MLB Free Agents 2018: Rumors, Predictions for Andrew Miller, A.J. Pollock, More

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 06:  Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians delivers a pitch in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Two of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

While rumors continue to swirl around this winter's marquee MLB free agents, guys like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Patrick Corbin are not the only players available this offseason.

There's plenty of secondary talent available as teams look to fill out their rosters, and given the high price point of the top-tier names, it's often those players who wind up providing the best value relative to their contracts.

Ahead is a look at some of the latest rumors from around the league:


Phillies Interested in Andrew Miller and A.J. Pollock

A.J. Pollock
A.J. PollockMichael Hickey/Getty Images

The Phillies are expected to be suitors for all three of the top-tier names mentioned above, but that hasn't stopped them from casting a wide net on the secondary market as well.

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Sources: #Phillies have shown interest in free-agent outfielder A.J. Pollock. More details in this story: https://t.co/KRSIoEIuwt @MLBNetwork @MLB

Aside from the specifically mentioned Pollock, Morosi goes on in the linked article to list Nathan Eovaldi, J.A. Happ, Craig Kimbrel, Zach Britton and Michael Brantley as other players the Phillies have shown some level of interest in.

They've also been linked to lefty reliever Andrew Miller, who is drawing interest from a number of teams.

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Free agent Andrew Miller drawing active interest from #STLCards, #Phillies and #Mets, among others, sources say, although he’s not yet close to signing a new contract. @MLBNetwork @MLB

The Phillies bullpen ranked 18th in the majors with a 4.19 ERA, and closer Seranthony Dominguez struggled mightily down the stretch, so don't be surprised if they add multiple relievers.

Landing one of the big fish is undoubtedly still Plan A, but the Phillies appear to be doing their due diligence to line up a suitable Plan B if they miss out.

Prediction: Phillies sign Machado, Pollock and Miller


Several Teams Have Had "Preliminary Talks" with DJ LeMahieu

DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieuJustin Edmonds/Getty Images

With Jed Lowrie, Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier, Ian Kinsler, Logan Forsythe and Josh Harrison all available, there is no shortage of options for teams in search of second base help.

That said, it's DJ LeMaheiu who appears to be at the top of several teams' wish list.

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Sources: #Nats, #Twins, #Dodgers have had at least preliminary talks with reps for free agent DJ LeMahieu. Full story here: https://t.co/Sm1PONwmLl @MLB @MLBNetwork

The Dodgers and Twins swapped Dozier and Forsythe last season before both players hit the open market, so it's no surprise to see them interested in adding a second baseman.

The same goes for the Nationals, who shipped Murphy to the Cubs in August, though they could conceivably get by with some combination of Howie Kendrick and Wilmer Difo until top prospect Carter Kieboom is ready to make the jump.

LeMahieu, 30, offers a robust batting average and Gold Glove defense at second base, and that should net him a solid multi-year deal.

He's not without red flags, though.

Despite hitting a career-high 15 home runs last season, his OPS+ dropped to 88 as he hit an unspectacular .276/.321/.428 on the year.

Those middling numbers are even more concerning when you consider that he hit just .229/.277/.422 away from Coors Field.

Still, we're talking about a career .298/.350/.406 hitter who just won his third Gold Glove Award, so it's not hard to see why he's generating interest.

Prediction: Dodgers sign LeMahieu


Rebuilding Teams Targeting Middle Infield Help

Ian Kinsler
Ian KinslerJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

The free-agent market is generally not a hotbed of activity for rebuilding teams.

That said, even teams with little hope of contending in 2019 need to fill out their rosters, and a few expected also-rans have been early players on the middle infield market.

The Detroit Tigers are in need of a shortstop following the departure of Jose Iglesias, and they're exploring a number of options in their search.

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

#Tigers focusing on shortstops, rather than second basemen, on the free-agent market. Sources say Detroit has yet to begin narrowing a broad list that includes Alcides Escobar, Freddy Galvis, Jordy Mercer and Adeiny Hechavarría. @MLB @MLBNetwork

At the same time, the Baltimore Orioles are looking for an everyday second baseman after trading Jonathan Schoop to the Milwaukee Brewers this past summer.

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

#Orioles monitoring the market for free agent Ian Kinsler, sources say, but front office is addressing more pressing needs at the moment -- such as hiring a manager. @MLB @MLBNetwork

Kinsler, 36, posted an 87 OPS+ with 26 doubles, 14 home runs and 16 steals while splitting the season with the Angels and Red Sox. Despite that, he was still a 2.4 WAR player thanks in large part to his strong glovework (10 DRS, 9.4 UZR/150), and that should help fuel interest.

On a one-year deal, he could potentially turn himself into a low-level trade chip by July.

Prediction: Tigers sign Mercer


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.