Minnesota Twins Non-Tender Candidate No. 1: 1B Mike Ford
Mike Ford first burst onto the scene with the New York Yankees in 2019 after an impressive minor league career, slashing .259/.350/.559 in 50 games that year. Since that rookie season, though, he hasn’t been the same hitter and has bounced around a bit, seeing time in the Rays and Nationals minor league system after the Yankees gave up hope.
During the last two seasons, he owns a .134/.250/.276 slash line in 51 major league games. It’s a small sample size, but it’s far off from the .909 OPS he managed in ‘19, but it’s why the Nationals decided to non-tender him. I still think he has something in the bat. In 40 games with the Rays Triple-A affiliate when he hit .243 with 11 HRs and a .874 OPS.
He’s left-handed but has shown reversed splits in his major league career, posting a 150 wRC+ against southpaws. That makes him a candidate to platoon with one of the left-handed hitters in the lineup if he can find his stroke again.
The raw power he possesses is very attractive given how cheap he’ll be on the market. There aren’t many opportunities to bring in a player who produced a .301 ISO just three years ago. The key part for him is that he doesn’t need to set the world on fire. If he can manage an OPS around .760 with 12-15 HRs as a part-time player, that’s a valuable bat who will outperform his contract.