07 Dec MLB Free Agents: News, Notes & Where They Could Sign – Part 2
Lou Landers – @realSportsCrew
Todd Frazier – Despite a declining batting average, Frazier saw an improvement in his OBP from 2016 to 2017 and has been a steady source of RH power since the start of 2014. Just 2 years ago, on a bad White Sox team, Frazier hit 40 homers and drove in 98 runs, so he is not too far removed from being an impact bat.
Frazier has a great glove at 3B, and is versatile in the field, being able to play both 3rd and 1st. Outside of Mike Moustakas, Frazier is the best 3B option right now on the open market and should receive some serious interest from teams.
Most Likely Destination:
Mets – Although they are linked to Moustakas as well, Frazier will prove to be a cheaper option. He was born and raised in the New York we know how desperate the Mets are for a upgrade at 3B. If they do lose out on Moustakas, I expect them to switch their focus to Frazier.
Yankees – Forget about him being from the New York area, because thats an obvious reason as to why the Yankees, like the mets are on this list. Frazier got a taste of what it was like to wear Yankee pinstripes and be part of a playoff run in the Bronx. He is quoted as saying how much he enjoyed his time as a Yankee and that he wants to be back. The ball is now in hands of the Yankees. The reason why I don’t see them making a big push for Frazier, even with his tremendous club house presence, is that they have Gleyber Torres who could be starting at 3B this season, but they also have Chase Headley under contract for one more year who essentially fills the same role as Frazier. Headley provides insurance at 3B and even at 1B incase Greg Bird continues to have injury issues. Even at DH, the Yankees have a crowded OF they could use in the DH spot or even go with a young kid in Miguel Andujar. With all that being said, it may appear that Frazier won’t be back in the Bronx, but if he is willing to take a 1 year deal to stay, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees found a way to bring him back.
Royals – With Moustakas leaving, there is an obvious hole at 3B for the Royals. The question is, do they want to spend money when it appears that they are about to enter a rebuild? The answer is likely no, but they have a lot of positions to fill and still will want to field a semi competitive team. As I mentioned earlier, Frazier can play both 3B and 1B which happens to be 2 of the major positional openings on this Royals ball club. Signing Frazier could work for them in the immediate and if they do decide to go another direction after one season, they could always look for a trade partner down the line.
Wade Davis – Teams can never have enough RP, making Wade Davis one of the hotter names on the open market right now. Not just for a team looking for a closer, but also for any team looking to bulk up the back end of their bullpen.
Since taking over the closers role in KC years ago, Davis has been one of the most reliable and consistent closers in the league and continued that success in 2017 with the Cubs. He was their only reliable RP in the postseason, and I think the Cubs are definitely going to try and bring him back. If he doesn’t stay in Chicago though, there are a number of teams that could make a strong push.
Most Likely Destination:
Rockies – This is an obvious one because they are losing closer Greg Holland who happens to be next on this list. The Rockies got a taste of playoff baseball in 2017 and bringing in a closer like Wade Davis could be a big factor in them getting back there again in 2018. Not every pitcher can succeed in Colorado, but with Davis’ poise and demeanor on the mound, not to mention his elite “stuff”, I believe he would fit right in.
Twins – Although they are known as a small market team, the Twins have stated that they will be aggressive this offseason and addressing the back end of their bullpen should be one of their biggest priorities. To date, their best closing options are Hildenberger, Presly or Rogers, none of which have had any real success in the closers role before. Davis would lengthen their pen and more importantly, provide stability at the back end for a team who is expected to contend again in 2018 and beyond.
Astros – It seems kind of crazy to suggest that the reigning World Series Champions are in desperate need of anything, but if they have one potential weakness, it is the back end of their bullpen. Ken Giles was not reliable in the post season and could be just as effective as a set up man to Davis. The addition of Davis would of course also lengthen the Astros pen, allowing them to use Giles in the set up role while making Harris, Devenski and Musgrove middle inning relievers. This type of move would make the Astros World Series favorites again in my opinion.
Red Sox – The red sox already have an elite closer, and his name is Craig Kimbrel. That doesn’t mean that they cant improve their bullpen though. Imagine playing against the Red Sox, trailing after 6 or 7 innings and having to come back against the combination of Wade Davis and Craig Kimbrel. It seems next to impossible. The Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowksi has always had issues putting together a strong bullpen, dating back to his time in Detroit, but with a Wade Davis addition, guys like Joe Kelly, Carson Smith and hopefully a healthy Tyler Thornburg could give the Sox one of the better and more dominant bullpens in baseball.
Greg Holland – He was one of baseball’s better stories last season after not pitching at all in 2016. He signed at a discounted price with the Rockies and turned out to be one of the better closers in all of baseball.
The Rockies want him back, but with such a big need for RP around the league, Holland has a chance for a massive pay day else where. Of course any of the teams mentioned above (with Wade Davis) in the Twins, Astros and Red Sox could be good fits, but there are some other teams that strike me as likely landing spots.
Most Likely Destinations:
Cubs – Similar to the Rockies with Holland, the Cubs could lose Wade Davis, leaving a big opening in their bullpen and Holland could of course fill that void and join a team who will likely be back in the postseason and maybe even the World Series.
Angels – The Angels went through at least 4 different closers last season. Bud Norris fell of a cliff, Cam Bedrosian appears to be more of a set up man and Petit left as a free agent. Blake Parker is still there and he is coming off an impressive 2017 season, but it is unknown if he can handle the closers role all season long. Holland would lock down that role immediately, and give the Angels their best closer since K-Rod in his prime.
Cardinals – I mentioned earlier that the Cards could trade for a closer with their OF depth, but they could also hit the open market and go after a guy like Holland, Wade Davis or to a lesser extent, maybe a guy like Brandon Kintzler. Regardless of who it is, the Cardinals need someone to replace Trevor Rosenthal and/or Seung Hwan Oh at the back end and Holland just seems like the ideal fit.