August 4, 2021

Mr. Niche Guy — The best free-agent fits for very specific needs (ESPN)


We’re past Thanksgiving now, or at least the main event, though lots of you surely have fridges full of leftovers to dispatch. Football takes center stage during this particular holiday, which pains me to admit, but what can you do? It’s not like baseball is riding a tidal wave of happy PR at the moment.

In our sport, there has been some movement on the free-agent market. The White Sox made a splash last week by signing the best available catcher in Yasmani Grandal. The Braves jumped into the leftover backstop market to nab Travis d’Arnaud to assume co-catching duties with Tyler Flowers, a spot opened up by Brian McCann‘s retirement. The Braves also grabbed the top available reliever in all-purpose lefty Will Smith.

Not bad, considering the glacial pace of recent hot stove seasons. Those three players are the best free agents to change teams. Other solid veterans have re-upped with their old teams, a group that includes Flowers, Nick Markakis, Chris Martin and Darren O’Day — all with the proactive Braves — along with Jose Abreu (White Sox) and Adam Wainwright (Cardinals). Jake Odorizzi accepted the qualifying offer proffered by the Twins, and J.D. Martinez declined to…

Read “Mr. Niche Guy — The best free-agent fits for very specific needs” at ESPN