Perhaps the biggest name on the free-agent market, George Springer is looking for a big dollar deal. Springer spent his first seven years with the Houston Astros, however, the star outfielder reportedly does not want to return. The 31-year-old is a three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and World Series MVP. He has a regular-season career slash line of .270/.361/.491 and his 19 career postseason home runs are tied for the fourth-most all-time. Whoever wins the Springer sweepstakes will be getting an impact player, with a clutch gene like few in the game. The veteran fits into a lot of rosters across the league, so here are some potential landing spots for Springer.
New York Mets
Giving that the New York Mets just got a new billionaire owner, they could be in on all the biggest free agents. Centerfield is also one of the holes on an otherwise talented (position player) roster. Brandon Nimmo paced the team in appearances in center, but he could easily slide into left field. Dominic Smith could then split time with Nimmo in left. Smith wasn’t much of a defensive left fielder, so the addition of Springer would improve the defense as well as the offense. The Mets are a landing spot for Springer that believes they are just a piece or two away from a postseason spot. Springer could help them get over the hill, and do damage when they get there.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals made to the postseason once again, but on the strength of the pitching staff. Their offense left a lot to be desired. They scored the second-fewest runs in the NL with 240. They hit the fewest home runs in the NL with 51. The outfield was the biggest culprit for their lack of punch on offense. Their starting outfield Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Dexter Fowler combined to hit 15 homers in 2020, Springer hit 14. Springer is arguably a perfect fit for this Cardinals team that has found its way into the postseason but hasn’t got over the hump.
The 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks were a pleasant surprise. They finished second in the NL West with an 85-77 record, just missing the postseason. The 2020 Diamondbacks took a major step backward, finishing last in the NL West, with a 25-35 record. There were a lot of holes on this team, but power was among the top of the list. They finished with the second-fewest homers in the league with 58. Kole Calhoun led the team with 16, but outside of him, nobody had more than seven. Fortunately for all involved, the $68.5 million contract outfielder Yasmany Tomas signed in 2014 is coming off the books and leaving some money to be spent. The Diamondbacks may choose to spend their money elsewhere, but Springer would be a good fit for a team that lacks home run punch.
There are some teams that seem to be dead-set against spending big money on free agents. However, the following teams would be good landing spots for Springer.
By Colorado Rockies standards, their offense struggled in 2020. They finished eighth in the NL with 275 runs scored and 11th in home runs with 63. David Dahl was the Rockies center fielder at the start of the season, but his season ended after 24 games due to injury. The oft-injured outfielder hit .302 in 100 games in 2019 but hit .183 in 24 games in 2020. Dahl has shown some solid potential but struggles to stay on the field. Signing Springer would add to the offense and give the Rockies an extra center fielder in the event of another Dahl injury.
An outfield consisting of Raimel Tapia/David Dahl, Springer, Charlie Blackmon would give the team a big boost offensively. Nolan Arenado is mad at the Rockies front office due to their lack of signing big free agents to improve the team, but Springer could improve the team in so many ways.
The Cleveland Indians are currently shopping superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor because they don’t want to pay him top dollar, so the Indians probably wouldn’t grab Springer on the market. However, the veteran outfielder would be a great fit. The Indians have plenty of options in the outfield, but few have track records or big power like Springer does. As a team, Cleveland finished 13th in the AL in runs with 248. They finished last in the AL with 59 home runs. The Indians entire outfield combined for 11 home runs, so Springer out-homered their entire outfield. Cleveland needs outfield help in a big way, but the money will be an issue. Springer is undeniably a great fit for an offensively challenged Indians team.
Regardless of which of the landing spots Springer ends up in this offseason, he will be an impact player. He has a great track record in the regular season and a postseason track record like few in the history of the game. He can be the piece that puts a team over whatever hump they are facing.
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