Previewing the Minnesota Twins 2017 Potential Arbitration Eligibles
Escobar was an incredibly valuable piece for the Minnesota Twins in 2017. Able to handle shortstop in a pinch, third base very well, and handle every position other than first base in his major league career, including even catching an inning this season for the Twins.
When Escobar was acquired for Francisco Liriano, many Minnesota Twins fans felt like the Twins were “cheated” by getting a utility type rather than more of a high-ceiling prospect for Liriano’s volatile-yet-elite left arm. However, Escobar has turned into an important part of the Twins roster the last 5 seasons, topping 350 at bats in each of the last four seasons and posting a 100 OPS+ or better in three of those four seasons.
Escobar also provided one other major thing for the Twins in 2017 – Miguel Sano insurance. With the possibility that Sano may need surgery on his troublesome shin, having someone who can play quality defense at the hot corner the way Escobar can would be incredibly valuable.
In 2017, Escobar hit .254/.309/.449 with 21 home runs, driving in 73 runs. Like it or not, his .301 career OBP is not likely to come into play in the arbitration process as much as things like those 21 HR and 73 RBI will come into play, and that can be a good argument for Escobar’s agents.
Escobar has made $2.15M and $2.6M in the last two seasons, but it would not surprise to see him get to $4M at least this offseason. Frankly, his value to the team makes him a player that is too valuable to let walk away, unless somehow he is going to be over $7M.
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