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2016 Free Agents: Shortstop

How is your future Shortstop situation looking?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For the fifth installment of this series we look at shortstops. You all know the drill so lets get straight to the players.

Shortstop

SF

Joaquin Arias (31)

SEA

Willie Bloomquist (38)

TBR

Asdrubal Cabrera (30)

WSH

Ian Desmond (30)

NYY

Stephen Drew (33)

KCR

Alcides Escobar (29) – $5.25MM club option with a $500K buyout

ARI

Cliff Pennington (32)

CHW

Alexei Ramirez (34) – $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout

LAD

Jimmy Rollins (37)

NYY

Brendan Ryan (34) – $1MM player option

So first we’ll name the duds. Arias, Blomquist, Drew, Pennington, and Ryan are barely playing in the real 30 team league, so in fantasy, let them go.

The second tier is Asdrubal Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins, and Alexei Ramirez. Asdrubal has quietly put up a .258/.313/.412 line. That’s a 101 wRC+, one of only 7 shortstops to have a wRC+ over 100, and leaves him tied with Troy Tulowitzki Jimmy Rollins has been a sad shell of his former self. His .224/.280/.361 line is an atrocity, it’s a sad end to a potentially Hall of Fame career. His 13 dingers and 11 swiped bags are the entirety of his value. If you’re desperate, keep him around and hope he can hang on for one more year, but in my opinion, he’s been finished prior to donning Dodger uniform. Last of this group is Alexei Ramirez. He’s been eerily similar to Rollins, hitting .251/.282/.352, and his value is derived from his 8 HR, and 16SB. Not an ideal player to move forward with.

The last tier is a tier of two. Alcides Escobar and Ian Desmond have both had down years, but the potential for a major counting stat contribution is still there. Escobar is just one year removed from a 31 steal campaign, and hasn’t seen a drastic change in any of his peripherals from last year to this year, and his BB% has been on a three year upswing. Desmond is doing his best to correct the .589 OPS he posted in the first half, by smashing an .842 OPS in the second half through 42 games, including 10 homers and 7 steals.

There is likely to be some turnover at the SS position next year as Corey Seager is already up, and will likely man SS next season, and JP Crawford has been handling AA as a 20 year old with ease. Orlando Arcia has also had a very fine season at AA, and will be ready for AAA in 2016.

Looking forward, SS is gaining steam. Many young players have already taken the position, and more are on the way. It seems it may be shedding its tag as the weakest position soon, or at the very least, closing the gap.

Look forward to the future at SS, it certainly looks brighter than it has in quite a while.