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George Springer’s 5 Best Free Agency Destinations

Astros outfielder, George Springer, had another great season in 2020 after finishing in the top-10 in AL MVP voting in 2019, while only playing 122 games. In 2020, Springer proved that he can still hit after the Astros’ stealing signs scandal came to light, posting a 146 wRC+ (5th among CF) and 1.9 WAR (T-5th among CF). Since 2015, he has slashed .278/.364/.515, with a 138 wRC and 15.8 fWAR, while maintaining a .375 xwOBA.

Springer, although the Astros were cheating, is a consensus top-3 CF in baseball, and he could help many teams strengthen their outfield in 2021.

He reaches free agency for the first time this offseason, and there will be many teams looking to add him to their outfield for 2021. Here are some teams that could use his services the most.

Houston Astros

Houston should try their hardest to bring their leadoff man back for the future. Springer has been an anchor at the top of their lineup for years and his consistent play has helped the Astros make the playoffs six years in a row and the ALCS in four straight seasons.

With not many other great CF options on the board and the impending free agency of left fielder Michael Brantley, retaining their All-Star center fielder is vital if they want to make another run at a title.

Potential 2021 Lineup:

  1. Springer CF
  2. Altuve 2B
  3. Bregman 3B
  4. Alvarez DH
  5. Correa SS
  6. Tucker LF
  7. Gurriel 1B
  8. Brantley/Straw/FA LF
  9. Maldonado C

Los Angeles Dodgers

Well known to many baseball fans, George Springer rakes at Dodger stadium. The Dodgers already have the best outfield duo in baseball with 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger and 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, but left fielder Joc Pederson is a free agent, and the Astros’ center fielder could provide a great upgrade in the outfield, strengthening the 2nd best OF in the league (per FanGraphs WAR).

Potential 2021 Lineup (with a DH):

  1. Betts RF
  2. Seager SS
  3. Springer LF
  4. Bellinger CF
  5. Turner 3B
  6. Muncy 1B
  7. Smith C
  8. Hernandez 2B
  9. Pollock DH

San Diego Padres

The Padres broke out in 2020, behind stellar performances from Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. Their outfield was good for a 112 wRC+, but there is definitely room for improvement. San Diego shouldn’t expect the same performance from Wil Myers, but they could definitely replace it with George Springer. With Tommy Pham presumably anchoring left field, Springer and Grisham can play center and right, giving the Padres a stellar outfield that should be able to improve upon 2020.

Potential 2021 Lineup (with a DH):

  1. Springer CF
  2. Tatis Jr. SS
  3. Machado 3B
  4. Pham LF
  5. Myers DH
  6. Hosmer 1B
  7. Cronenworth 2B
  8. Nola C
  9. Grisham RF

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds will look to contend with the Cubs and Cardinals in the NL Central in 2021, and adding an outfielder would give them their best chance. If Trevor Bauer leaves, they could replace his production in Center Field, while pitching would still be a strength with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray.

The Reds offense got very unlucky with hard-hit outs in 2020, but their outfield struggled, finishing 23rd in FanGraphs’ WAR and 22nd in wRC+. Acquiring Springer would allow the Reds to DH Nick Castellanos, who is a horrific defender, and replace him with an above-average defender in Springer. Even though he will be pricy, the Reds have proven that they are willing to spend, after offering big money to Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas last offseason.

Potential 2021 Lineup (with a DH):

  1. Springer CF
  2. Castellanos DH
  3. Votto 1B
  4. Suarez 3B
  5. Moustakas 2B
  6. Goodwin LF
  7. Galvis/FA SS
  8. Casali C
  9. Akiyama RF

Cleveland Indians

The Indians are my favorite fit for George Springer if they choose not to move star SS Francisco Lindor. The Indians have the best pitching rotation in the American League, even after letting go of Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and Trevor Bauer, and they have a solid bullpen.

The Indians, with Lindor, 2020 MVP candidate Jose Ramirez, Cesar Hernandez and Carlos Santana have an elite infield, but their outfield struggled in 2020. In the Clevinger trade, they acquired OF/DH Josh Naylor, who had an insane ALWC despite getting swept by New York, but their outfield still ranked 29th in wRC+ and 28th in fWAR (-1.0), meaning they were actually worse than replacement-level minor leaguers.

Cleveland’s ownership has been stingy in the past, and are very hesitant to spend, so this may be an unrealistic option, but purely baseball-wise, this is the best option for both sides. Many people would like Michael Brantley to return to the Indians, but I think that Springer would be a better option for Cleveland.

Potential 2021 Lineup:

  1. Springer CF
  2. Hernandez 2B
  3. Lindor SS
  4. Ramirez 3B
  5. C. Santana 1B
  6. Reyes DH
  7. Naylor RF
  8. D. Santana/Mercado LF
  9. Hedges C

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