Showing posts with label David Freese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Freese. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Top five remaining free agents going in to March

David Freese
As the calendar turns to March, there are no more remaining free agents who turned down a qualifying offer earlier in the offseason. However, that does not mean there are no decent players left on the market.

Sure, all the high-impact guys have signed now, but there still are some free agents out there who can provide value to a team in the right situation. Here's the complete list of players still available, and let's take a more detailed look at the best of the bunch:

1. David Freese, third baseman -- Freese will turn 33 in April and he's now four years removed from his 20-home run campaign with the Cardinals in 2012, but you would think Freese would have a job by now given that third base often is a hard position for teams to fill. The veteran posted a .257/.323/.420 slash line last year with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs in 121 games with the Los Angeles Angels. I'm a little bit surprised Freese hasn't landed back with the Angels. The Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians also would be good fits.

2. Pedro Alvarez, first baseman/designated hitter -- I can't blame the Pittsburgh Pirates for cutting ties with Alvarez. He's a low-average guy and a lousy fielder, and that makes it hard to justify the eight-figure salary he likely would have gotten in arbitration. Alvarez is a career .236 hitter, and he's struck out at least 118 times in each of the past four seasons. However, during that same span of four years, he has hit 101 home runs -- so about 25 a year. He has value as a designated hitter and fallback option at first base for an American League club. New York? Houston? Cleveland? Maybe Boston if the Red Sox get sick of the Hanley Ramirez show?

3. Austin Jackson, outfielder -- Jackson is a strong defender at any of the three outfield spots, and he has experience, having started in center field for a contending Detroit Tigers team from 2010 through the middle of 2014, when he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. Jackson just recently turned 29, but his OPS of .655 in 2014 and .696 in 2015 seems to be giving potential suitors pause. Jackson's OPS during his time in Detroit was .755, but he's taken a turn for the worse lately. The Angels have a gaping hole in left field, but reports indicate Jackson turned down their one-year offer. Baltimore could be a fit after the Orioles struck out on Dexter Fowler. He also could land in the AL Central, where the Indians, White Sox and Royals all could use some outfield insurance.

4. Matt Thornton, relief pitcher -- Thornton is entering his age-39 season, and his elite years with the White Sox from 2008 to 2010 are past. That said, Thornton still was a competent reliever with the Washington Nationals last year. He posted a 2.18 ERA in 60 games and limited left-handed hitters to a .198/.205/.279 slash line. In today's matchup-obsessed game, you would think some team would want a left-handed reliever who can retire left-handed hitters, no matter the age of that pitcher. There are worse left-handed relievers on MLB rosters than Matt Thornton, that's for sure. Thornton has said he is waiting for a team to show "serious" interest in him. I read that as teams have offered him a minor-league contract and an invitation to big-league camp, but he doesn't want to sign unless someone offers him a major-league deal.

5. Tim Lincecum, pitcher -- The 31-year-old is now seven years removed from his back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, and he's coming off an injury that limited him to 15 starts last year, when he went 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA with the San Francisco Giants. Supposedly, at least 20 teams have requested Lincecum's medical records, so proving he's healthy would likely lead to a contract offer. At some point in the near future, Lincecum is going to hold a showcase for teams. The Detroit Tigers will be there. Other interested clubs reportedly include Miami, Baltimore and San Diego.

Honorable mention, Ryan Raburn, outfielder -- The Giants are reportedly interested in the White Sox killer, and if you're a Sox fan like me, you're just praying that some team in the National League takes Raburn out of your sight. Raburn had eight home runs last season -- three against the Sox -- and 29 RBIs -- seven against the Sox. Twenty of his 82 career homers are against the Sox, as are 82 of his 322 career RBIs. Eighty-two RBIs against the Sox! His next highest totals are 12 home runs and 25 RBIs against Kansas City. Somebody make it stop.

