Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First Day Free Agent Filers

They're listed over at MLB.com.

Because I have nothing to do until Grady Little gets fired later today, it seems like a good time for a random riff-fest:

Arizona: Cirillo, Jeff (3B); Hernandez, Livan (SP); Wickman, Bob (RP)

Jeff Cirillo is still alive? Cool. I always liked him. Hernandez was arguably the weakest link of the D-backs rotation, but he wasn't disastrous, and at $7M for 200+ innings, he was a relative bargain in this market. I'd probably try to sign him because, if for no other reason, you can count on him to take the ball every fifth day without complaint, and there is some value to that. Wickman is a head case. But he's a head case who can still pitch, so someone is going to sign him.

Atlanta: Franco, Julio (1B); Mahay, Ron (RP)

Looks like the end of the line for Julio. Look for a coaching job, mi amigo. Mahay is one of the few guys left who crossed the picket lines in 1995, and for that reason he is barred from getting dough for MLBPA-licensed merch. This led to the best video game pseudonym in history, when High Heat Baseball (2000 version, I believe) called him "Rod Mayday." I always loved that. Oh, and the Braves should re-sign him, because if what people are saying is true, the band is getting back together again, and since the band is getting pretty damn old, they're going to need as much bullpen help as they can get.

Chicago Cubs: Wood, Kerry L. (RP)

If, before I got online and checked this morning, you were to bet me $500 that Kerry Wood had pitched, at least a little bit, in every season since coming off of his 1999 surgery, I would have taken that action. But he has, putting in 24 more or less effective relief innings in 2007, coming in for nearly 20 innings last year, and pitching 66 in 2005. It's amazing to realize that he's still only 30 years-old. I'd like to think that Wood could pull a Tom Gordon and re-invent himself as a lights out reliever.

Cleveland: Nixon, Trot (OF)

I think Cleveland is satisfied with the dawn of the Franklin Gutierrez era.

Colorado: Affeldt, Jeremy (RP); Julio, Jorge (RP)

People in Kansas City were probably surprised that Affeldt put up 137 ERA+ the year after they dumped him, but at least the main guy they got back -- Scott Dohmann -- put up the same ERA+ in 2007. Unfortunately, he did that for the Rays, so that won't make them feel any better. Neither Affeldt nor Julio are irreplaceable, but if I'm Colorado and I have a couple of pitchers who showed some amount of success and mental stability pitching in Coors Field, I probably do what I can to keep them around.

Detroit: Casey, Sean T. (1B); Jones, Todd (RP)

Sean Casey has made over $40M as a power-free first baseman during the greatest hitting era of all time. Being well-liked pays dividends, I suppose. Unfortunately for Casey, the Rentaria pickup means Carlos Guillen will slide over to first, which will require him to utilize that extensive network to find a job. Thanks to Guitar Hero and a freak bullpen injury to Joel Zumaya, Todd Jones' resume now has around 50 more saves than it probably otherwise would have had, so that should help him sucker his way into another year or two worth of closer's paychecks.

Florida: Benitez, Armando (RP)

While some ex-fireballers manage to hang around after they lose their stuff, Benitez isn't the first person that comes to mind when you imagine a crafty old reliever surviving on guile and pluck. He's probably done.

Ausmus, Brad (C); Lamb, Mike (3B); Loretta, Mark D. (INF); Miller, Trever D. (RP); Moehler, Brian (RP); Palmeiro, Orlando (OF)

In 15 major league season, Ausmus has only had two years in which his bat could even be called average, and those both occured when Bill Clinton was in the White House. Since then, he has collected nearly $27 million in salary. What happens with Ausmus is probably a pretty good indicator as to whether the Astros are serious about rebuilding.

Kansas City: LaRue, Jason (C); Sanders, Reggie (OF)

Even though he laid a stinky egg in his one season playing for my Braves, I will always admire Reggie Sanders. He's one of the few guys who has truly earned all of the money he's made because he has never really been on a long term contract and thus is always playing for his next deal. Indeed, this is now the sixth time he has been granted free agency, and no one who has signed him has ever really been burned (he came to Atlanta via trade).

As Rob Neyer pointed out in his excellent Baseball Blunders book, Charlie O. Finely was the only guy -- other than Marvin Miller -- who realized that free agency could actually kill player salaries if every player was made a free agent every year, thus more accurately matching supply with demand. The example of Sanders makes me think that would have worked out just fine for all sides.

Los Angeles Angels:
Colon, Bartolo (SP)

Dave at U.S.S. Mariner believes that Colon is the "hidden gem" of this year's free agent class. He may very well be right.

Milwaukee: Cordero, Francisco (RP); King, Ray (RP); Koskie, Corey L. (3B); Linebrink, Scott (RP); Miller, Damian (C)

Cordero is probably a must-sign. Ray King is whatever the opposite of that is. Corey Koskie is redundant for two reasons: (1) Ryan Braun done went and Pipped him; and (2) there is a little-known law -- I think it was part of the Patriot Act -- that no organization or assembly of any kind can have more than one Corey as a member, and Mr. Hart fills that slot in Milwaukee. And before you ask, A&E is OK because it was grandfathered in.

