San Diego Padres Free Agency Targets: Possible Shortstop Options

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 08: Freddy Galvis
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 08: Freddy Galvis /
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San Diego Padres
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 18: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws over to first base on a ball hit by Alcides Escobar #2 of the Kansas City Royals (not pictured) during the fifth inning at PNC Park on September 18, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

What about Jordy Mercer?

The next best available option will be Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop, Jordy Mercer. With an expected price tag of under $7 million, the 32-year-old Mercer appears to be on his way out of Pittsburgh and in need of a new home.

Consistently performing at just above replacement-level, Mercer has recorded a 7.6 fWAR over his first six full seasons in the big leagues, hitting between .251 and .256 over the last three years with wRC+ totals of 88. 89, and 85. This past season, Mercer hit .251 with six home runs, 29 doubles, and a .315 OBP.

His defensive metrics aren’t eye-popping, recording a .977 fielding percentage with a -0.3 Ultimate Zone Rating and -9 Defensive Runs Saved in 2018. This brings up another question, do you sacrifice a little defense to help provide a little more offense? In a stopgap situation, yes.

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Mercer’s baseline numbers point to a possible decline, however, as pointed out by MLBTradeRumors, of all the shortstop free agent options, Mercer’s .314 expected wOBA was .314, while his actual wOBA was .297, pointing to possibly just a little bad luck in 2018.

Where do the San Diego Padres go?

The easy answer? Fernando Tatis Jr is ready to go after a strong spring training and the problem is solved! If only it was that convenient. If the Padres are going to need another stopgap option, both Iglesias and Mercer could be cheap, viable options that bring better bats to this lineup, a lineup that needs any sort of help it can get.

Another thought to consider, without very many options in free agency, would either of these targets be an upgrade over Cory Spangenberg?

What do you think, Padres fans? Do you dish out the money to bring back Galvis? Target one of the above mentioned free agents? Or stick with Javy Guerra? Were the Machado comments just ownership blowing smoke and you still think he’s the primary target? Let us know.

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