A quick look at the Transaction Wire over the past few days reveals that general managers are picking the low hanging fruit of the free agent market in an attempt to either bolster the depth of their team, or (more likely) hoping to catch lightning in a bottle by signing a player who underperformed or was injured last season.
A prime example of this is the Braves signing of veteran right hander Bud Norris to a one year $2.5 million deal.
Coming off a miserable 2015 season, Norris hopefully considers himself lucky to even get a job for next season. Still, for the Braves, a team going nowhere next year and for the price it’s a win-win situation. On the other hand, don’t be surprised if you see him on the waiver wire come August.
Same situation with the White Sox who picked up catcher Alex Avila in a similar deal. Avila, who missed three months of the season with a bone bruise is far removed from his breakout season back in 2011 when he was with the Tigers. Again, the cost is relatively cheap these days at $2.5 million and he carries an ability to handle a pitching staff.
A bit different because he’s in the middle of a more expensive three year deal is the pickup of Jed Lowrie by the Astros. Again, we have a player coming off a injury plagued season with numbers nowhere near previous performance, but who can be a invaluable member on the right team (he was the shortstop for the Oakland 2013-14 playoff teams). Plus he can play all infield positions.
We’ll probably see this this trend continue for a few more weeks. Then, around Christmas time the big boys will enter into the picture as they seek the big money and a chance to secure their future. Once signed, they’ll then have 4-6 weeks to get themselves and their families settled into a new city and home before Spring Training begins. Should be interesting……..