Jurickson Profar Tops List Of Free Agent Hitters Still Available

January 2, 2023


It’s the time of the year when baseball people really start gearing up for spring training.

The general manager and winter meetings are over, and so are the holidays. Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training in six weeks in Arizona and Florida.

While most of the top free agents have been signed – assuming shortstop Carlos Correa and the New York Mets eventually finalize their contract agreement – there are still some hitters remaining on the open market who can help teams.

Here are five still available:

JURICKSON PROFAR

It is rather surprising the 29-year-old infielder/outfielder is still unsigned after having a 3.1 bWAR season for the San Diego Padres in 2022. Profar hit .243/.331/.391 with 15 home runs.

The switch-hitter Profar also provides plenty of versatility and durability after years of injury problems. He played in a career-high 152 games last season and while he no longer sees action at shortstop, he can play the other three infield positions and all three outfield positions.

ANDREW McCUTCHEN

At 36, McCutchen is no longer the player who was the National League MVP in 2013 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and got selected to five All-Star Games from 2011-15. However, the outfielder/designated hitter is still a relatively productive player.

McCutchen hit .237/.316/.382 last season with 17 home runs in 134 games for the Milwaukee Brewers while playing on a one-year, $8.5-million contract. He started 82 games at DH but also was in the lineup for 49 games in left field or right field, finishing with four defensive runs saved.

YULI GURRIEL

Gurriel effectively lost his starting first baseman’s job with the Houston Astros when they signed free agent Jose Abreu to a three-year, $58.5-million contract as a free agent in November.

While Gurriel bats right-handed like Abreu, the Astros would like to bring the popular veteran back in a reserve role. The 38-year-old will likely have a hard time landing a starting job with any team after hitting .242/.288/.360 with eight home runs in 146 games last year.

However, Gurriel did go 17 for 49 (.347) in the postseason in helping the Astros win the World Series.

DAVID PERALTA

The word that always comes up in associating with the 35-year-old outfielder is “professional.” He is a professional hitter and a positive influence in the clubhouse.

Peralta had a solid year at the plate with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, producing a .251/.316/.415 slash line with 12 home runs. Even at an advanced age, Peralta still plays a capable left field as his two defensive runs saved in 2022 is an indication.

A.J. POLLOCK

The 35-year-old outfielder had a down year for the Chicago White Sox in 2022 after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade during the truncated spring training. He hit just .245/.292/.389 with 14 homers in 138 games.

Pollock also finished with minus-8 defensive runs saved. Nevertheless, he has a Gold Glove and an All-Star Game appearance on his resume and should land somewhere.



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