What Would a Team Composed Entirely of Free Agents Look Like?

Craig Kimbrel on the mound for boston

Red Sox at Orioles 4/23/17

As of today, there are 43 notable free agents that could still provide some value to a major league club. That’s enough honestly for an entire 40-man roster with a few others leftover… Hmm….

What if we made a team composed of only free agents? Could we even create an actual competitive team? Absolutely.

I would go as far to say that I think our hypothetical free agent squad could even compete in MLB and have a winning record after 162 games. You might be thinking that this is complete madness and something that could never happen in a million years—and you would be right. But my brain is on overdrive from chugging my cold-brew coffee and there is no stopping me now.

Let’s take a quick peak at our three best players before we unveil the 25-man-roster for the “Free Agent Franks”, (franks could either mean hot-dogs or be short for frankensteins… idk I thought it made a little sense.)

The Ace – Dallas Keuchel

The Cy Young Award winning lefty and 4x gold-glover would easily be the number 1 pitcher on this staff. Why wouldn’t he be? He has a career 3.66 ERA, is chasing his 1,000th strikeout, and has arguably the best facial hair in baseball. Even though we haven’t seen him in the majors this year, I would put money that his beautiful beard is roughly a full Inch longer.

The Slugger – Jose Bautista

Despite a pretty depressing 2018 between the Mets, Braves, and Phillies, the undisputed bat flip champion managed to still have a 1.4 WAR in his 325 ABs last season. 

Bautista is 6 homers away from reaching the 350 HR club and despite the 38 year old being on the brink of retirement, I still think he’s got a little bit more left in the tank.

The Veteran – Brandon Phillips

Smooth as ice, cool as a cucumber, the legend himself, Brandon Phillips, is our clubhouse vet. A student of the game since 2002, Phillips is one of the most iconic Reds players and is well-fitted to lead our Franks into theoretical glory.

The 2019 All Free Agent Roster

SP – Dallas Keuchel
SP – Yovani Gallardo
SP – Bartolo Colon
SP – James Shields
SP – Tim Lincecum
C – Evan Gattis
1B – Logan Morrison
2B – Brandon Phillips
3B – Chase Headly
SS – Jose Reyes
LF – Denard Span
CF – Austin Jackson
RF – Jose Bautista
DH – Matt Holiday
Bench – Adrian Gonzalez
Bench – Miguel Montero
Bench – Ryan Schimpf
Bench – Chris Young
Bench – Danny Valencia
RP – Miguel Gonzalez
RP – Boone Logan
RP – Jim Johnson
RP – Ryan Madson
RP – Carter Capps
CL – Craig Kimbrel

Is this an ugly roster? Yes. Is it a roster doomed for failure? I don’t think so. I think if each of our starters can perform no worse than their career average productions throughout a season, that pitching roster is not half-bad. The relief situation gets a little dicey with our older arms in the likes of Boone Logan and Jim Johnson. But the Carter Capps setup to Craig Kimbrel is actually pretty decent. Capps is still just 28 and Kimbrel is easily one of the best closers in baseball still. 

Let’s talk about the lineup though because offense might be a different story…

Leading off would be Jose Reyes followed by a 2-3 punch consisting of Denard Span and Brandon Phillips. I think speed and getting on base is going to be key with the first couple guys in the lineup as there isn’t much left after Reyes and Span. 

Cleanup duties I would most likely give to Gattis. He most recently out of all of these guys clobbered more than 20 home runs and so I think I would leave him there solely because of that. Following Gattis I would put Bautista and then Headly bringing up the 6-hole. I think the bottom 3 in the lineup, which consists of Holiday, Jackson, and Morrison, can be fairly interchangeable. But for sake of closure with this insanity, here is my hypothetical lineup:

  1. Jose Reyes
  2. Denard Span
  3. Brandon Phillips
  4. Evan Gattis
  5. Jose Bautista
  6. Chase Headly
  7. Logan Morrison
  8. Matt Holiday
  9. Austin Jackson

Final Thoughts on the “Franks”

This lineup definitely has promise and a lot of power too. There are players in this lineup that have clobbered the ball throughout their careers with silver slugger awards to prove it. So taking what we did for our pitchers by going upon their average career numbers, we would definitely see some above-average output from our offense during this fake season as well.

Some of the players on this roster have a place that is near and dear to my heart. Brandon Phillips is such an awesome gem to the game and Bartolo Colon has been pitching (and eating) his heart out since I was just a kid. Making this list was honestly really fun even though deep down I know that most of these players might not ever join the major leagues again. But hey, everyone’s gotta grieve somehow, and I just happened to choose to make a 25-man-roster instead.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

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