There are a surprising number of sluggers still available on the free-agent market, including former Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista.
However, Joey Bats isn’t the only power hitter looking for work as we approach mid-January — Mark Trumbo, Brandon Moss and Mike Napoli, among others, are searching for a new team.
All of those players will get signed before the 2017 regular season begins, but there’s no time like the present to take a look at which squads should open up their checkbooks and sign the free-agent sluggers:
Jose Bautista: Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Bautista has been a huge part of the Toronto Blue Jays’ turnaround the past eight years, leading the Jays to the playoffs the past two seasons.
Though Toronto would be crazy to give Joey Bats a huge long-term deal, his price tag may be dropping as free agency goes on.
After hitting 22 home runs and amassing 69 RBI in 2016, he still has some pop left in his bat and could prevent the Blue Jays from having to start Melvin Upton Jr. in the outfield in 2017.
Mark Trumbo: Colorado Rockies
Moving Ian Desmond to the outfield seems like it should be a common-sense move for the Rockies, who originally signed the former Texas Ranger this offseason to play first base.
Trumbo could slot in easily at first base and, from there, fans would get to see Trumbo’s power on display at Coors Field, which would be a treat.
With Baltimore last season, Trumbo slugged 47 home runs and 108 RBI while hitting .256 for the AL wildcard squad. He could probably come close to matching those totals in the thin air of Denver.
Brandon Moss: St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals clearly don’t think Matt Adams is the answer at first base and currently have Matt Carpenter slotted as the Opening Day starter at the position.
Therefore, they should cut ties with Adams and re-sign Moss, whose ability to play outfield would be a big boost for St. Louis.
Moss can occasionally spell Carpenter at first base, or take over the position if another infielder is injured and Carpenter is forced to move. He can also break up a righty-heavy outfield rotation.
Mike Napoli: Tampa Bay Rays
Buzz has died down on Mike Napoli in recent weeks, but he’ll still find a new team before the start of the 2017 season.
The Rays, who could use a right-handed 1B/DH platoon member to pair with lefty Brad Miller, are an obvious fit for the veteran leader.
Napoli still has plenty of pop in his bat, too, hitting 34 homers and driving in 101 runs for the American League-champion Cleveland Indians in 2016.