3 Potentially Overvalued Free Agents for the Mariners to Avoid This Offseason

Not all the players are worth the hype nor the money. Here are a few names that might be more bark than bite that the Mariners should avoid in free agency.

Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres
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Free Agents Mariners should be wary of... #3: Matt Chapman

To demonstrate how thin this year's position player free agent market is, one of the most sought-after pieces is currently Matt Chapman, a player who slashed .240/.330/.424 over 581 plate appearances for an OPS+ of 108. He did have some great moments and to be fair, his first-half OPS of .807 was quite good.

Additionally, he seems to have immense offensive upside as one of the hardest hitters in baseball. He ranked in the top 2% of qualified hitters for average exit velocity (93.4 mph), barrel rate (17.1%), and hard-hit rate (56.4%). He is also one of the better defenders in the hot corner, posting four outs above average and 12 defensive runs saved.

However, a second-half OPS of .663 over 212 plate appearances is enough to question whether he's worth the six-year, $150 million contract MLBTradeRumors is projecting he'll receive. Despite hitting the ball mighty hard, he failed to find the correct launch angle often enough to complement his raw power. Sweet spot rate calculates how often a ball is hit at an optimal launch angle and Chapman's was just 32.4%, placing him in the 28th percentile. This, combined with a strikeout rate of 28.4% combined to bring his xBA down to .230, worse than 84% of the league.

Chapman is a good player but is he worth a $25 million AAV contract? Is he on par with names like Marcus Semien (122 OPS+, 7.4 rWAR), Bryce Harper (146 OPS+, 3.7 rWAR), or Fernando Tatis Jr. (113 OPS+, 5.5 rWAR), who will all be earning roughly the same amount over their current contracts? Probably not. Be cautious, Mariners.