If you are a general manager looking to make major upgrades to your infield this offseason, one thing is abundantly clear: it’s not going to happen via free agency.
Of the 136 players currently listed on our handy dandy Baseball Essential Free Agent Tracker, just 29 of them are infielders. And according to Baseball Reference, those 29 infielders put up a combined WAR last season of 13.1, for an average of 0.45 WAR per player. BRef’s little WAR guide says that roughly 2.0 WAR or higher is good enough to be a starter; by those standards, only three of the 29 free-agent infielders are worthy starters, with three others relatively close.
More alarming is the fact that nearly half of the available infielders — 14 out of 29 — finished with a WAR at or below 0.0. That means that based on last year’s performance, teams would be better off calling up a mediocre prospect to fill an infield slot than signing half of these available free agents.
Here are all 29 available infielders, broken into three categories: Worth Signing, Probably Worth Signing on Merit, Possibly Worth Signing (Extenuating Circumstances), and Not Worth Signing. I’ll do them in reverse order, though, in the spirit of saving the best for last.