It’s the fourth installment of this five-part series, and today we look at the free agents of the middle infield. It’s an underrated part of the game. The defense has to be top notch or you’ll lose a lot of games. Fans always get on about their offense, but if middle infielders were meant to hit with great power, they’d be known as corner infielders.
Let’s unveil the show.
Orlando Hudson 2B
Probably the most intriguing name on the market for middle infielders. He’s a switch hitter with a little pop and is a gold-glove defender. He’ll command eight digits a year for four or five years. He is coming off his second wrist surgery in three years, which could factor into any financial decisions.
Rafael Furcal SS
Furcal is a little sparkplug, to say the least. He’s a good leadoff man, with good power to all fields and great speed. He also has a cannon arm. He’s coming off back surgery, so he’ll probably have to settle for either a well back-loaded contract or an incentive-laden one. Either way, he’ll be coveted.
Edger Renteria SS
Renteria signed with the Boston Red Sox before the 2005 season. Before 2006, he was dealt to the Atlanta Braves. Before 2008, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers. Now, he’s up to his option year.
If the Tigers decline his option, it’ll be because of his lack of range, his diminished arm, and his slacking bat. That would mean an incentive-laden contract would be waiting on the free-agent market.
Orlando Cabrera SS
Cabrera won’t be back in Chicago, that’s for sure. Alexei Ramirez has really pushed the White Sox to go another direction for 2009 and ditch Cabrera. He hasn’t gotten along with Ozzie Guillen, so that’s almost a pure write off. He can still hit and is still a slick fielder.
Pfft, and they say this is a deep free agent class. Let’s hope tomorrow provides better results.
As always, you can find the potential 2009 free agents here.