Friday, August 22, 2014

White Sox trade Gordon Beckham to Angels

Just hours after we said the White Sox should be eager to move on from Gordon Beckham, the club traded the struggling second baseman to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later.

Beckham will not be a starting player with the AL West-leading Angels, who are set in the infield with Howie Kendrick at second base, Erick Aybar at shortstop and David Freese at third base.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Beckham will come off the bench against left-handed pitchers and play multiple positions, according to a report in the Orange County Register.

Beckham leaves Chicago in the worst slump of his six-year career. He's hitting just .158 since July 1, a span of 163 plate appearances. A recent article on indicated Beckham's .371 July OPS represented the worst month by a White Sox starting player in 46 years. 

We cited the statistics earlier today, so we won't beat a dead horse. It was time for both Beckham and the White Sox to move on. If anything, the Sox erred on the side of having too much patience with Beckham. The former first-round pick was given nearly 2,900 plate appearances with the South Siders over the past six years. If you're not a good hitter after that many at-bats, you're never going to be a good hitter.

“You want to give everybody a fair opportunity and especially a guy you have drafted and developed and especially those who have had success at the big league level,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla. “You want to give them the chance to fulfill and reach and extend on that potential. With Gordon having close to 2,900 plate appearances in a White Sox uniform, I think we are all very comfortable that we did give him that chance.”

Indeed they did.

Carlos Sanchez has been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Beckham on the Sox' roster. Sanchez was hitting .293 with seven home runs, 57 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 110 games for the Knights.

I would expect Sanchez to be in the lineup at second base Friday night when the Sox open a three-game set against the New York Yankees.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Here's a look at the second of my two fantasy teams

Let me start out by saying nobody should derive any fantasy baseball advice from looking at this roster. I'll be shocked if I contend in this particular league.

It's a 10-team league -- five new owners (including me) and five returning owners. The five returning owners got to keep up to five players from last year, with the stipulation they couldn't keep their first-round draft pick from last season. That means there were still some elite players on the draft board, like Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Clayton Kershaw. All those guys were first-round picks in this league last year, and therefore could not be "kept" by any of the returning owners.

Nevertheless, some elite guys who were *not* first-round draft picks last year were kept and were not available in this draft. That list of players included Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew McCutchen -- all of whom certainly would have been drafted in the first round had they been available.

I had the 10th pick out of 10, so pretty much all of the real top-flight guys were gone by the time I made my first pick. They were either kept by returning owners, or selected in the nine picks made before mine. I knew I was behind the eight-ball no matter what I did, but I ultimately decided to take Troy Tulowitzki with the 10th overall pick and Jason Kipnis with the 11th. If nothing else, I had my middle infield set, and those positions are traditionally harder to fill than first base or any of the outfield spots.

Without further discussion, here's the team I drafted:

C: Brian McCann
1B: Eric Hosmer
2B: Kipnis
SS: Tulowitzki
3B: Manny Machado
LF: Mark Trumbo
CF: Michael Bourn
RF: Jay Bruce
Util: Mike Napoli
Util: Coco Crisp
BN: Jhonny Peralta
BN: David Freese
BN: Kelly Johnson

SP: Cole Hamels
SP: James Shields
SP: Julio Teheran
SP: Matt Moore
SP: Sonny Gray
SP: Justin Masterson
SP: Chris Tillman
RP: Trevor Rosenthal
RP: Grant Balfour
RP: Tommy Hunter

It should be noted I've already made two roster moves since the draft. Bourn is going to start the season on the DL, so I added another speedy outfielder in Ben Revere, who surprisingly was left undrafted in this league. I think he's a decent sleeper this year. In addition, another owner dropped Chase Headley, so I quickly snapped him up and released Freese, who is coming off a rough year and has had a poor spring.

Much like my other team, I'm taking a chance on Machado getting healthy and returning to form at third base. He's not going to be ready for the start of the season, so I needed a decent backup. Headley was the guy I wanted for that role all along, but somebody drafted him before I could get to him. I settled for Freese, but I was delighted earlier this week to see that Headley became available for nothing. I see him as a reasonable stopgap in the short run.

