Trevor Plouffe is a free agent. After a trying year in 2017 – his first away from the Minnesota Twins organization – he is looking to rebound and build off of the previous positive steps he had shown as a Twin. I believe that his glove had shown steady improvement and his ability to poke out a ball or two is still there, so who is going to take this low risk and gain these high rewards? Let’s take a look…
From lowest to highest chance of signing, here are the destinations and reasons why this fit makes sense:
- Minnesota Twins – If Miguel Sano does not progress as anticipated, plugging in a guy who knows Target Field and the Twins system would make sense. Plus, he’d be much cheaper than last time they let him go. (And selfishly speaking, I’d love to see him back in a Twins uniform.)
- Cincinnati Reds – It would take a Joey Votto trade to open up some options at the corners, but should this happen, Trevor could be a cheap asset for a rebuilding team and could apply his veteran leadership.
- Colorado Rockies – Mark Reynolds is a free agent and a whole at first base exists. The Rockies have a history of plugging in former Twins, but their playoff window appears to be opening, so they may spend considerable coin for their corner infield spot.
- New York Mets – David Wright is all but a fading memory. The Mets have enough infielders to patch together a third base stop-gap, but maybe they’d want a veteran guy who can play first base? If the fire sale starts, the Mets become more likely in the Plouffe sweepstakes.
- Seattle Mariners – Staying int he middle is not an option for the Mariners anymore. They have to decide if they are going for it or reorganizing for the future. If money-saving measures are needed, an opening at first base could be filled by Trevor much like the man who he displaced in Minnesota had done last year with Seattle. Ken Griffey, Jr. being Trevor’s favorite might sway him up there if sentiments were measurable.
- San Francisco Giants – Similar to Seattle, but in a platoon role with Brandon Belt, the Giants have made the decision to rebuild. Now let’s see if they clear house or hang on to pieces that would prevent a Plouffe signing from happening. Being a Los Angeles kid at heart, I think the idea of being in a Giants uniform would not be ideal for Trevor.
- Texas Rangers – The Rangers were looking at a fire sale, but somehow held strong in the standings and made the team question if they want to add (spend more) or subtract (bargain shop). Adrian Beltre is aging and Plouffe could find some playing time at the hot corner and/or platooning with lefty first baseman Joey Gallo.
- San Diego Padres – Closer to home, this is the first California team to be in the running, but not the last. San Diego is a young team and has a history of going the “cheaper” route. A hole at third base could be filled nicely by a solid bounce-back candidate.
- Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers either got lucky last year (hot start with Cubs cold start) or have started to contend a couple years ahead of time. While they don’t have a hole to fill, finding time at third seems to be logical right now and platooning with Eric Thames would also bring extra at-bats Plouffe’s way. (Again, selfishly speaking, I’d enjoy this proximity. Being able to catch a series would be more than doable.)
- Baltimore Orioles – A bit of a wild card, the Orioles could be heavily interested in Plouffe’s services… if a Machado trade is likely. The Orioles would be off the list or more likely to sign him, depending on the path ownership is taking with a rebuild or making Machado the centerpiece.
- Los Angeles Angels – Maybe not the Los Angeles home that Plouffe dreamed of as a kid, the Angels could be his hometown team nonetheless. Third base isn’t locked down by anyone in particular and first base is lacking in depth, so that screams Trevor Plouffe to me. And if Albert Pujols gets hurt (like he tends to do as an Angel), additional at-bats in DH wouldn’t be a bad thing.
- Detroit Tigers – So many possibilities and reasons why this works, but it all hinges on how quickly Detroit makes trades and commits even further to a rebuild. If Miguel Cabrera’s services are no longer of use int he Motor City, Trevor “I Love Gardy” Plouffe would have a shot at the corner positions for at-bats.
Note: I am assuming Patrick means “I Love Gardy” in some language, because the respect he showed his former manager was deep (deservingly so).
- Kansas City Royals – Mike Moustakas is a free agent and the Kansas City Royals are once again assumed to be rebuilding. It’d be somewhat fitting/ironic if Trevor took over for Moose in KC – they formed a close relationship that seemed to deepen when Trevor switched to third base a few years back. A Plouffe/Butera reunion would make getting the band back together much more feasible (you hear that, Luke Hughes?).
- Miami Marlins – Moving from one coast of Florida to the other wouldn’t be so hard… if it weren’t for the fact that home for Trevor is about as far away from Miami as you can get in the continental US. But Miami is in a slashing mode and looking to have its first non-“Jeffrey Loria Fire Sale” in team history. Jeter might see Trevor as an ultra-affordable replacement for Martin Prado.
One thing is for certain, Trevor Plouffe will be working like mad this offseason to make 2018 magical. I still have faith and I will support whichever team that decides to sign him. I’ve driven to Oakland and Tampa from Minneapolis just to see him play and I know there is plenty more road ahead for the both of us.