Hot stove league: Free agent right fielders. 26 comments


Jose Bautista, anyone? He’s available. He’s a free agent right fielder. Too bad for him he is at the end of his career and he probably won’t have many takers lining up to take a shot at him. (Sorry, wrong choice of words.) But it’s doubtful one of the biggest jerks in baseball will get many hits. (Oops, sorry.) Yep, the cold reality that his career is over might be smacking Bautista in the face.  (Oh, there I go again.)

On the other end of the spectrum is a player I wish the Rangers had in his prime, Arlington native Hunter Pence. He was one of those players that seemed to rise far above his talent. He was fun to watch because when he moved it was the opposite of with grace. He was as far from athletic as you could get, but, boy could that guy produce. I hope he has a bit left in the tank. You root for guys like that.

But perhaps the most under-the-radar player available this off season is Nick Markakis. He is one of those players who just keeps going. He is a Beltre-like player who seems to be getting stronger as he ages, hitting .297 with 93 RBIs for the N.L. East winning Braves. Markakis passed Mike Schmidt and Willie Stargell on the all-time hit list, and he’s ten away from Edgar Martinez.

If there was one free-agent I would want the Rangers to pursue it would be Markakis for the simple reason he plays the game right. He is a pure hitter. The guy struck out only 80 times in 2018. In 705 plate appearances. That’s once every 8.8 plate appearances. By comparison, Gallo once every 2.8; Guzman 3.5; Chirinos 3.6; Odor 4.2; Choo 4.3; Mazara 4.6; DeShields 4.7; Beltre 5.0; Andrus 6.5.

All these hitters in the Rangers who swing like a broken fence in a hurricane could learn from a professional hitter. With Beltre gone, Markakis is that guy. It won’t happen because the Rangers are in rebuild mode, not fan pleasing mode. But Markakis has an outside chance to collect 3000 hits. Yes, Nick Markakis.

Here are the available free agent right fielders:

Nick Markakis
Gerrardo Parra
Andrew McCutchen
Carlos Gonzalez
Avisail Garcia

Hunter Pence
Carlos Gomez
Chris Owings
Cameron Maybin
Jon Jay

Brandon Guyer
Chris Young
Gregor Blanco
Jose Bautista
Clay Rapada

Mike McCoy

(Players in bold were former Rangers.)

  • JacobMcCandles

    Very astute on Markakis…a complete ballplayer. Carlos Gonzalez is the best of the bunch

  • Tony Howell

    Seattle has pretty much traded their team away. Received a lot of prospects in return a risky move time will tell. Looks like there going to try and build a team off of other teams minor league systems. While the rangers have made no moves to add to our minor league, so jd is going to build on what we already have in place. I Hope we have 10-15 quality players in our system. I think Seattle way of thinking is a better bet. We will all know in about 3 years.

    • dearmidol

      Why is it we are always three years away with our pitching prospects?

      • Tony Howell

        Oakland and Tampa bay both do a excellent job of building pitching prospects. But can’t afford them after they become very good. But the Rangers just can not produce an ACE. A #4 or 5 is the best we can do.

        • elkaba

          To do what Oakland and Tampa Bay regularly do out of necessity with prospects requires top tier drafting and coaching at every level. JD’s attempts to upgrade us at every level is laudable. But it will take time. The prospects in the system now were ones selected and groomed by the old team. Won’t know what the new system produces for years. I just wish we had more prospects in the pipeline between now and then.

    • elkaba

      Yep. One problem we still have with JD at the helm is his tendency to stubbornly play his strategy-du-jour to its painful conclusion instead of recognizing its failure earlier and shifting course. It’s like the guy who holds and bets a poker hand to the end when he should have figured out he was going to lose a couple of card draws earlier.

      This non-rebuild rebuild JD is doing could turn out the same way. Seattle is doing it right, the reason being that prospects are so fickle- you never know who will be the one-out-of-however-many who matures into a Beltre. So the more you gather, the higher the odds of building a real winner of a rebuilt team.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Good stuff….by waiting we set ourselves back further and put ourselves in a precarious situation with a new stadium opening up

  • Tony Howell

    The Rangers finished #19 in attendance this yr filling up 52% of the stadium. Between 2011 and 2014 rangers finished in the top 10 all 4 years. Rangers finished #3 in Attendance in 2012 the year after the WS. Drew over 42,000 fans a game out drew the Dodgers. So if Attendance matter put a winner on the field And We Will Come.

