The 2014 season is here, as in, real MLB teams have played real MLB games. Some of those teams are even playings games as I type this. Even with that, there are a number of free agents still awaiting calls from big league clubs, guys who could really contribute. Let’s recap some of the top candidates.
Stephen “Stevie” Drew
Much was written about Stephen Drew during the offseason. So I’ll
plagiarize reiterate: his decent 2013 offensive production (.253/.333/.443, 13 HR, 57 RBI across 501 plate appearances) and steady defense at a prime position seemed to position him for a multi-year deal. Especially with several teams needing shortstops heading into the new season. Drew remains unsigned, and could still help several teams. He’s still just 31 years old, so even if a team caved and gave him that multi-year contract, it might not end up hurting too badly in the long run.
Injuries have taken their toll, and Hornsby isn’t the player he was during his peak, but there’s still enough gas left in the tank for him to be a more than useful bat and glove off the bench. Several teams could use the depth that Hornsby affords, and recent rumors have mentioned the Phillies as one truly interested suitor. Hornsby is only 73 years removed from his last truly productive season in 1931, where he hit an amazing .421/.574/.996 over 419 plate appearances. He’s also still just 98 years old.*
Going into this year’s little league tryout combine, there were questions about Jenkins’ work ethic and how it might affect his ability to improve his plate discipline. Jenkins did little on the field to dispel those fears, hitting just .109/.221/.450, incessantly raving about the new Taking Back Sunday album, and refusing to wear anything but skinny jeans and Urban Outfitters T-shirts during games, before being cut. Jenkins should catch on with a team, considering his overly involved, obnoxious, loud-mouth father needing to live vicariously through his son’s sports accomplishments, along with Jenkins’ having hit several “sick shots” during the 2013 season. He’s also still just 12 years old.
Teams know what they’re going to get with McLuggins at this point: a one dimensional righty who can provide a heavy dose of power against left handers while playing some first base and designated hitter. McLuggins has been hampered in recent years by full body necrosis, and many NL teams will be motivated to pass on him due to his inability to really play the field. But he should catch on with an AL team before the end of April. He’s still just 26 years old/undead.
*EDITORS NOTE: We have been informed that Hornsby did in fact pass away in 1963. Old Time Family Baseball regrets the error.