Minnesota: Hunter, Torii K. (OF); Silva, Carlos (SP)

Hunter is gone. The Twins probably need to hold on to Silva, both because he's a decent pitcher and because he's apparently good buddies with Johan. But he is the kind of guy who is going to get really overpaid in this market, and I question whether Minnesota will try to match the kind of offers he's going to get from the Mets of the world. And besides, Santana may be gone anyway, so why overpay for his posse? Of course if they don't and Santana leaves, then who the hell pitches? Man, I'm glad I'm not running the Twins this winter.

NY Mets: Anderson, Marlon (OF); Castillo, Luis A. (2B); Castro, Ramon Abraham (C); Easley, Damion (INF); Green, Shawn (OF); Lo Duca, Paul (C)

Anderson ended up being pretty handy off the bench, but a lot of other people could be too. In Easley and Castillo the Mets are watching over half of their innings at second base walk away, but neither one seems like the solution, so Omar should keep watching. There's been talk about getting A-Rod and maybe moving Wright over there, but (a) I can't see Wright handling the position; (b) I can see his offense suffering if he were to try; and (c) I don't think A-Rod wants to be in New York anymore, whether it's the Bonx or Queens. Someone is going to end up taking a flyer on Marcus Giles. It may as well be the Mets.

NY Yankees: Mientkiewicz, Doug A. (1B); Posada, Jorge (C); Rivera, Mariano (RP); Rodriguez, Alex (3B); Vizcaino, Luis (RP)


Oakland: DaVanon, Jeff (OF); Stewart, Shannon H. (OF)

Stewart earned his $1 million in Oakland this year -- he did better than Piazza did for eight times that money -- but not much more. Anyone planning on paying him any more than that for 2008 is likely to get ripped off.

Philadelphia: Lieber, Jon (SP); Mesa, Jose (RP); Nunez, Abraham O. (3B); Rowand, Aaron (OF)

Word on the street is that Rowand wants $10M a year. Word on the street is also that the Yankees may go after him to fill the hole in centerfield that will open up when they trade Melky to the Twins to acquire Santana. If those words are to be trusted, I think Rowand will get his $10M a year.

Pittsburgh: Armas Jr., Tony (SP)

He's three years younger than Matt Morris and had an ERA+ one point lower. In crazy-ass Pirates land, that probably makes him worth $11M. The press conference will probably take place on Friday.

St. Louis: Cairo, Miguel J. (INF); Eckstein, David (SS); Percival, Troy (RP); Wells, Kip (SP)

Someone is going to fall for Eckstein's .309 average and his pedigree for scrappiness and offer him too much money. Cardinal fans had better hope it's not St. Louis, because he's not worth any more (and probably somewhat less) than the $4.5M he made last year. Percival's nice little comeback probably earned him a nice big paycheck for 2008, assuming his arm can handle a whole season. Which isn't necessarily a safe assumption.

San Diego: Barrett, Michael P. (C); Bradley, Milton (OF)

Both of these guys are going to finish their careers having made far less money than their talent should have earned them because, to put it bluntly, they're assholes. Hey, that gives me an idea! Since no one should pay Sean Casey anything to play first base, he should open up a finishing school for minor leaguers. I bet he could even get Scott Boras and other agents to go in halfsies on the startup costs.

San Francisco: Bonds, Barry (OF); Feliz, Pedro (3B)

One is still probably worth several million a year and one is not, yet the one that isn't is way more likely to get a contract before the one that is.

Toronto: Kennedy, Joe (P); Stairs, Matt (OF)

Like Reggie Sanders, this is Stairs sixth go-around on the free agency carousel. Also like Sanders, Stairs has never burned anyone, although Stairs has typically been a far bigger bargain than even Sanders has been. He just put up a hell of a season for Toronto at a bargain basement price. I love Stairs, so I hope someone pays him stupid money this year.

Washington: Fick, Robert (1B)

Speaking of stupid money, that's what you can all any amount over bus fare out of town that gets paid to Fick in 2008. He makes me pine for Rico Brogna. If there is any justice in this world, he'll be selling insurance or something next summer.

Yesterday at this time I was asking myself I was spending too much time writing about A-Rod. Given that the "gems" of the currently-declared free agents at this point are Matt Stairs, Bartolo Colon, Carlos Silva, and a handful of relief arms, I am not so worried about my priorities today.

1 comment:

Chris Needham said...

C'mon there! Nobody in their right mind would buy insurance from Robert @#$#ing Fick!

Now if you said "Jiffy Lube Technician" or "Septic Tank Cleaner..."

(If he did sell insurance, do you think that Eric Karros would buy from him?)