Offseason Primer: Corner Infield Free Agents
Image courtesy of Allan Henry, USA TodayNote: This is an excerpt from the free agency section of the upcoming 2019 Offseason Handbook, which you can officially preorder as of today. You'll find these profiles, plus dozens more, within. Claim your copy today to get it before its official release.
To say the Twins lack clarity at the infield corners would be an understatement. Incumbent first baseman Joe Mauer is a free agent, for the first time ever. Incumbent third baseman Miguel Sano is coming off a brutal season bisected by a demotion to Single-A. The latter will be back (barring a trade) but in what capacity? Keep him at third, or move him to first (or even DH)? Up to you. And that decision will dictate planning here.
Joe Mauer, 1B
Previous Team: Twins
2018 Stats: .282/.351/.379, 6 HR, 48 RBI
Mauer is coming off an underwhelming season that saw him turn in some of the worst numbers of his career. But he remains an excellent defensive first baseman and strong situational hitter with above-average OBP skills. If he returns, it'll be as a part-timer and frequent DH. But with righty-swinging Tyler Austin on hand, that might fit. Mauer is contemplating retirement.
Estimated Contract: 1 year, $7 million
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Previous Team: Diamondbacks
2018 Stats: .272/.334/.489, 23 HR, 84 RBI
Cherished clubhouse character and late-blooming versatile slugger. Signing Escobar would restore a recognizable veteran presence to the locker room while allowing Sano to move across the diamond for a potential offensive upgrade at both corners. Esco's ability to fill in at short or second, if needed, helps with flexibility.
Estimated Contract: 3 years, $45 million
Matt Adams, 1B
Previous Team: Cardinals
2018 Stats: .239/.309/.477, 21 HR, 57 RBI
Looking for an apt platoon mate to complement lefty-masher Austin, Adams might be your man. He's got an .815 OPS with 41 homers over the past two seasons, and is a career .279/.330/.495 hitter against righties. Can play outfield corners in a pinch.
Estimated Contract: 2 years, $15 million
Hungry for more? Preorder the Offseason Handbook, which will include profiles on tons of other free agent options, at the corner infield and other areas of need.
- dbminn, nclahammer and caninatl04 like this