly even the return of Ozuna. With that pitching, they are in better shape than any NL East team but the Braves. Fundamentally sound, a fun team, to watch. Simba? Maybe Cincinnati. Maybe Oakland to replace Semien. The A’s have to pay someone at some point. Simba and Chapman on the left side would be a pitcher’s best friend.
I think the Reds make a lot of sense. Though the A’s should just sign back Semien if they are just going to go get Simba. Especially after Semien’s down season, I’d imagine they could re-sign him for a cheaper price than expected.
Semien will not get the big contract he hoped for. He will signa 1 year deal and get his numbers back up for a big pay day.
I don’t think he’s really done anything he hasn’t done before to be considered sneaky. If he hits 290, he’ll grade out as about league average offensively. I probably wouldn’t give him more than 3/30. Obviously he has value, but no one this off-season is going to be giving out a ton of cash for a defensive shortstop.
Ducky Buckin Fent
So great to see Didi having a good year. Man, was he good for the Yankees. I definitely hated seeing him leave – however, it was certainly understandable.
There are some pretty good players on this list. Not a lot of openings around the league at SS though. I know a lot of Yankee fans are looking at Didi as a fallback plan in case DJ gets away. Maybe? Weren’t there some hard feelings when he left?
Anyway… I’d like the Yankees to retain DJ. Of course.
I’d also like to see us sign a legitimate backup shortstop. LeMahieu’s ability to play the corners along with Gleyber’s ability to play both second and short means the only infield position without a capable backup is SS.
I don’t mind giving Wade a chance at the 26th man spot. But, I’d like to see the Yanks add Galvis this winter as well.
He’s extremely durable.
Which – let’s face it – is a pretty Big Deal with our current squad.
Correa’s stock has fallen drastically the past few years. Definitely would not be worth a massive investment
wild bill tetley
Hard to trust Semien with one big season and already on the other side of 30.
Simmons is even older and plagued by injuries.
Didi is good but for how long? Safest bet might be a short term deal with Iglesias.
Didi was the Phillies most consistent player all year. Hope Klentak re-signs him quickly. Also hope Klentak isn’t our GM in 2021.
If the Angels don’t bring back Simmons, I bet, if they have the money, they take a look at Didi. But they need pitching (Boy, do they need pitching.) more than a SS.
If a team’s line up is solid everywhere else, having Freddy Galvis do his wizard act at SS makes sense. Plus, the bat isn’t a total zero. has some pop.