Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Spring Training in about two weeks but a slow offseason means there are still plenty of free agents out there. Over the past week, MLBTR has already taken a look at the remaining catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen, shortstops, center fielders, designated hitters and starting pitchers, and we will now proceed to the corner outfielders.
- Jorge Soler: He probably won’t be considered an everyday fielder by any club in the league, but his bat is clearly a notch above anyone else on this list. Soler hasn’t been the most consistent hitter over the years but is excellent when he’s in good form. 2023 was an upswing in his up-and-down career, as he hit 36 home runs and drew walks in 11.4% of his plate appearances. He also kept his strikeouts to a 24.3% rate, a tad above league average but solid by his standards. Soler’s .250/.341/.512 batting line translated to a wRC+ of 126. He walked away from $13MM and the final year of his deal with the Marlins and is now surely looking for a strong multi-year deal. But despite that potent bat, he won’t be anything more than a part-time option in the outfield. He only made 31 starts in the field last year and was graded poorly when out there, having never really received strong marks for his glovework. Whichever club signs him will surely think of him as a designated hitter who can play the field on a part-time basis, at best. The Blue Jays, Mets, Giants and Angels have been linked to him this offseason, with the Jays perceived by some as the favorite to get a deal done.
- Adam Duvall: Though he has been seeing significant time in center field in recent seasons, Duvall has spent far more of his career in the corners. His work in center has been passable, but he’s now 35 years old and is probably best thought of as a corner guy who can cover center on occasion. At the plate, he doesn’t take many walks and also strikes out a ton, but he parks the ball over the fence often enough to be useful. He was punched out in 31.2% of his trips to the plate last year and only walked at a 6.2% clip, but he launched 21 home runs in just 92 games. His .247/.303/.531 slash translated to a 116 wRC+. Health is an issue, which is why his output was limited last year and he’s only once played 100 games in the last four full seasons. But the combination of solid outfield defense and home runs nonetheless makes him an attractive piece. Jon Heyman of The New York Post recently suggested that Duvall would be choosing between the Angels and the Red Sox.
- Tommy Pham: After a solid run from 2015 to 2019, Pham’s production has been up-and-down over the past four seasons. He had a rough time in the shortened 2020 season, bounced back in 2021 but then struggled again in 2022. His most recent campaign was another solid bounceback, a season he split between the Mets and Diamondbacks. His 9.8% walk rate and 22% strikeout rate were both a bit better than league average. Pham hit 16 home runs, and his line of .256/.328/.446 translated a wRC+ of 110. He also stole 22 bases and slotted in at all three outfield positions, though primarily in left. As the Diamondbacks made a World Series run, he was able to add another three homers and swipe another two bags in the postseason. Back in November, he said he had received interest from roughly 10 teams, but no specific clubs were mentioned and some of them may have moved on to other targets since.
- Aaron Hicks: Like many of the other names on this list, Hicks has been inconsistently productive in his career. He had a strong run with the Yankees from 2017 to 2020 but his results fell off from there. He was subpar throughout 2021 and 2022, continuing into the beginning of 2023, leading the Yanks to release him. He latched on with the Orioles and got back on track. In 65 games with the O’s, Hicks hit seven home runs and walked in 14.8% of his plate appearances, striking out just 20.8% of the time. His .275/.381/.425 line translated to a wRC+ of 129. He also stole six bases and played all three outfield spots. That’s a fairly small sample of work that followed more than two years of struggles, but Hicks will be a no-risk signing for whichever club lands him, at least from a financial perspective. The Yankees are still on the hook for his $9.5MM salary both this year and next, as well as a $1MM buyout on a 2026 club option. Any other club can sign Hicks for the prorated league minimum of $740K for any time spent on the roster, with that amount subtracted from what the Yankees pay. It’s unknown what Hicks will be looking for in a landing spot, but since he’s already got a contract, he could look to prioritize playing time or joining a competitive club.
- Eddie Rosario: Rosario has been at least league average at the plate for six of the past seven seasons. In 2022, his wRC+ dipped all the way down to 62, but it rebounded to an even 100 in 2023. He dealt with some vision problems in that 2022 season and underwent a laser eye procedure, so it’s seems fair to write that year off as an aberration. Rosario hit 21 homers for Atlanta in 2023, though with a subpar walk rate of 6.6%. His .255/.305/.450 line was exactly league average, as mentioned, but Rosario’s platoon splits have become increasingly glaring as his career has progressed. His defensive grades have declined over the years as well, although he posted solid marks in 2023. Many teams will view him as a left field/DH option who’s best paired with a platoon partner. Atlanta declined a $9MM club option for his 2024 services. He’ll likely be available on a one-year deal that clocks in south of that sum.