2019 MLB SS Free Agent Class and How it Impacts the Mariners
We continue our look at the upcoming free-agent class and its impact on the Seattle Mariners with a look at the shortstop position. Well, this won’t take too long.
The Mariners have their shortstop in place. J.P. Crawford will be the Opening Day shortstop if healthy. It really is quite simple. Now, Crawford has been struggling at the plate recently. His slash line is down to .227/.316/374. No that isn’t good, but it doesn’t really matter.
Crawford is still an above-average defender, will be just 25-years-old in 2020, and has 4-years of club control remaining. The Mariners, who are still at least 2 off-season’s away from seriously competing, have no reason to give up on Crawford at this juncture. And when you look at the options in free agency, there may not be an upgrade available at all.
The 2019-2020 shortstop free-agent class is dreadful, to say the least. Didi Gregorius is the best player available and while he is better than Crawford right now, he is also going to command $15 million or more per year.
Texas Ranger shortstop and pain in the side of Seattle, Elvis Andrus could become a free agent if he chooses to opt-out of the final 3-years, $43 million of his last contract. Andrus could go either way with this one. The 31-year-old is a solid player, but may not be any better than Crawford right now, so what would be the point?
After those two options, you are looking guys like Jose Iglesias, Jordy Mercer, and Adeiny Hechavarria. Let’s not waste our time here. The truth is that if you have a young shortstop with significant trade value, this might be the off-season to trade him.
If Corey Seager or Francisco Lindor become available, that is a conversation worth having. But with our scope of inquiry focused on free agency, there isn’t a player worth signing to move Crawford off the position.