So Baseball America, being the bang-up organization that it is, has a database of all the minor league free agents that you can search in a number of ways. Combine that with our conversations Sunday night on the TCB podcast with the Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine, and I've been thinking about cheap shortstop options for the Houston Astros.â†µ
They need someone to replace Clint Barmes at short and with no real internal candidates (sorry, Angel Sanchez). That's one reason why the team claimed Brian Bixler recently, since he's got extensive experience at short. But, if they need to add a couple more bodies, who's out there (besides the major league guys)?
Let's touch on a few interesting candidates:â†µ
Chin-Lung Hu, New York Mets: The former top prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers has never hit in the majors, but still plays pretty good defense. He's coming off some injuries and hasn't played in over 100 games since 2009.â†µ
Omar Quintanilla, Texas Rangers: Another top prospect, Quintanilla's problem wasn't a lack of a bat. In fact, he's hit pretty well in the minors. The problem is that never translated to major league production. Maybe all he needs is a team desperate enough to commit to him...â†µ
Steve Tolleson, San Diego Padres:Unlike the top two guys on this list, Tolleson's main strength is his bat. It's not great, but it's better than the other two guys on this list. Tolleson has a pretty good eye and some pop and has shown both in the majors as well as the minors. If anything, his biggest problem is he's a little too much like another guy on the roster, Angel Sanchez.â†µ