Top Available MLB Free Agents: Position Players

MLB Free Agents

Top Available MLB Free Agent Position Players

With Spring Training ready to start there are still some interesting MLB free agents looking for work. Unlike last year where two impact players did not sign until three months into the season this year all of the biggest fishes have already signed their contracts. Last year this was due to high salary contract demands. This year more teams want to get younger and keep their payroll down.

We have been seeing this happen more every year with MLB Free agents. Teams are trying to get younger and less expensive players. In some cases, teams are tanking to get better draft picks to speed up their rebuild. This may seem like a good idea and certainly is a decision up to the organization. But is it really fair to the MLB free agents looking for work that lesser players now have?

A couple of the teams around the Major Leagues have very poor rosters destined to lose close to 100 games or more. Is this really good for the competitive balance of the league?


Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig has an immense amount of talent. It is obvious to everyone who watches him play. But what is holding him back is the baggage he carries. After signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 2012, the Cuban born Puig carried high expectations. It is safe to say he has not lived up to his billing.

There have been flashes of brilliance but not enough to forget the other issues Puig brings to the table. The Dodgers unloaded Puig before the 2019 season to the Cincinnati Reds who then shipped him to their interstate rivals the Cleveland Indians four months later. Ironically the night he was traded Puig was involved in an ugly on the field brawl.

For his career, Puig has a .277 batting average with a .348 OBP. Puig has hit 132 HR with 415 RBI and 441 runs scored. Puig has a cannon for an arm as indicated by his 57 assists. Puig’s 2019 salary was 9.7 million dollars and it seems unlikely he will make that in 2020.


The options for true free agent centerfielders were slim with Kevin Pillar and Jarrod Dyson. Both players are still on the market.

Pillar made just below six million dollars last season and is coming off the best offensive year of his career. He hit 21 HR and drove in 89 runs while stealing 14 bases. If there is a major knock on his offensive game it’s his low career OBP of .296. The Pittsburgh Pirates were rumored to have interest in Pillar.

Dyson is 35 and is not much of a hitter and will cost a team half of what Pillar could make. Despite his age, Dyson still covers a lot of ground in the outfield. Despite his low career batting average of .247 his OBP is .72 points higher at .319. Dyson’s 30 stolen bases last season shows he can be a force when he does get on base.

Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin had a resurgence with the New York Yankees in 2019. The Yankees purchased Maybin from the Cleveland Indians in April and he proved to be one of the best acquisitions the Bronx Bombers made in 2019. Maybin stabilized the outfield as the Yankees were hit with injury after injury. In 239 at-bats Maybin showed the five-tool talent he has that made him the 10th overall pick in 2005 draft.

Maybin’s slash line of .285/.364/.494 includes 11 HR and 32 RBI with 48 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Maybin will be 33 in April and showed he can contribute in the right situation.

Domingo Santana

Domingo Santana was surprisingly let go by the Seattle Mariners at the end of the season. In 2017 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers Santana hit 30 HR and had a slash line of .278/.371/.505. Santana was just 24 years old and big things were expected for him. Suddenly the Brewers traded for Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain leaving Santana with no position.

In 2018 Santana was a reserve outfielder and as he struggled to find at-bats his production fell off. After the season Santana was traded to the Mariners where he rebounded. Santana hit 21 HR and drove in 69 runs on a bad Mariners team.

If there is one problem with his game it’s the alarming number of strikeouts he has. In 1,610 career at-bats, Santana has whiffed 587 times. That is more than once per every three at-bats. When you add in how badly Santana played defense the Mariners decided he was not worth it to keep around. Still, at just 27 years old Santana is definitely worth a look. He is heavily rumored to be signing with the Indians.

The Keystone

Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist missed most of the 2019 season tending to a family matter. The drop off in his offensive production is directly related to that. His last full season was in 2018 where he had a slash line of .305/.378/.440. Zobrist hit nine HR and drove in 58 runs with the Chicago Cubs but a big part of his game is getting on base. Zobrist proved he could still do that in 2019 despite limited action.

