By: Daniel Satter
Meanwhile, with pitchers and catchers reporting soon that means that spring training is near. Now, there are many quality free agents out in the market, but some still think they can land a big deal, but honestly they will only receive a one year deal that is loaded up or a two or three year deal with opt out options after the first or second year.
First off, the best available free agent right now is Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo spent this past season with the Texas Rangers, but spent the first 8 years of his career with the Brewers. Overall, Gallardo will receive a 3 year deal worth around $40 to $50 mil before spring training appears. The 29-year-old went 13-11 last season in 33 starts with a 3.42 ERA in 184.1 innings of work, while striking out 121 batters. Gallardo had a good year, but he produced the highest WHIP (1.42) in a season out of his 9 year career. I could see the Blue Jays signing him to bolster a weaker rotation (now without Price). I do not think Jesse Chavez and Drew Hutchison will be the answer in the rotation.
Next, Dexter Fowler is the best hitter out there. Fowler will not receive a security blanket deal. He will get a one year deal worth $12 mil with a player option for the season after. That one team that could use Fowler are the Angels. I doubt the big money Angels are comfortable with Daniel Nava starting everyday in left field. If the Angels land the 29-year-old, maybe he could play left field, but Trout would fit left field more naturally than Fowler. Fowler would be a nice fit to the top of the lineup by bringing some power and more speed. Trout and Fowler at the top of the lineup are looking like a big threat to the other teams in the American League West. Fowler had a good year with the Cubs by owning a stat line of .250/.346/.411/.757 with single season high 17 home runs and driving in 46 RBIs. Fowler stole 20 bags and played in a total of 156 games.
Finally, the last player is Ian Desmond. Desmond spent his whole 7 year career with the Nationals. Desmond will not receive a deal over 3 years, but I could see him pick up a straight two year deal worth $30 mil. The team that has the money to pull that type of deal off is the Chicago White Sox. Desmond would replace the departed Alexei Ramirez at the shortstop position. Desmond has a decent glove, but is best now for his bat as power hitting shortstop. Desmond drove 19 dingers in the cheap seats and drove in 62 RBIs. Desmond’s slash line ended with a .233/.290/.384/.674 and swiping 13 bases. Desmond finished the season with 156 games played in.