Trevor story, one of only five premium shortstops on the free agent market this year, had a poor season in his walking year. With trade rumors swirling around him and a nagging elbow injury that plagued him for most of the first four months, Story battled inconsistency at the plate, hurting his trade value.
When the trade deadline passed, Story was still in the Colorado Rockies, as the Rockies’ selling price never wavered despite their uneven season:
Story’s performance improved marginally in the 53 games after the Deadline, as he dropped .269 / .359 / .544 with 11 home runs after July 30. In 89 games before that, he hit .240 / .312 / .429 with 13 home runs.
Because he remained in Colorado, Story will receive a qualifying offer from the Rockies, attaching compensation for Draft selection in free agency. That shouldn’t stop potential suitors from chasing him down, although his disappointing season will likely lower the value of his overall contract. Here’s a list of his nine teams most likely to catch him:
A five-tool player with timeless All-Star talent. Obviously, it’s been a low year relative to what was expected, but there are some tangible things that can be identified as contributing factors: injuries, limited protection in the lineup, and just pressure in a platform year. That said, Story is a top-tier bat with the ability to power hit, run, and defend. These players are generally well compensated and I anticipate Trevor will be the same.
Story’s .471 slugging percentage, .329 on-base percentage and .251 batting average were the lowest since 2017, while his 103 OPS + was the second-lowest of his career. Story’s performance improved after the trade deadline, but teams will want to make sure the elbow issue won’t be a setback down the road.
At 29, Story should still be in the prime of his career, so suitors will have to feel confident that his offseason in 2021 was the exception, not the rule. On the field, Story hasn’t come close to his 2019 form (+18 outs above average), posting an OAA of 0 in 2020 and an OAA of -6 this season.
Story compares favorably to several of his fellow free agents, including Puerto Ricans Carlos Correa, Javier Báez and Corey Seager. Neither of them are expected to get the $ 340 million Francisco Lindor received from the Mets to lock him up before free agency, and Story’s disappointing season will likely hamper the overall value of his next contract.
It may interest you: MLB Now for what? Since he was not traded Trevor Story woke up in his batting
Toronto’s Marcus Semien accepted a one-year deal worth $ 18 million in a similar situation a year ago; Could Story take a one- or two-year deal worth $ 20-22 million per year and give free agency another spin in 2022 or ’23?