The dust had barely settled on the World Series when the free agency machine roared into life. And with all eyes around the league on the big-name starsit seemed as if those guys were all that was available. The length of time that it took to get deals done and the eventual dollar amounts involved dazzled everyone into believing that If you missed out on Aaron Judge or Justin Verlander you had simply missed the boat.
Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts have moved out to the west coast in colossal contract dealsand Jacob deGrom donned his stetson for a huge move to Dallas, but there are still some gems to be had on the market, if you are willing to put in the work to dig for them.
This list was going to lead off with Michael Brantley, but the Astros finally saw sense and agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with him yesterday.. The fact that they released him at allor that nobody else immediately swooped in on Brantley, shows that There are undervalued players all over the league, and not every team has the vision to see it.
Here is a look at five of the best players around the league who are still ripe for the plucking.
Jean Segura 2B
After 11 seasons in the show, Jean Segura finally made it to the playoffs when the Phillies went on their magical run to the World Series. His hitting was clutch through the post season and is a solid .285 hitter. His limitation is injury, but when he is healthy, he is a productive addition to any infield. At 32 years old, he still has some top-level baseball left in him, and it would be worth a short contract to many teams to squeeze it out of him.
Jurickson Profar OF
Profar is perhaps the best outfielder left on the market, and was a key member of the San Diego Padres’ run at the National League pennant. He hit 15 home runs and had a .243 average with a .722 OPS. He comes ready made as a good old-fashioned utility player, having done everything in the majors except pitch and catch. Just the right side of 30, he should be worth double the money at almost any price.
Michael Conforto OF
Another outfielder who falls into a similar category, Conforto is a huge potential in the outfield. He has All-Star capability and while he has missed the entire 2022 season as he recovered from shoulder surgery, it should be worth a one-year deal to find out if he still has the stuff to play at the top level.
Nathan Eovaldi SP
Another injury question mark to add to the list, but Eovaldi is one of the best starting pitchers in the league when he is healthy. He averaged 3.79 ERA with the Red Sox and even when he suffered with shoulder and elbow issues, you could count on him for over 100 innings per year. For a starter with playoff experience, that in itself should be enticing to any number of rotations around baseball.
Will Smith RP
When the Braves traded Smith to Houston in August, it was shocking. Smith recorded a 0.00 ERA over 11 innings during the Braves World Series run just ten months ago and was a key element of their win. The Astros had no real need of Smith and did not use him in the World Series at all. despite the fact that he posted a 3.27 ERA in 22 innings with Houston. He is one of the best late relievers in the game, especially from the left side, and the fact that nobody is on him yet is mind-boggling.