I looted this idea from Lone Star Ball. It isn’t the first time I’ve stolen from them. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get, and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.
Tommy La Stella is #19 on FanGraphs and #26 on Keith Law’s list of top free agents.
Craig Edwards figures La Stella to get a 2-year, $17 million deal, $8.5 million a year.
La Stella would fill that left-handed hitting utility infielder role that Joe Panik filled so well this year. Like Panik, before this season, LaStella hasn’t played short, but he’s played second, third and first.
He hit .289/.369/.423 (.303/.393/510 vs RHP) this year for the A’s. Career his line is .274/.349/.405 in 7 seasons. He doesn’t strikeout must (5.3% strikeout rate last year) and can take a walk.
Defensively, he’s not great. But then most utility types aren’t great defensive players. Keith Law says:
La Stella was a classic Twerpy McSlapperson sort of ballplayer until he got to the Angels in 2019, when he went back to the approach and stance he had in college. He started to pull the ball more and regained the loft in his swing that he’d had in his first few years in the majors, tapping into power he’d never shown before. He’s a dead-pull guy now, and despite the low strikeout rate he has some clear vulnerabilities, like velocity up and off-speed stuff down and away, as well as the platoon split you’d expect from a left-handed batter.
He’s turning 32 in January, so I wouldn’t go beyond the 2-years, but if you have him and a good glove utility infielder, like Santiago Espinal I’d be pretty happy.
Should the Blue Jays sign Tommy La Stella if the price is $8.5 million a year for 2 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not