Much like the holiday season, it’s almost always too late for Major League Baseball teams to surprise their loved ones with another big purchase.
The items still on the free agent toy store shelves are nothing like the gaudy ones that were at the top of everyone’s wish list. It’s just a piece with There are a lot of useful players out there, but no one receives even a fraction of the wealth that Aaron Judge and Trea Turner did.
But with spring training less than two months away, it’s time for the general manager to put the finishing touches on the roster. These players don’t make much of a difference, but they definitely have a place on a good-looking team. To make the edges a little better.
At just 29 years old and just finishing his career, Profar is the best player still looking for work.
The switch-hitter turned down an $8.33 million option with the Padres, but should have no trouble finding a multi-year deal. There are certainly holes in his game, but Profar is a dream come true for many modern front his offices because of his eyes. In each of the last two seasons, Profar has walked at least 11% of his plate appearances, ranking in his 85th percentile in the league.
For years, Profar’s calling card has been his immense defensive versatility. He hasn’t bounced around the diamond as much as he used to, but after settling into a role as San Diego’s starting left fielder, he recorded a 110 wRC+ and his 600th at-bat for the first time in his 10-year career. Did.
Ploffer is more than a capable fielder as a first or second baseman if he wants to, but left field seems to be his best home as he enters his 30s. Some teams would be much harder to deal with if they inserted Profar at the bottom of the order and put him in his spot in the outfield corner for 140 or so games. His elite knowledge of his strike zone and his aversion to swings and mistakes make him an interesting candidate if a particular team in the Bronx can’t swindle Bryan Reynolds out of the Pirates.
There are 25 left-handed relief pitchers who have pitched 100 or more innings in the last two years. Mets legend Aaron Loup has the lowest ERA with 1.36, followed by Chafin with his 2.07. Despite looking like a Midwestern bowling alley employee, Chaffin’s strikeout rate, whiff rate, opponent batting average, and number of balls batted are all well above average.
The southpaw struck out 27.6% of his pitches last year for the Detroit Tigers, who mysteriously didn’t move him in time. Although he strikes out a little more against left-handers, Chafin actually kept his right-hander batting low and had a good WHIP. The Mets already brought in one left-handed reliever in Brooks-Reilly this offseason, but Chafin is a logical fit for either team in New York. The Yankees were able to use another lefty in the bullpen.
Yes, that Johnny Cueto made his debut while George W. Bush was still in office and recently started his 350th career. Cueto posted a 3.35 earned run average last summer with White in his Sox where he pitched 158.1 innings. Because he’s never relied on strikeouts or speed, the 36-year-old is a better choice than his agents and fellow veterans of his circuit, like Michael Pineda and Chris Archer.
Cueto has also endured the last three years, achieving a master class in limiting walks and home runs during the 2022 season. At this point, he’s either his fourth or his fifth starter on a competing team, or the club’s innings muncher who needs someone out there. But the old head, who ranks 7th among active pitchers in pitched innings, is still able to provoke their best ground ball, hitting six or more innings in 19 of his last 24 starts. For an organization that feels they have an arm off, especially one with a strong infield defense that can turn those ground balls into outs, a one-year contract makes a lot of sense. It’s working.
Five years younger than Cueto and with a few points lower ERA, Wacha was a surprisingly bright spot for the Red Sox in 2022. He’s also pitched at least 120 innings over the last three seasons.
Leaving the American League East should help fix Wacha’s home run issues as well. As long as his changeup continues to miss plate appearances, Wacha could be a viable option in the rotation backend. A fastball that once averaged 95 mph, now he’s 92 or 93 mph. If 43-year-old Rich Hill can get his $8 million contract, Wacha realistically should be able to get him a one-year deal at least for $10.
His recent run has been abysmal — Mancini went 1-for-21 in his first postseason — but there are still some very good hitters here.
For a guy with 114 wRC+ over the past three seasons, someone will take the flyer. This is exactly what Mancini produced in his cancer treatment-interrupted stretch in 2020. Mancini’s solid defense at first base and experience in the outfield are more than Luke Voight, who also makes him a free agent. is also a balanced option. Mancini is also younger than David Peralta and Brandon Belt.
Both Rangers and Mariners can use boosts on DH. Also, Mancini’s old companion in Baltimore is on the verge of making a comeback.
Honorable Mention: Michael Fulmer, Elvis Andrus, Gary Sanchez