September 23, 2021

Sarris: Seven midlevel free agents who could make a difference next season (The Athletic)

When the biggest, fattest contracts are signed, we get oral histories about how it went down. We usually hear that there were one or two other teams at the table with similar offers, and how the wining and dining sealed the deal. Deservedly so! These are elite talents signing megadeals.

And yet … we didn’t get those same articles when Aníbal Sánchez and Kurt Suzuki signed with the Nationals last year for a combined four years and $29 million. It makes sense, but those two were instrumental in the Nationals’ run this past season.

Consider this piece, which will highlight seven free agents in the middle, a paean to these types of players. Baseball’s middle class has shrunk by about a third in the past 20 years, and it’s a shame. For every Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, there was a Daniel Hudson and Brian Dozier contributing to the cause this year. And often these deals represent a chance for an up-and-coming team with a lesser…

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