List of Possible 2B Free Agents and/or Trade Possibilities

Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of who’s still available (in alphabetical order):

Free Agents

1) Roberto Alomar – Age 36

Last Year:

CHW 253 AB, .253/.330/.340, 3 HR, 11 2B

NYM 263 AB, .262/.336/.357, 2 HR, 17 2B

Career Hitting:

.301/.372/.444, 14 HR, 35 2B

Career Splits

vs. LHP: .267/.335/.410

vs. RHP: .315/.387/.457

Career Fielding: (League Average)

FPerc. .984 (.981)

RFactor 4.75 (4.56)

Arbitration: No

Comments: Would be a nice signing, except for the small fact that he blasted Shapiro after he was traded in December 2001. I doubt he’s coming back unless his other options fall apart. His place in the Hall of Fame is fairly assured, but he’s definitely on the downside of his career, after two years of drastic decline after 2001.

2) Ron Belliard – Age 29

Last Year:

COL 447 AB, .277/.351/.409, 8 HR, 31 2B

Career Hitting:

.266/.343/.398, 10 HR, 36 2B

Career Splits:

vs. LHP: .345/.426/.584

vs. RHP: .254/.324/.350

Career Fielding:

FPerct. .978 (.982)

RFact. 4.88 (4.80)

Arbitration: No

Comments:

Looks to be a decent signing if he’s platooned..check out his splits vs. lefties. He’s a pretty good fielder as well. I’m leery of his numbers last year, as his numbers were Coors-ified. In 2002, he had a horrible season, with an OPS under .600. Again, he might be a decent half of a platoon, but no more than that.

3) Miguel Cairo

Last Year:

STL 261 AB, .245/.289/.375, 15 2B, 5 HR

Career Hitting:

.267/.317/.361, 4 HR, 22 2B

Career Splits:

vs. LHP: .306/.346/.423

vs. RHP: .257/.308/.341

Career Fielding:

FPerc. .982 (.980)

RFact. 4.62 (4.57)

Comments:

He doesn’t really fit what the Indians are looking for, as he’s basically a utility infielder now. He’ll probably end up on a contending team as the 5th or 6th infielder.

4) Tony Graffanino – Age 32

Last Year:

CHW .260/.331/.428, 7 HR, 15 2B

Career Hitting

.258/.330/.398, 9 HR, 21 2B

Career Splits

vs. LHP: .263/.348/.438

vs. RHP: .256/.316/.369

Career Fielding

FPerct. .975 (.981)

RFact. 4.00 (4.55)

Comments

Here’s my top choice of the available free agents. He mashes left-handers (a definite need on a team with a lot of left-handed power hitters, he can play three positions at least decently, and he should be fairly affordable. One catch…it would be nice to plug in a left-handed 2B from time to time with Graffanino. The White Sox had one of the best platoons in the league with Valentin and Graffanino, and the Indians should look into acquiring (or finding) a platoon partner for Graffanino.

5) Keith Lockhart – Age 39

Last Year:

SDG 95 AB, .242/.339/.411, 3 HR. 5 2B

Career Hitting:

.261/.319/.411, 7 HR, 19 2B

Career Splits:

vs. LHP: .220/.292/.346

vs. RHP: .265/.322/.389

Career Fielding:

FPerct. .981 (.982)

RFact. 3.77 (4.62)

Comments

Not an everyday 2B anymore, and has marginal defensive value. Could be a bench player, but nothing more.

6) Pokey Reese – Age 31

Last Year:

PIT 107 AB, .215/.271/.262, 1 HR, 2 2B

Career Hitting

.251/.310/.357, 9 HR, 26 2B

Career Splits:

vs. LHP: .241/.312/.353

vs. RHP: .254/.310/.358

Career Fielding:

FPerct. .984 (.982)

RFact. 5.16 (4.72)

Comments

Here’s a guy I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on for the right price. At worst, he could be a useful utility infielder, and if everything goes right, he returns to his 2002 levels and is a league-average second baseman. He’s always been a good fielder. If he can be had for $1M or less (and it’s very possible), he’s someone the Indians should go after.