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier at age 32 is still a productive player. Since becoming a full-time player Dozier has hit at least 18 HR a season. Dozier will never reach the heights of the 2016-17 seasons he had with the Minnesota Twins. With a career slash line of .245/.326/.442 and 192 HR in eight seasons, it is surprising that Dozier is still looking for work.

The Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks had an interest in Dozier before moving on to other players. Dozier made nine million dollars in 2019 and it is unlikely he will make that much in 2020.

Jason Kipnis

Jason Kipnis is an interesting case. Kipnis never was a great player but has had some productive seasons. His career slash line is .261/.333/.417. The Indians have been shedding payroll and bought out Kipnis’ contract at the end of 2019. Kipnis’ salary was over 12 million dollars in 2019.

The power numbers are still there but the batting average is dropping. Kipnis is in the same boat as Dozier as players who are going to have to make much less in 2020. The Cubs have shown interest in Kipnis.

Brock Holt

Brock Holt is the quintessential utility player. Over eight major league seasons, Holt has seen playing time at every position except for catcher. Despite playing his whole career as a member of the Boston Red Sox Holt is really more of a National League player.

He can hold his own offensively with a career slash line of .271/.340/.374. However, Holt’s offensive game does not translate very well if he was to get over 500 at-bats a season. It is surprising that he is still available. Holt made 3.75 million dollars last season.

Devon Travis

If you are looking for a player with lots of potential but with a huge injury history then Devon Travis is your guy. Once considered the second basemen of the future for the Toronto Blue Jays Travis is now on the market.

After missing the entire 2019 season Travis who turns 29 this month will have to prove he can still play and stay healthy. Signing Travis to a minor league contract could be a wise low risk high reward move for any organization.

Addison Russell

At 26 years old Addison Russell has already had an interesting career. At one time Russell was the third-rated prospect in all of baseball. He was the centerpiece of a 2014 trade when he was on the Oakland Athletics. The Cubs traded pitcher Jess Samardzija for Russell. The Cubs were looking to break their World Series drought and Russell was to be a key piece.

In 2016 Russell had a great season hitting 21 HR and driving in 95 runs. That production carried over to the postseason where Russell hit three HR and drove in 13 runs as the Cubs finally won it all. Then the wheels fell off for Russell. In 2017 he was injured and when healthy in 2018 he failed to get back to the heights of the 2016 season.

Russell also was suspended at the end of the season by MLB for abuse allegations made by his ex-wife. After missing the first 29 games of the season Russell returned to the Cubs in May and he had it hard. Not only was his play on the field not up to par but the fan reaction was harsh after the suspension.

Any team who signs Russell will ultimately have to deal with any lingering fan reactions in regards to the abuse against his ex-wife. Baseball is a business and if Russell can still play he will get another chance in the majors.

Former HR Champ

Mark Trumbo

Mark Trumbo had a career year in 2016 slugging 47 HR which led the majors. His season earned him the Comeback Player of the Year Award and a new three-year contract from the Baltimore Orioles. The next season saw his HR total cut in half. In 2018 the injuries started to set in as Trumbo only played in 90 games. In 2019 injuries limited Trumbo to 12 games.

At 34 years old it is hard to tell if there is any juice left in Trumbo’s body. Additionally, he is nothing more than a DH at this point in his career. Trumbo’s salary will have to be cut drastically from the 12.5 million he made last year. Trumbo still wants to play but knows the end is near.


The majority of the MLB free agents on this list might have to accept a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. That is a hard pill to swallow for any player. But it might be the only way they find their way on a major league roster in 2020.

Anything can happen in Spring Training or during the course of a season. Players get injured or are not producing which will lead to these players getting a shot. However, all of the above players are major leaguers so is playing at Triple-A out of the question? Such is the life of MLB free agents looking for their next job.