Free agency is officially underway, and odds are good you’re going to spend the next few weeks thinking about who your team should sign, or not sign, depending on the faith you have in your team’s front office. To help with those endeavors, we’ve created a couple of free agent leaderboards for your perusal.
As you know by now, this isn’t a particularly great free agent crop. Only three of the 75 pitchers on the list posted at least +3 WAR last season, and only seven of the 78 hitters got over +2.5 WAR. This is a free agent class of role players and depth pieces, not franchise-altering stars.
But role players are necessary too, and there are some useful players on the market. With these leaderboards, you can sort and filter to your heart’s content, looking for specific skills or traits that might fit your team’s needs.
For instance, does your team need a corner outfielder who can hit left-handed pitching? Well, click a few options, pick “vs L” from the splits drop-down, and all of the sudden, you have this, and can see that Franklin Gutierrez put up a 151 wRC+ against lefties in 329 PAs over the last three years. You shouldn’t expect that to be his production level going forward of course, but a guy like Gutierrez has some value to a team as a part-time player, and these leaderboards will help you find guys like him.
Or maybe you’re looking for a power arm for your bullpen. Everyone knows Arodlis Chapman is the hardest thrower on the market, but do you know who had the second highest average fastball velocity in this class in 2016? Well, now you can: Neftali Feliz, followed closely by Daniel Hudson. Goes to show you need a bit more than a 96 mph fastball to be a good reliever, I guess.
Anyway, we hope you find these tools useful. Because the player lists were created manually, we may have missed a few guys here and there, so let us know if you find any free agents not on the list, and we’ll get them added.
And stay tuned the next few days, because we’re going to be rolling out a list of the Top 50 free agents in this class, as well as providing the results of the contract crowdsourcing project to estimate what players may sign for this winter. Even in a weak class, there are still some bargains to be found.