As the MLB offseason continues, various dominoes in the free agent market continue to fall. It is always very interesting to see the economics of baseball play out. According to Forbes, MLB operating income nearly doubled from 2014-2018. This is a product of the economics of the game changing, where optimizing value at lower costs has become ideal.
Some free agent signings will have greater impacts on their new teams than others. Not all will make fans rush to Online Sports Betting to place a wager, but they can still have a significant impact. The following three available free agents can bring a great value at a low cost.
Dellin Betances is a free agent that can be had at a low cost. That is due to his recovery from a myriad of injuries during the 2019 season with the New York Yankees. As a result, he only pitched once the entire season, striking out both batters he faced.
Coming back into the dugout after that outing, he suffered a partial tear to his Achilles tendon, which held him out of the postseason. He is expected to be ready for the start of the 2020 season.
Betances earned $7,250,000 in 2019. He will be a good value signing because his injury riddled 2019 will allow a team to sign him to a smaller contract with the opportunity to prove himself.
Betances is 31 years of age, but he has a track record prior to 2019 of being one of the most dominant relievers in MLB. He has a 2.36 career ERA in 381.2 innings pitched. His K/9 in his career is 14.6 and his WHIP is 1.043 while pitching to a 177 ERA+.
With Yasmani Grandal off of the market, Chirinos emerges as the best free agent catcher available. Chirinos earned $5,750,000 while catching 114 games for the Houston Astros.
Chrinos had a solid season defensively with a DRS of 3 and 21% of base runners thrown out, which was close to league average albeit a little below average. He also caught a no-hitter and played in the World Series
He caught a career-high in games, had a career-best in on-base percentage, and his best OPS among seasons with at least 90 games caught.
The catch with Chirinos is that he is 35 years old and he only has two seasons with over 100 games caught in his career while producing league average offense with an OPS+ of 102. Therefore, Chirinos will not control a contract substantially larger than the $5,750,000 he earned last season.
Yasiel Puig gets a bad reputation because of his temper, and he is coming off of a down year for his standards. While splitting time with the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians, Puig was a league-average hitter with an OPS+ of 100. His slash line sat at .267/.327/.458. His defense was also below average with a DRS of -4.
All things considered, Puig has been a good all-around player in his career. Even with his sub-par 2019, he has a career OPS+ of 122 and a slash line of .277/.348/.475.
Additionally, his career DRS is 40, showing that he can be a good fielder. Puig will be entering his age-29 season, and can be considered to still be in his prime, as well.
Last season, Puig earned $9,700,000. Given what he is capable of, signing him to a salary slightly higher than this would prove to be great value if he can replicate his career norms.
All three of these players can provide good value to any MLB team without having to break the bank.
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