The 2017 MLB Ultimate Free-Agent Tracker: shortstops

MLB columnist
Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8628/" data-ylk="slk:Zack Cozart">Zack Cozart</a> has put himself in position to cash in during this summer’s free-agent market. (AP)
Zack Cozart has put himself in position to cash in during this summer’s free-agent market. (AP)

We ranked 2017’s top free-agent shortstops. Overall ranking in the 2017 free-agent class is in parenthesis.

[More FA rankings: Complete list: Nos. 1-184 | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | UT | OF | SP | RP]

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1. (11) Zack Cozart, SS: One of the odder stories of the past three years is Cozart’s evolution from a .221/.268/.300-hitting, smooth-fielding shortstop to a .297/.385/.548-bashing, world-destroying monster. Based on those numbers, he warrants a position in the top 10. And yet the too-good-to-be-true nature of it, and Cincinnati’s lack of a qualifying offer, and Cozart’s age (32) all conspire to keep him outside of it. Just remember: The only shortstops 32 and older to hit even .275/.350/.500 over a full season are Barry Larkin, Joe Cronin and Honus Wagner. All three are in the Hall of Fame, a place where Zack Cozart, no matter how good he may be, won’t wind up anytime soon.

2. (48) Alcides Escobar, SS: He will play every day, which is typically a good thing, except with a guy who took 14 unintentional walks in 629 plate appearances, which is exceptionally difficult to do. Escobar’s offense is so bad it negates his glove and legs, both of which are above average, and makes anything more than a two-year deal dangerous.

3. (105) J.J. Hardy, SS: Just a reminder that Manny Machado is a third baseman because of Hardy, who at 35 isn’t the shortstop he once was.

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