ORLANDO, Fla. – With the Indians said to be willing to listen on Jason Kipnis and the Phillies on Cesar Hernandez, that brings to five the number of top-flight second baseman who could seemingly be had in trade.
That also includes Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier and Dee Gordon, rounding out a quintet of excellent second basemen at a time some teams have needs – or even holes – at that spot.
Every one of these second basemen bring something different, and when it was pointed out to Marlins president/GM Michael Hill that there was competition for Gordon on the trade market, he responded, “But none of them are Dee.”
That is true. Gordon, who has $38.9 million to go through 2020, remade his career in 2017, leading the NL in 60 stolen bases while gathering 201 hits and batting .308, and being a Gold Glove finalist. “If there were any questions related to 2016, he answered them,” Hill said. “He had a great year. He is also the premier leadoff man in the game.”
It just so happens the Angels and Mets are teams with no obvious leadoff man. The Mets haven’t seemed deeply involved in Gordon talks yet, with the Angels seeming to be a more likely landing spot at this point. They aren’t the only teams needing a second baseman, though. The Jays and Brewers are among other teams expected to look at that market. The only top second baseman on the free agent market is Neil Walker.
Gordon is terrific, but the others have something special to offer, as well. Kinsler brings power, and several teams already have inquired, including a couple that are considering him for third base. Kipnis showed a bit of versatility in the playoffs last year by playing center field.
Hernandez is an underrated player, but the Phillies are expected to have a logjam in the middle infield, with top prospect Scott Kingery believed ready to take over at second.
The Twins, who are aiming to compete this year, weren’t able to trade the powerful Dozier last winter with no one meeting the price tag, and they may be the most likely of the group to hold onto their second baseman. Like Kinsler, who may be the most likely to go since the Tigers are in a rebuild, he is a free agent after the year.
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