Names like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg will garner the most attention in MLB free agency, but these five players could fly under the radar and offer bargains this winter.
1. Corey Dickerson
A crowded outfield market and an injury-plagued 2019 campaign are likely to drive the price down on Corey Dickerson. He earned his first All-Star selection in 2017, when he hit .282, with 27 home runs and 62 RBIs, for the Rays. The following season Dickerson posted a 3.8 WAR and won his first Gold Glove. A combination of injuries derailed his 2019 season, but he still slashed .304/.341/.565 in the 78 games he appeared in.
COREY DICKERSON JUST DID THAT!
Phillies take back the lead in the 8th! pic.twitter.com/UqUJpKJv70
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) August 27, 2019
2. Steve Cishek
He is not the flashiest reliever in the game, but Steve Cishek is as reliable as they get and would be a welcome addition to any bullpen. Cishek produced a 2.55 ERA and a 1.117 WHIP in his last two years for the Cubs. With Will Smith and Will Harris on the market, Cishek could get lost in the shuffle.
3. Brett Anderson
The A’s took a chance on Brett Anderson off a poor 2017 campaign—when he went 4-4 with a 6.34 ERA—and their gamble paid off. He was a decent 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 2018, then went 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA last year, his best season since he went 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA for the Dodgers in 2015. A contract similar to the one-year, $1.5 million pact he signed last winter would appear to be a good deal for any club that needs to improve its rotation.
4. Scooter Gennett
The Reds surprisingly released Scooter Gennett midway through an injury-riddled campaign, despite his slash line of .298/.344/.493, with 50 homers and 194 RBIs during 2 1/2 seasons in Cincinnati. He didn’t bounce back strongly in San Francisco (.234/.254/.391), so he might be looking for a one-year “bridge deal” to try and score a multi-year contract down the road. If he can rediscover the form that made him a quality starter for the Reds, he could prove to be a bargain pickup.
5. Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez settled on a one-year, $2 million pact with the Brewers in late April, after he struggled to find employment during the offseason. Injuries allowed him to pitch just 87 1/3 innings, but his 3.50 ERA in that span was respectable. Teams looking to fill the back end of their rotation could do worse than this veteran lefty.