Sports

3 MLB Infielders Who Could Be Signed As Bargains

Jonathan Villar #1 of the MLB New York Mets celebrates after hitting a double in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on August 28, 2021 in New York City.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

 

The MLB free agent market still has some interesting players for teams to sign.

When the MLB lockout is lifted, the most powerful organizations will be looking for Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Trevor Story, and other star infielders.

But there are also some potential bargains out there.

Here are three of them.

 

3. Josh Harrison

Josh Harrison is the kind of MLB player that won’t wow anyone with crazy-good stats, but is good enough to inflict some damage with the bat and offers the type of versatility that championship-caliber teams often seek.

In fact, here is a fascinating stat: during his major league career, Harrison has played at every position except for catcher.

Yes, that’s right!

He even pitched, back in 2013.

He is the definition of a league-average bat: both his career line (.274/.318/.401) and his 2021 performance (.279/.341/.400, eight homers and nine stolen bases) are proof of that.

In short, Harrison does a bit of everything and can play anywhere around the diamond, although he is at his best at second base, third base, and the outfield corners.

He could be a valuable reserve for a contender, and the likeliest scenario is he won’t cost too much.

 

2. Jonathan Villar

Jonathan Villar has some of Harrison’s versatility, but with more power and speed.

This is a man who once stole 62 bases in a season, in 2016, and who hit 24 homers with 40 thefts as recently as 2019.

His 2021 performance was relatively modest considering those high standards: he hit .249/.322/.416 with 18 homers and 14 stolen bases in 505 plate appearances with the New York Mets.

He played some second, third base, and shortstop last year, and is a rock-solid option to be a semi-regular type, playing four or five times per week for a contender.

Villar should have a market after his good 2021 performance, but it should be pointed out that he had a hard time finding a team prior to the season.

For some reason, the Mets signed him as a bargain before the start of the 2021 campaign.

He may have earned a slightly bigger payday, but he should still be affordable for a team that takes a chance on his talents.

 

1. Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo has had a phenomenal career to this point.

During his better days, between 2014 and 2016, he would hit near .300, get on base at a near-.400 rate, and slug over .500, with over 30 home runs and a boatload of runs and RBI.

Rizzo is not that player anymore.

At 32, he may be starting to decline.

Last season, he slashed .248/.344/.440 with 22 homers, and 61 RBI in 141 games between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees.

A year before, he hit a poor .222/.342/.414.

That probably means he will settle for a lesser deal than he is probably expecting.

He would surely love a four or five-year contract, but it’s hard to envision someone offering that many years to a declining player.

However, for the right pact, Rizzo can be an asset.

He still has excellent on-base skills, and flashes a really impressive glove as he showed last year.

And while he will not slug 30 or more homers, he will hit at least 20.

That’s a valuable player.



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