  • Rowdy Yates

    Had the privilege of watching Hunter Pence play an entire season for AA Corpus Christi Hooks in ’05 or ’06 in the Houston system. Reminded me of a bigger Pete Rose. Head first slides, hustle on every play and made more out of his abilities than anyone else on the team.

    Didn’t go to a single Rangers regular season game in 2017 or 18. First time since we retired in 2002 and came home to Texas that we didn’t drive up to Dallas for at least one. Even the 5 yrs on Padre Island we’d drive up thru Houston to Dallas for one or more games and did the same ’07-’16 from Austin. The ‘juice just wasn’t worth the squeeze’ the last two yrs as Grandad used to say.

    • JacobMcCandles

      “Juice wasn’t worth the squeeze”….. .will steal that one. Share this one….when a pitcher was failing my Grandad would yell out WARM UP THE WATER….pitcher needed to be pulled and go to the shower….lol

      • Nathan Whitten

        I agree with stealing the line. Rowdy’s Grandad had a winner there.

        There are some great sayings that come from country folks. A friend of mine who was killed by colon cancer was relating a story about the fate of a child molester when given time in the county jail. After a sleepless and very unpleasant night in the hand of some big dudes who did not like child molesters, the molester had a “hitch in his get-e-up.” That’s one that could be used in many different situations, much like “Juice wasn’t worth the squeeze”.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Another one from Gdad that I found out later was told to Scary and my Dad….you will be perceived as being smarter if you keep your mouth shut

          • Nathan Whitten

            Got it.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Rowdy talks about it and Ed as well….nothing like minor lge BB to fully enjoy this game…energy level and desire is in the air….plus cheaper food and brew helps🙃😎😁

  • Nathan Whitten

    Off subject, please excuse. Each day as I get on my favorite website, I am confronted with the same “Current Standings” day after day. The Rangers are still at 67-95, 36 games behind the Astros. It’s like a Groundhog Day nightmare. Is this a prediction for 2019? 2020?

    • JacobMcCandles

      37 next yr🙃😜

    • elkaba

      Get used to it. It’s auto-generated. Those standings stay frozen until opening day 2019. 🙁

    • dearmidol

      Sorry, Nathan. Just saw this. If I removed it, it would be a huge pain to add it back in, so I leave it up.

  • Tony Howell

    Baseball is a talking sport. Things the Rangers could do with out breaking the bank. Move Smyly and Chavez to the pen, sign Keuchel (20 mil) trade for Gray (8 mill). A rotating of Keuchel, Gray, Minor, Volquez and the rookie Mendez. Move Gallo to 3rd and sign Pollack (15 mill) and Hamilton (5 mill) . The cost ( and I am guessing on some) would be about 50 million, raising the payroll up to around 140 mill about the same as last year. Looks like a lot better team for the same money. Or you could forget Gray and sign Lynn for a little more. All I am saying is sighing the right players and staying around the 140-150 range the rangers should be able to push for a wild card

  • JacobMcCandles

    Quote of the day:

    Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or to keep one!

  • elkaba

    Tony was saying earlier today how Oakland and Tampa Bay manage to develop such good pitching prospects. I thought about it some, and I guess when you’re strapped for cash a few of the really top tier coaches is less expensive than top tier players. Maybe?

    • JacobMcCandles

      Guess I am missing something as I do not get your point. But will say on a diff level that Mgrs with budgets seem to perform better. JDs best decisions have been on the cheap players as was John Hart who built the Indians then came here and got an empty ckbook. Friedman who left TBay for LA did better in Tampa…seems like they had to do their homework more in the budgeted places

      • elkaba

        What I meant was it makes sense that limited resources are better spent on more scouting and coaching expertise. A few of the best coaches and scouts are cheaper than sure-thing players, those top of the line, expensive players and draft picks.

        • dearmidol

          That makes a lot of sense, especially about limited resources being spent in the right place.

        • JacobMcCandles

          OK……did you know that the Astros for example employ the smallest scouting dept in MLB…relying more on video

          • calntom

            Without any proof of actual cash laid out, I would guess that the Yanks have one of the largest scouting departments .