Have I mentioned yet there's one guy in this league who had Trout, Goldschmidt, McCutchen and Dustin Pedroia as his keepers? And, oh yeah, he drafted Kershaw, Jose Fernandez and Justin Verlander with his first three draft picks. That team is completely stacked, and it's hard not to feel like the rest of us are playing for second.

Me? I'll be lucky to finish in the top half of the league. Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cardinals trade David Freese to Angels in four-player deal

I've been saying over the last couple months that I'm jealous of the St. Louis Cardinals' success. I think they are a smart organization. They seem to make the right moves at the right time.

And I agree with their decision to trade third baseman David Freese. The Cardinals sent Freese and reliever Fernando Salas to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday, in exchange for center fielder Peter Bourjos and outfield prospect Randal Grichuk.

Why do I think it was smart to move Freese? Well, I think injuries are taking their toll on the 2011 World Series MVP. Freese slumped to just nine home runs and 60 RBIs in 2013, after totaling career highs in both home runs (20) and RBIs (79) in 2012.

Freese looked like a guy who has injuries to his knees, ankles or both in the playoffs this year, when he was limited to a .179 batting average. If you look at his swing, it was all upper body. He couldn't use his lower half at all, and that robbed him of his power. It's not an accident those home run totals were cut in half. In addition, he lost all his range at third base. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was using Daniel Descalso as a defensive replacement for Freese in the late innings of close games throughout the postseason. That's a sure sign that something isn't quite right with Freese. It was time to cut him loose.

I also like the return St. Louis got in this deal. The Cardinals don't have many weaknesses, but outfield defense was among them. John Jay is a decent offensive player, but defensively, he shouldn't be playing center field every day. Bourjos can play a Gold Glove-caliber center field. Will he hit a bunch? Probably not. He's a career .251 hitter. However, the Cardinals have the luxury of batting him eighth. With Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Matt Adams on the roster, the Cardinals don't need Bourjos to hit. They just need him to run the ball down in center field. He will do that.

Who will play third base for the Cardinals? Carpenter will make the move from second base. That opens a spot for at second for former top draft pick Kolten Wong, who struggled in limited playing time this year but is ready for a full-time shot.

As for the Angels, I understand why they traded Bourjos. They have a crowded outfield with Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and J.B. Shuck. But I don't think third base was their biggest hole. The Angels don't have much starting pitching, Once you get past Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, there is really nothing there -- especially now that Jason Vargas has left for Kansas City.

With Freese, the Angels are acquiring more of what they already have: veterans hitters. What that team really needs is some rotation help, and I'm surprised they moved Bourjos for something other than a starting pitcher.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cardinals eliminate Pirates in NLDS Game 5

I think I mentioned earlier this week that St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has been really good in the playoffs in his career.

The right-hander delivered in the clutch again Wednesday, firing a complete game eight-hitter as the Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 in Game 5 of the NLDS at Busch Stadium.

With the win, St. Louis takes the series 3-2 and advances to the NLCS for the eighth time since 2000. The Cardinals will open at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

St. Louis jumped in front in the second inning when David Freese got a hanging breaking ball from Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole and knocked it out of the yard for a two-run homer. Matt Adams added a two-run homer in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach.

Not that Pittsburgh had much chance against Wainwright, who is now 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA and four saves in 15 career postseason appearances. The only time I can remember Wainwright failing in the playoffs was last year when he got rocked by the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS. On that night, of course, the Cardinals roared back from a 6-0 deficit and won the game anyway.

After Wednesday's victory, St. Louis is now 8-1 in playoff elimination games over the last three seasons. Give the Pirates credit for a great season -- they won 94 games and took the top-seeded Cardinals to the brink in this series. However, the talent and experience of St. Louis won out in the end.