There’ve been a bunch of huge signings in MLB free agency this year.
No, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado’s destinations have yet to be confirmed. But the likes of A.J. Pollock, Nelson Cruz, Patrick Corbin, and many others have jumped ship to different teams.
But enough about the big names.
Hare the biggest bargain signings that have gone under the radar…
Avisail Garcia – Tampa Bay Rays (1-year, $3.5M)
In 2017, Garcia played in 136 games with the White Sox, finishing the season with a slash line of .330/.380//506 (OPS+138).
He was named an All-Star that year, and dropped off last season, playing in 93 games.
Garcia only batted .236/.281/.438, with an OPS+ four points below the league average.
Garcia never hit a full stride, and his numbers plummeted. But at age 27, he’s still in his prime and has the potential to go off with the Rays and look for a nice payday around this time next year.
Wilmer Flores – Arizona Diamondbacks (1-year, $4.25M)
Flores is best known as the guy who cried on the diamond, thinking he had been traded back in 2015.
But Wilmer has progressed to be a pretty decent ballplayer. From 2016-2018, Flores has an overall batting line of .268/.315/.456.
Look for the former Met to improve those numbers even more away from Citi Field, at a more hitter-friendly park like Chase Field in Phoenix.
Michael Brantley – Houston Astros (2-years, $32M)
Possibly the most underrated signing this offseason. Do people not remember this dude finished 3rd in AL MVP voting in 2014?
Brantley was named an All-Star for the third time in his career in 2018. He fell under the radar in Cleveland due to injuries, along with the rise of both Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
But, this is no Grady Sizemore story. Brantley is still really good at age 31.
Last year, he played in 143 games and hit .309/.364./.468.
He’s a perfect fit to put between a Springer and Altuve on a lineup cards, and lengthens out an already deep offense.
Brantley’s a nice upgrade over Tony Kemp and Jake Marisnick.
Wilson Ramos – New York Mets (2-years, $19M)
Ramos = not great defensively.
But at the plate, one of the better catchers over the last few years.
Ramos has hit a collective .298/.343/.483 from 2016-2018.
The right-handed batter will help out the Mets, who ranked 23rd offensively last season.
Justin Bour – Los Angeles Angels (1-year, $2.5M)
Smart for the Angels to get a lefty to balance out a mostly top-heavy right handed batting order (Trout, Upton, Pujols, Simmons, Cozart, Lucroy).
Bour, Ohtani, and Calhoun are the only notable lefties, and Bour will bring nice symmetry in the lineup around the five-spot.
Bour struggled after being traded to Philly around the deadline last year, but has pop and draws walks.
Bour has played in more than 500 games, and holds a career slash line of .260/.344/.466 with an OPS+ of 123.
Gotta wonder if Pujols will start less games in 2019.