MLB Hot Stove: Breaking down platoon OF market after A's sign Matt Joyce

The Oakland Athletics have agreed to sign outfielder Matt Joyce to a two-year, $11 million deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. There's no doubt this could be filed as a non-sexy move, notably at this point in the offseason, but Joyce could be very useful.

Coming off a terrible 2015 season, the former All-Star hit .242/.403/.463 (131 OPS+) with 10 doubles and 13 homers in only 231 at-bats last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates . He's absolutely a part-timer and his career splits show why. The lefty-swinging Joyce hits .252/.353/.449 against right-handers and .185/.265/.310 against Southpaws.

So he'll provide good on-base and decent power chops against right-handers, in all likelihood. This is sometimes how clubs not looking to spend big money have to operate. Instead of grabbing one bigger name player, put together a tandem.

For example, let's say the Seattle Mariners eventually settle into a Danny Valencia and Seth Smith platoon in left field. That doesn't sound too appealing to the masses, but Valencia is a career .321/.373/.500 hitter against lefties while Smith hits .272/.355/.472 against right-handers. Platooning them is tantamount to that being one starter and that's a damn good one at the plate.

Here are some other veteran outfielders in free agency who could make nice platoon pieces for 2017:

[Please note that we're obviously excluding players who will be everyday starters, are switch-hitters or have somewhat even platoon splits]

Lefty swingers

Brandon Moss - He hit 28 homers last season, 25 of which came against right-handers. Sure, he doesn't play nearly as much against fellow lefties, but Moss slugged 150 points higher against righties.

Chris Coghlan - His overall line in 2016 looks bad, but the Coghlan hit .252 with a .391 OBP for the Chicago Cubs . His career OPS is 148 points higher against righties.

Colby Rasmus - He could still find everyday work, but if not, Rasmus has great power against right-handers, with 124 of his career 156 homers against them. He gains 119 points of OPS, too.

Righty swingers

Ryan Raburn - Against Southpaws, Raburn gains 15 points of batting average, 47 of OBP and 96 of slugging.

Desmond Jennings - Probably more a "change of scenery" hopeful after the Tampa Bay Rays released him, Jennings has hit .264/.346/.431 against left-handers in his career. That's certainly workable if a team has a left-handed counterpart.

Justin Ruggiano - Hoping for some power against a lefty? Ruggiano might be your man. In 499 career at-bats against Southpaws, he's hitting .275/.338/.527 with 39 doubles and 27 homers.

Drew Stubbs - How about some speed? Stubbs can fly. He's also a career .272/.348/.444 hitter against lefties.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
CBS Sports Shop
Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champs Gear
Our Latest Stories