March 5, 2013
Painting the Black
The Flawed Free Agents Who Are Left
Opening Day 2013 is fewer than four weeks away. That means the time to talk about free agents is behind us. Even when the spotlight does turn to those remaining unemployed players it tends to hover on Kyle Lohse and Jose Valverde. Yet there are numerous other notable players still available. Let's take a look at a few of their situations.
Ah, to be young again. Abreu's gaudy walk rates in conjunction with his solid power production during his prime made him an under-appreciated offensive force. The power is gone now, however, and the walks serve as a sad reminder of the past. Relying upon walks to buoy your offensive value is tough when pitchers have no reason to fear throwing strikes. Abreu is past the fear portion of his career, and so his offensive potential appears limited.
Worsening matters for Abreu is his forced removal from the Angels last season. To his credit he did go to the minors later in the year with the Dodgers, but there should be concern about his willingness to accept a lesser role. It's a blemish he can't afford given his status as a designated hitter who can't hit.
Lee is in the awkward position of not hitting well enough to merit a starting job and not fielding and running well enough to make sense as a bench player. Considering Lee turned down a trade to the Dodgers in order to remain near his ranch last season, it's possible the geographical restrictions are still in play. It may not matter since he only m