The 2018 MLB free agency period is upon us and there are many top free agents out there. This year’s free agents are led by Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin and Craig Kimbrel. Not every team can sign the top free agents, but this year’s class has many names that can help put a contender over the edge. Here is a list of bargain free agents that can help a team for way less money.
The 32-year-old starting pitcher for the Brewers had a career resurgence. He went 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 starts. Miley was able to continue his success into the postseason as he posted a 1.23 ERA in four starts. The journeyman never found his footing in the league as he has bounced around. After posting a 3.55 ERA in 2013 with Arizona he was never able to duplicate his success. Many were skeptical of Miley playing in 2018 after his disastrous 2017 campaign with the Baltimore Orioles where he posted an 8-15 record with a 5.61 ERA. Milwaukee gave Miley a chance and he rewarded them with their second ever Division title.
A contender looking for a number three or four starter may be interested in adding Miley on a one year deal to prove he can continue his 2018 success. Re-signing with Milwaukee might be the best for both sides. Miley was able to dominate this year due to not being relied on to go deep into games. The Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays both make sense as they use their pitchers similar to Milwaukee.
Gio is not the same pitcher that he was with the Nationals, but he is still reliable. Gonzalez had a down year with Washington but was able to turn it around with the Brewers. Gio went 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA with the Nationals before he was traded. The new start did wonders for the lefty. He went 3-0 in five starts with the Brewers, striking out 22 and finished with a 2.13 ERA.
Teams that need an established four or five starter should be interested in the veteran. Teams such as the Angels who have had injuries to the rotation over the years should be interested, as well as the Houston Astro’s who may lose a few of their starters to free agency. Gio would not be expensive as he still needs to prove that his stint with Milwaukee wasn’t a fluke. A two year deal in the $10-15 million range makes sense.
Holland signed a one year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018 and it was a disaster. In 32 games with the Cardinals, Holland went 0-2 with three blown saves and a 7.92 ERA. Holland was cut by the Cardinals and ended up signing with the Washington Nationals. After a change of scenery, Holland went 2-0 with three saves and a .82 ERA. Holland made some modifications to his delivery and approach. The biggest difference was he became more confident in his fastball with Washington than he did with his slider in St. Louis.
Holland showed glimpses of his old self with Washington and could bolster a teams bullpen. Now Holland did not help the Nationals clinch a third straight playoff appearance, but he made enough of an impact to be re-signed. Teams may be skeptical of Holland due to not knowing if his first half or second half was a fluke. Similar to Miley, a one year deal might be the best for Holland. Besides Washington, look for teams that need to strengthen the back end of their bullpen or just want to add depth such as the Dodgers and Cubs.
Since his incredible NLCS performance in 2015, Murphy has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Unfortunately, his glove has always been a problem. Murphy is 34 and started off slow due to injuries. The Nationals traded him to the Cubs at the deadline where he helped lead the team to a fourth straight playoff appearance. He finished the season hitting .299, but for the first time in his career, he had a negative WAR.
A switch to the American League makes the most sense for Murphy as he would be a solid DH. The Indians could be a good fit as he would help fill the void missing from Carlos Santana. As well as DH, Murphy can switch to first base where he could platoon with Yonder Alonzo and Edwin Encarnación. If needed to field, a switch from second to first makes the most sense. He took some reps at the position while with the Nationals. A reunion with Washington could happen if they want to platoon him at first with the aging Ryan Zimmerman. Look for teams that are lacking a pure hitter and veteran leadership to make a move at Murphy.
Feature Image From New York Post.
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