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Handicapping the Field: Other 2B Possibilities

Last time, I went over the second base free agent possibilities, and they weren't pretty. Now here's some other possibilities that are either free agents at other positions or trade targets.

Free Agents

  1. Alex Cora. Cora can definitely play the position, but doesn't hit well enough to play every day. Great as a backup, not as a starter.
  2. Mark DeRosa. Spent only 26 games at the position in 2006, and his overall line screams fluke to me. Would make a nice reserve player, but he's probably looking for a starting gig.  
  3. Craig Counsell. A bit better on offense than Cora, and has always been a good defender at both shortstop and second. He'd be an excellent fit if the Indians bring back Ronnie Belliard (or another right-handed second baseman), but barely adequate if he's signed to start at second.
Trade Targets

These are veterans with more than three years' service time. The rankings are a combination of contract situation, value, and the availability of the player.

  1. Kazuo Matsui. Coming off a disappointing run with the Mets, and may become a free agent anyway. Hit .352/.400/.491 with the Rockies and could be a nice value pickup, but the Indians can do better.
  2. Jose Vidro. An offense-first second baseman, Vidro has really declined in the past couple of seasons. The Nats would certainly be willing to move his contract ($7.5M in 2007, $8.5M in 2008), but he's not the type of player the Indians are looking for.
  3. Brian Roberts. This low ranking is not because Roberts is a bad player (he's not), but because it's going to take a lot to pry him from the Orioles, who have been a notoriously difficult team to deal with in the past couple of seasons. He's eligible for arbitration, and has 4+ years of service time.
  4. Mark Ellis. Probably the best defender in the American League, but not a consistant offensive player. He's signed through 2007 ($3.5M) with an option for 2008.
  5. Marcus Giles. This to me might be the best value of the bunch because the Braves might be selling low on him this offseason in order to save some money. He's eligible for arbitration, and has 5+ years of service time.
  6. Orlando Hudson. The Diamondbacks are looking for pitching, and with Alberto Callaspo ready for the majors, might entertain dealing Hudson for a starter. Hudson is eligible for arbitration and has 4+ years of service time.