Detroit Tigers free agency primer: Danny Valencia an ideal fit
Danny Valencia’s glove work doesn’t exactly stand out from a defensive metrics standpoint.
He was solid in terms of defensive runs saved in 984 innings for the Mariners at first base in 2017 with a +2 number.
However, his UZR/150 checked in at -9.2. Elsewhere, he logged a -25.6 UZR/150 and a -18 DRS in 582.2 innings at third base for Oakland in 2016.
Elsewhere, the veteran has logged 228 career innings in left field and 366.1 frames in right field. Overall, he’s worked to a collective -2.1 UZR/150 and a -5 DRS as an outfielder.
While those don’t exactly scream value defensively, Valencia’s ability to man all four corner positions makes him a potentially useful contributor for the Detroit Tigers.
If the team signs him to a short-term deal (as they should be doing with all free agents this winter), Detroit could utilize Valencia mainly at first base, where he’s been the most effective in his career from a defensive standpoint.
Third base and the outfield
That being said, the team can also shift him to other positions on a given day if need be.
Valencia could conceivably see somewhere between 10-15 games at third base to keep Jeimer Candelario fresh while also logging innings in the outfield corners.
The Mariners first baseman’s defensive metrics in the corner outfield aren’t Kevin Kiermaier level, but he’s shown relatively well in right field, with a 1.3 UZR/150 and a -1 DRS.
That would be a significant improvement for the Tigers, a team that had by far the worst right field defense in the league, with a collective -21 DRS and a -17.1 defensive runs above average.