TDG Roundtable: Free Agent Shortstops
Every week on Fridays, our writers here at The Dynasty Guru will be bringing you some quick hit musings about a particular topic so you, the reader, can get a blast of info from a bunch of different writers with some passionate opinions. Many elite shortstops will be free agents once the season is over. Which one would our staff like to sign long-term?
Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies
There are two guys that stand out in the free agent market this year. I would love either of these guys to sign with my Texas Rangers. I doubt that happens because the Rangers are cheap. Also, this is off subject, but Jon Daniels is terrible at his job. I just had to say that once again.
Not only would I want these free agents on my favorite MLB team, but I would also love to have them in any of my fantasy leagues. The first is Corey Seager. Seager is a monster when he is healthy. The problem is he struggles to stay healthy. If health hadn’t kept Seager out of so much baseball in the past three seasons then this would be a no brainer, but he has.
As the heading suggests, Trevor Story has roots in the metroplex and could be a real potential sign for the Rangers. I want Trevor Story on my fantasy team regardless of where he ends up signing in the off-season. I want him in dynasty and redrafts everywhere. Let me just join in adding another cheesy Story cliche like ESPN and other content producers have been posting for years. Trevor Story has many “stories” to be written. I want to be a part of those.
Javier Báez, SS, Chicago Cubs (for now)
Which free agent SS do I want on my dynasty team? Well, obviously I’d take Carlos Correa over Greg Garcia based on talent alone, but I’m going to raise the stakes. Looking at the recently published TDG Midseason Top 500 Dynasty Rankings I’ll consider the ranking of the player as well, in essence how difficult it would be to add the player to my team.
In a 12-team league Freddie Galvis, Jose Iglesias, Andrelton Simmons and Miguel Rojas might be freely available on waivers. Given the chance to add a star player, I’m going to think a bit bigger. Marcus Semien, Brandon Crawford and Chris Taylor are having very good seasons, but I’d like to add someone younger. Looks like Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Javier Báez are the crown jewels of this class. All under 30, big name stars, and all ranked within the top 100 Dynasty Players. The Fantastic Four!
I’d have to go with Javier Báez here. After all, he is currently and usually healthy throughout his career, and has big time power mixed with just enough speed. He’s already at 21 home runs on the year, 10 steals and if given 150 games, a pace of 106 RBI & 80 runs scored. Yes, I know full well he’s only hitting .238, and he strikes out a ton. Sometimes overlooked is the fact that strikeouts are not a scoring category in most rotisserie leagues. Now consider his strikeout rate is very elevated this year at 36.6%, resulting in his .238 batting average, but this is quite a bit higher than his career norms. Through his mid-twenties, Báez managed strikeout rates comfortably below 30%, which resulted in batting averages around the .280 mark over three years. I’m just going to throw the idea out there, maybe he made more contact when Joe Madden was managing the team, than when David Ross took over. Or, maybe his best days are behind him, but he still piles up plate appearances. He’s well on pace for 150 games played this year, something Corey Seager and Carlos Correa have only done once each, and that was six years ago.
Trevor Story is the one that makes the decision difficult. Story has been very productive, both with power and speed, and very reliable to be healthy as well. One of the deciding factors for me, and I know not everyone agrees, but I see Story’s batting average being much closer to Báez’s if (and maybe when) he leaves Coors Field. He’s a career .274 career hitter, and down to .249 this season only .011 points ahead of Báez. If he leaves Coors, I’m not ready to wager he will maintain his recent levels of success. And what would the wager be? Well, whatever it would take to acquire him, as the second highest ranked free agent SS on the Midseason Rankings. Báez on the other hand is by far the lowest of the fantastic four I really considered.