7) Todd Walker – Age 31

Last Year:

BOS 587 AB, .283/.333/.428, 13 HR, 38 2B

Career Hitting:

.290/.346/.434, 13 HR, 39 2B

Career Splits:

vs LHP: .234/.282/.373

vs RHP: .301/.352/.448

Career Fielding

FPerct. .981 (.980)

RFact. 4.42 (4.71)

Comments

If the Indians had money to burn, a Walker/Graffanino platoon at 2B would be outstanding. But it’s not going to happen. With Fernando Vina getting $6M from the Tigers, you’d have to think Walker would get at least that much from somebody. So he’s on the periphery of the possibility spectrum. He’s definitely the best offensive solution at 2B in the free agent market, but I don’t think it’s wise sinking a 2-3 year contract into him, especially where the Indians are at.

8) Eric Young – Age 37

Last Year:

MIL 404 AB, .260/.344/.421, 15 HR, 18 2B

SF 71 AB, .197/.293/.225, 0 HR, 2 2B

Career Hitting:

.285/.360/.393, 8 HR, 31 2B

Career Splits

vs LHP: .296/.376/.432

vs RHP: .281/.354/.379

Career Fielding

FPerct. .977 (.982)

RFact. 4.83 (4.62)

Comments

Wouldn’t be a bad one-year stopgap. He should provide what Ricky Gutierrez would have provided had he stayed healthy. I seriously doubt he’ll get any multi-year offers, and depending on what happens with Danys Baez, should be with the Indians’ price range.

Trade Possibilities

1) Orlando Hudson – Age 26

Last Year:

TOR 474 AB, .268/.328/.395, 9 HR, 21 2B

Career Hitting:

.270/.326/.408, 11 HR, 26 2B

Career Splits:

vs LHP: .168/.210/.221

vs RHP: .300/.357/.462

Career Fielding:

FPerct. .985 (.981)

RFact. 5.32 (4.93)

Comments

The Jays are looking for young pitching, and that’s what they’d want for Hudson. Shapiro isn’t going to give up Cliff Lee or Jason Davis, and with Traber and Tallet both done for 2004 with Tommy John surgery, the “excess” (although I hate to use this word with pitching) is all but gone. It’s doubtful anything will get done now.

2) Placido Polanco – Age 28

Last Year:

PHI 492 AB, .289/.352/.447, 14 HR, 30 2B

Career Hitting

.294/.337/.402, 8 HR, 30 2B

Career Splits

vs LHP .325/.370/.398

vs RHP .297/.338/.407

Career Fieding

FPerct. .987 (.982)

RFact. 4.30 (4.78)

Comments

As far as I know, there hasn’t been any mention of the Indians and Polanco, but it’s a possibility. The Phillies have a couple of 2B prospects close to the majors, and Polanco is arbitration-eligible, so there’s a chance he’ll be either traded or non-tendered. Polanco had a career year in 2003, so there would be a lot of interest from other teams if he’d be made available.

3) Junior Spivey – Age 30

Last Year:

ARI 365 AB, .255/.326/.433, 13 HR, 22 2B

Career Hitting

.279/.363/.453, 17 HR, 31 2B

Career Splits

vs LHP .311/.412/.572

vs RHP .262/.336/.392

Career Fielding:

FPerct. .980 (.982)

RFact. 4.18 (4.99)

Comments

By far the most realistic of the three trade possibilities listed here. Alex Escobar and Ryan Ludwick were mentioned as candidates in a possible trade, but Shapiro seems reluctant to part with either of them. If something can be worked out, Spivey is a pretty nice gamble. He could return to his 2002 level and have and OBP approaching .400, or at worst he’ll be a decent one-year fix, and he can be non-tendered next year. Milwaukee has a cheaper option at 2B, has a definite need for a corner outfielder with power, and the Indians have outfielders to burn. It seems like a nice solution, but will Shapiro give up a possible 30+ HR outfielder for a possible one-year fix?

After December 20th, I’ll cover the 2B non-tenders.

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