Even if the rumored signing of David Guzman goes through, the Portland Timbers still find themselves with plenty of holes to fill in their roster and, as this is Major League Soccer, today we have another draft at noon today that the team can make use of: the Re-Entry Draft.
More specifically, the Timbers have the first round of the 2016 Re-Entry Draft today, giving the team the option to pick up a player whose option was declined by the other teams in the league or who played out their contract but did not qualify for free agency and who fits into a specific set of criteria.
In order to qualify for the draft, players must be either at least 23 years old and have played at least three years in the league, or be at least 25 years old and have played at least four years in the league.
That means that the Re-Entry draft usually features a number of players that are just entering their athletic prime and who have managed to stick around the league for several years at least, but who have not performed well enough to warrant the raise that many option years entail.
So, is there anyone that the Timbers should be looking at? Well, in the first round of the Re-Entry Draft, things are a little more tricky than just picking up a new player. If a player is selected in the first round, the team that picks him must pick up that player’s option or, if the player was out of contract, extend a “bona-fide offer”, which entails a specific raise for the player.
Here are two players that might just be a good enough value for the Timbers to snag in round one (and you can find the rest of the eligible players here):
The former Chicago Fire man is a versatile midfielder able to play in the center of the pitch or on either flank and at just over $100k in 2016 he represents a good value for the level of cover that he provides (Zarek Valentin, but in the midfield). Industrious and willing to put in the defensive work out wide, Stevens seems like a safe, if unexciting pick up for a Timbers team looking for depth.
Clark backstopped the Crew to the 2015 MLS Cup Final before having his confidence utterly destroyed by Diego Valeri in the 27th second of that match. Of course, playing behind a struggling, burned-out defense did not help either. Still, Clark is a proven keeper maybe just in need of the some rehab with a new club and the Timbers could provide that chance. What makes Clark much less attactive, however, is his salary which stood north of $200k last season.
Is there anyone you would like to see the Timbers take in the Re-Entry Draft’s first round? What about the second?