2014 MLB Free Agency: Top 5 Available Outfielders
Top Five Outfielders
Once the World Series is over, one of the most interesting periods in MLB’s offseason will begin: the free-agency market.
There’s always a high demand for free-agents after each season and this time shouldn’t be different as there are several studs in different positions. Each year teams look to fill the voids in their lineups, whether they are on offense or defense, with players who are available on the market and that could end up being stopgaps for prospects or long-term solutions.
This year. there are several outfielders who could end up being difference makers for their respective teams once they sign their new deals. Some teams are expected to make a big splash this winter looking for help in the outfield and the players that are mentioned in this article are definitively going to be the most sought after during this year’s MLB free-agency period.
Some players mentioned in this slideshow have defensive value thanks to their glove and others have their calling card in their offense, whether it’s hitting for average or power. Whatever is the reason they are being targeted, these five players are sure to get a huge payday once they stamp their signature in their new contracts as they figure to arrive as the perfect fit to fill a need in some cases or just to give a franchise the necessary boost to improve after a bad season.
Without further ado, join me through this slideshow so we can check the top five outfielders that will be available in the free-agency market this offseason.
5. Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz is a solid hitter with an adequate defense in right field although the fact that he was involved in the PED reports earlier this season is definitively hurting his stock. Nevertheless, he should be able to get a decent multi-year deal a bit higher than the one Melky Cabrera got with the Toronto Blue Jays last year.
4. Coco Crisp
It’s seems strange that the Oakland Athletics decided to let Coco Crisp go as he had a $7 million team option. Based on his production this year, he would have been a bargain as he’s tested in the playoff scenario and has a proven track record. He doesn’t have much power but his defense and good batting average more than makes up for it.
3. Curtis Granderson
A talented veteran who’s probably looking at his last multi-year deal this offseason, Curtis Granderson’s calling card is his bat and the raw power that comes with it. He saw limited time this action due to an injury but he was more than serviceable for the New York Yankees when he was healthy. Rebuilding teams like the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox could be after him as he can provide power and veteran leadership
2. Shin-Soo Choo
To say that Shin-Soo Choo could top the $100 million mark this offseason in terms of salary wouldn’t be a reach seeing as he’s a Scott Boras client. We all know Boras is able to squeeze the last penny out of the teams he’s negotiating with. Choo had a very solid year with the Cincinnati Reds as their leadoff man and he’s an OBP machine who can provide solid defense at right field, his natural position.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
It’s weird to find a player with the qualities Jacoby Ellsbury has. He can provide speed on the bases, power, solid defense and a nice hitting average. He’s currently in the World Series with the Boston Red Sox so the market will be open for him once the Fall Classic is over, but there’s little doubt that he’s going to be one of the most sought after players this offseason. Oh, and he’s also a Scott Boras client so he could be in line for a massive payday.