Houston Astros: Three fits for George Springer in free agency

The Houston Astros are likely to lose George Springer in free agency, and here are three teams he could sign with in free agency.

The Houston Astros remain interested in retaining free-agent outfielder George Springer. They are reportedly talking to Jackie Bradley Jr., the No. 2 free-agent center fielder, and are casting a wide net searching for outfielders with Josh Reddick and Michael Brantley also not under contract.

But the likelihood is that Springer will leave Houston this winter, meaning the Astros will likely be without one of its best players going forward. Much of the talk, of course, has surrounded how the Astros will replace him. But where might Springer end up in 2021 and beyond? Here are a few possibilities.

New York Mets

The New York Mets appear to be the best fit for George Springer, at least on paper. They have a pressing need for a center fielder. They have money to spend – Steve Cohen is the richest owner in baseball – and just gained an additional $20.25 million of payroll following Robinson Cano’s season-long suspension.

The Mets have options, and Springer is not the only one they will explore. The team has been connected to Francisco Lindor. They are reportedly interested in J.T. Realmuto. The possibility of signing DJ LeMahieu now exists. Under Cohen, nothing is off the table.

But signing Springer and his defensive abilities behind the rotation, along with adding a very good bat to the top of the lineup, may be too good of an opportunity for Cohen and Sandy Alderson to pass up.

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto plans to be aggressive this winter. They have already signed Robbie Ray to a one-year, $8 million deal. The team has come close to at least one deal before it fell apart. And general manager Ross Atkins told reporters that the team plans to spend, saying “It’s really hard to acquire elite players. This will be another opportunity for us to do it. … What we would like to do is add another really good player, or two, or three.”

As I reported for FanSided, the Blue Jays have expressed interest in Springer and are said to “love” the TK-year-old. Toronto needs a center fielder and are actively looking to improve their up-the-middle-defense. Of course, it remains to be seen if they will be able to afford Springer, who MLB Trade Rumors projects to land a five-year, $125 million deal. But the comments by Atkins – and early aggressiveness on the market – indicate that Toronto should not be ruled out.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants are a bit of a dark horse for Springer, but they present a strong fit. The Giants need offensive upgrades and a center fielder to roam the spacious outfield at Oracle Park, and Springer would fill both needs.

Under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, the Giants have scoured the waiver wire and churned the bottom of the roster. But the team is further along in their rebuild than expected and they have the money – and need – to make a splash in free agency. Springer just may be the player Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler choose to build their team around the next six-plus years.

Other teams that could be a fit: Nationals, Cardinals, White Sox.

 

Prediction: Springer signs a lucrative deal with the New York Mets.