Quite a few teams are still looking for a big name, an outfielder or a power hitter to come their way through free agency. Contenders like the Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and World Series champions Kansas City Royals are counting on landing (or holding on to) one of the top remaining free agents so they feel good about their offseason and their prospects in 2016.
Right now it seems like a waiting game, with plenty of outfielders still up for grabs: Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler on top of that list, but there are also Austin Jackson and Denard Span to look at. They’re going to have to end up somewhere.
The Baltimore Orioles aren’t necessarily looking for an outfielder, but they have engaged Cespedes in talks. The main issue is finding a power hitter. Be it Chris Davis, as they try and see if he’s interested in the offer they made him (which they won’t move from, at least from what we’re seeing right now) or someone else who can try and produce that kind of power, or at least something close to it.
The same thing can be said for the St. Louis Cardinals. Yes, they lost an outfielder in Jason Heyward, but the thing missing from their lineup the most is someone who can drive in runs. All the names mentioned above, including Davis, are taken into account, and right now there seems to be some lull in the market, with everyone talking to everyone, waiting for someone to accept one of the offers and create some sort of chain reaction. Relying on their up and comers – Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, Kolten Wong and Matt Adams isn’t going to be enough, probably.
For both the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals it’s about the outfield, and for the Giants specifically left field. The Royals would love to retain Alex Gordon, but they’re already looking at other options, with Gerardo Parra the name that comes up the most in the relevant discussions. The Giants have been in contract with pretty much every big name free agent, still having some money to throw away at someone who isn’t a pitcher.
While big hitting isn’t usually the thing that makes the difference between winning a World Series and contending or being left out of the picture, it never hurts. Each organization has its own approach to what winning should be based on. Whether or not adding these outfielders and home run specialists will do the trick? Often, the thing we are certain about the most in December-January-February has no influence on what happens in September and October.