MLB Hot Stove: Most intriguing non-tendered players

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 22: .dey29. meets on the mound with Detroit Tigers pitcher Mike Fiers (50) and Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann (34) during the fifth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians on June 22, 2018, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 22: .dey29. meets on the mound with Detroit Tigers pitcher Mike Fiers (50) and Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann (34) during the fifth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians on June 22, 2018, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Teams that need infielders should take a good look at the list of non-tendered players. There are some infielders with real history of making good plays and having success at the plate. Despite their positive history, they did get non-tendered for a reason.

In most cases, these intriguing infielders were non-tendered because they struggled in 2018. But those struggles were not necessarily consistent with performances in earlier seasons. Since plenty of baseball players can be streaky, these infielders could come up big and for a low price in 2019.

This player needs to work with J.D. Martinez 

Matt Davidson started the 2018 season with a bang, hitting three home runs for the White Sox on Opening Day. It’s just too bad when a player has his best day on the first day of the season. He never achieved anything like that the rest of the season and finished 2018 with a slash of .228/.319/.419 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI.

What Davidson struggles with are strikeouts. He finished in the top 10 in 2017 and 2018. As the White Sox had the most K’s in all of baseball, there is a chance that Davidson could have lower numbers on a different team.

He’s still in his arbitration years and has not made more than the league minimum. He’s got power in his bat, but needs a hitting coach who can create some consistency. He’s still young – by hitting standards.

As a plus, he can also pitch. So, he could be a possibility for an NL team that needs pinch hitters and relievers.

The mistake in Milwaukee

In 2017, Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado were the stuff of middle-infield dreams. In 2018, they were both traded away. A reunion would be fun to watch and would probably bring Schoop back from the funk he experienced with the Brewers.

Schoop isn’t a bad ballplayer. His career slash is .258/.294/.444. In 2017, he spent the majority of the season batting third behind Machado. That same season, he was the only All-Star on the O’s squad, finishing the season with a .293 BA.

He’s a good middle infielder. In 2017, he led the MLB in double plays and putouts. In 2018, he had the 12th most putouts and 7th most double plays. He’ll recover from his time in Milwaukee, especially if he can work with a veteran shortstop, especially one named Machado.

Of infielders, he’s the most intriguing, simply because of his age – he’s 27. And, what’s he’s done.

Just one bad season

Yangervis Solarte had a problem in 2018. He batted .225. No one wants a guy with a batting average like that. But, Solarte is a career .259 hitter, so his level of intrigue is high. He stayed in line with his career numbers through June 2018, then his numbers dropped off in July. In mid-August he suffered an oblique strain and was put on the DL.

Solarte’s biggest problem is most likely Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. The young slugger is expected to play for the Blue Jays in 2019 and he could take Solarte’s role at third and/or short.

Solarte is 31 years old and definitely has more to offer. The Orioles need a third baseman, and Solarte only made $4.1 million with the Blue Jays in 2018.

One busy week

In less than one week, Ronald Torreyes went from the Yankees to the Cubs to being non-tendered. The minute middle infielder is certainly intriguing for his ability to turn a play and to swing the bat.

Gone is the day of a required size for baseball players and Torreyes held his own on a team loaded with big guys. His problem with the Yankees was Gleybar Torres and his problem with the Cubs was Javier Baez. They’re just better.

But, someone will need a low-cost middle-infielder bench player like Torreyes. There’s nothing wrong with him, he just was on two of the wrong teams.