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After another monstrous postseason performance, Astros outfielder George Springer is now a free agent. The team reportedly wants him back, but it seems that the 3-time All-Star wants to distance himself from the cheating scandal fans haven’t yet forgotten.
Bad #Astros rumors: hearing George Springer does not want to return to the Astros. Owner had said before season re-signing him was top priority, but nothing ever materialized. Would be huge loss for Houston. top offensive bat/strong defender at premium position. Best FA Bat IMO— Patrick Creighton (@PCreighton1) October 27, 2020
As a career .270 hitter with 174 career jacks, he’s now arguably the best bat on the open market. Here are five teams that should give Springer a call:
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals find themselves linked to veteran free agents every off-season, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t daydream about Springer now. Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader have both regressed at the plate, and the proven bat of George Springer could provide plenty of protection for Paul Goldschmidt.
Springer struggled in the short 2020 season, but his postseason play put him right back at the top of the wish list of many teams. St. Louis judges seasons on how well players execute in October, and George Springer continues to exceed expectations against pitchers in October. St. Louis and Springer may be a match made in heaven.
2. Texas Rangers
With a relatively weak outfield and an aging pitching staff, the Texas Rangers have to make a move soon if they want to start winning again. They may hope for young stars without any known injuries, but they should instead consider more realistic alternatives. At 31 years old with minor injuries in his past, Springer is relatively affordable.
He would make a decent short-term investment for the Rangers if they are are serious about making waves in 2021.
3. Atlanta Braves
As DH, Marcell Ozuna made key contributions for the Braves in 2020, but now he hits the open market as a free agent. Atlanta could always re-sign Ozuna, but he is a liability on defense. Since MLB will likely ditch the National League DH in 2021, Ozuna will no longer have a role to play with the Braves. His shoddy defense makes him too risky to field.
George Springer would be a solid upgrade for the young Atlanta team, both at the plate and in the outfield. Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos has managed to ink stars like Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, and Ozzie Albies on the cheap, so Springer would be a good financial fit.
Some fans may want the Braves to invest in a more dependable pitching staff, rather than chasing down star hitters like Springer. However, a powerful offense is fun to watch, and it can provide some cover for weaknesses on the mound.
4. Boston Red Sox
Red Sox fans probably hate seeing their team on this list. Boston just let future HOFer Mookie Betts skip town because owner John Henry didn’t want to pony up the cash for his contract. As painful as it may be, the Red Sox should consider signing Springer.
Alex Cora will likely return as manager for the 2021 season. The return of Cora and an All-Star like Springer would help rejuvenate the pathetic team that took the field in 2020. The Red Sox hang their stockings on winning, and Springer plays his best when wins count the most. They may not want each other, but they may need each other.
5. Blue Jays
Toronto makes the list because so many AL East teams will likely take a step back in 2021. The Yankees are headed for a long negotiation with second baseman DJ LeMahieu. If they keep him, they’ll have to cut back somewhere else. The Red Sox underperformed, and the Rays may lose pitcher Charlie Morton to retirement.
Toronto now has a tremendous opportunity to land a big-time free agent while their rivals fight to keep the guys they have.
George Springer will get paid in no time. He could be the first of many Astros who want to move on from the cloud hanging over Houston. We’ll be sure to update you with the latest on Springer after the World Series.