MLB free agents, the guys who were left out in the cold during the offseason, or the guys who were cut midseason. Sometimes these players are just too expensive to be added to the ball club, or sometimes you can find what you’re looking for within your farm teams. However, when it comes to free agents, value is the keyword, and you should ask yourself, is the value of the free agent comparable to his price tag? This is only one of the several questions you may be asking when you take a dive into the free agency pool. Therefore, I have picked five free agents I believe can be an asset to your team during the season. Some of these players are everyday players while others may be used for situational aspects. Let’s take a look at my top five free agents in the game by value.
Matt Kemp – 78
Hot off the press, Matt Kemp is now an available free agent in the game. Depending on what mode you’re playing in the game and when you can pick him up, Matt Kemp does offer value to many teams. Kemp is a pull hitter who has great contact attributes against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers. On the fielding side of things, Kemp does lack high ratings so you have to look at his value in terms of what he can bring at the plate. I consider Matt Kemp to be of significant value in the American League. You have the ability to play him in the DH role for the rest of the season and utilize him in the field as needed.
Craig Kimbrel – 85
Interestingly enough, Craig Kimbrel was not picked up during the offseason despite racking up 42 saves during the 2018 season. This tells me that a lot of teams believe that the value of Craig Kimbrel is not worth the contract he is asking for. If you’re looking to add a setup man or closer to your team, then Kimbrel would be a great option. If you take a look at his player ratings, you will be adding a pitcher with high velocity. He also has a break rating of 99, which means he will use some nasty stuff to get batters out, and he is rated at 99 in both H/9 and K/9. This means he has the ability to close the door in tight ball games the majority of the time. If you can roster him and take on his salary, I think Kimbrel would be a great pick up in the second half of the season and into the playoffs.
Dallas Keuchel – 82
Keuchel is another player who is available on the free agency market. When it comes to Dallas Keuchel, he is the type of pitcher who has veteran attributes. Dallas has lost some speed and break on his pitches but still has legitimate ratings to be an effective pitcher for your rotation. He’s also left handed, so you can utilize him for some of the challenging lefty versus lefty matches you might face with batters like Cody Bellinger or Anthony Rizzo. At this point in Keuchel’s career, he provides value should you lose a starting pitcher due to injury during the season. You most likely will have trouble finding a starter in your farm system who has the ability to work through a game like that of Dallas Keuchel.
Brandon Phillips – 73
You may not have considered him at first glance when looking among the available players in the free agent pool, but Brandon Phillips has great potential when considering him as a roster addition. You can utilize Phillips in a variety of roles. He is a guy you can position at the second spot in the order or at the end. He possesses good contact ratings in the mid and upper 70s, which are better than average for most free agents. The fact that he is a second baseman doesn’t require his arm strength to be higher than average either. The two attributes I believe give him the most value are his vision at 89, and his contact against lefties and righties. This means if you don’t have room for him in your starting lineup, you can at least utilize him in situations off the bench to knock in runners in scoring position or fill every other day needs without a huge drop off in talent.
Randall Delgado -77
Delgado is a viable free agent reliever. What I like about Delgado’s value as a free agent are the pitches in his arsenal. He has a fastball in the low 90s, and also a good slider and sinker. However, the sinker is where the value shines in my eyes. Delgado is a pitcher you can pick up if you lack groundball pitchers in your bullpen, so he can be used as a matchup guy to bring in when you are backed against the wall with runners on base. The best part about it is he has a manageable salary to go along with it. Keep your eye on Randall Delgado as your progress through your season. You may find more value in him than you think when you analyze your bullpen.
Free Agent Wrap-Up
There are numerous free agents you can evaluate to determine their value. I feel these five are rated high enough where you can utilize them during your season. However, with most free agents it will be hard to find an all-around player. You most likely will be considering their asking price and then utilizing them for a specific skill set. Look at your lineup and discover if you need a batter who can hit from both sides of the plate, or has great power. Even a free agent like Evan Gattis could be picked up simply for his power against righties. The moral of this story is to determine value based on how long this free agent can be useful for your organization.