Free agents still for hire!
Well, let's see who is left on the free agent market (in no real particular order):
- Carlos Beltran - the "cream of the crop", though I beg to differ. Is he an excellent player? Sure, but he's not worth what the Yankees will end up giving him. I'd rather have...
- JD Drew - yeah, he's two years older and only a lefty, but his numbers are better. Go take a look, I dare you. OK, he hasn't been the healthiest player in the league, but last season he showed he can be healthy for an entire season AND he had an OPS > 1.000 and an OPS+ of 158, both marks Beltran has never reached. Oh yeah, and he'll be cheaper, too. (SIGNED 12/22: Dodgers - 5 years, $55M)
- Magglio Ordonez - I haven't really heard much about him this offseason. My guess is that he's lying low until the two guys I mentioned above sign, then he'll go to the team that didn't get him. And his injury is probably really scaring off some teams. My guess is that he'll go for a short term deal a la Garciaparra (go Yellow Jackets!).
- Moises Alou - I wrote enough about him here. I really don't think he's going to play very well wherever he goes, unless, of course, it's another hitters ballpark, which he's been able to find throughout his career. (SIGNED 12/23: Giants - 2 years, $13.5M)
- Jason Varitek - The only catcher left, he's going to command a pretty high price from the Sox. Of course, if they decide to bypass him, he'll probably make markedly less wherever he ends up. He better be careful, or he'll find himself in the same spot as... (SIGNED 12/25: Red Sox - 4 years, $40M)
- Eric Milton - Is he the best pitcher left? Jeez, I know it wasn't the best offseason for pitchers, but Milton??? His numbers are not good at ALL. I'm glad he asked too much from the Yanks and they dropped him like a hot potato. Hopefully for good. Career 4.76 ERA. 2004 ERA of 4.75. (SIGNED 12/28: Reds - 3 years, $25.5M)
- Odalis Perez - Does this guy have personality issues? If he does, are they worse than Matt Clement's? Pitched in a pitchers park, but had a better Road ERA (3.21) than Home ERA (3.31). Also pitched much better vs righties (2.79 ERA) than vs. lefties (4.84 ERA). He started 31 games, yet somehow managed to have a record of 7-6. Crazy. Would rather have had him than Wright.
- Carlos Delgado - Going to the Mets? Would Piazza then catch every day? Maybe to the M's and have Sexson butcher LF? Who knows, but this guy can hit. He had a slightly off year with an OPS of .907 which was his lowest since 1997. Is he sliding downhill? Was it a result of being on such a crappy team? My guess is the later, but he'll be 33 next year, so I'd be wary of giving him more than a 3 year contract.
- Derek Lowe - Apparently the Dodgers have been really talking to Lowe, but he's only had one good season in 2002. Plus, he needs a good infield to field all his grounders, and an infield of Valentin and Kent isn't going to do it. He's going to feel like he's back with the Sox in the first half of 2004 with those guys behind him. Also keep in mind that away from Fenway last season his ERA was 6.21.
- Orlando Cabrera - not really too much to say about him, though with Renteria getting $10M/yr, you'd think that Cabrera would be able to snag some cash, too, but that won't happen. He didn't play well last season (but then again, either did Renteria), and when he did play well for Montreal, he was playing in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the majors. I think that he's pricing himself too high for what he really is - a good fielding, average/below average hitting shortstop. (SIGNED 12/20: Angels - 4 years, $32M - wow!)
- Orlando Hernandez - someone will sign him and get their money's worth out of him. He pitched fantastic for the Yanks down the stretch, and I'm disappointed they didn't resign him. Maybe they can trade for him before the July 31 trading deadline when they realize that they need another pitcher. 2004: 8-2, 3.30 ERA, 84.2 IP, 84 K, 36 BB. (SIGNED 12/23: White Sox - 2 years, $8M)
- Barry Larkin - I haven't heard of anything about Barry so far. Is he not retiring? He had a decent year for an old guy (.771 OPS). He'll stick with a team, but I'm not sure if he's going to get a starting position anywhere. What teams still have SS open right now? And Cabrera is the better choice (depending on $$$). Good luck, Barry, you've had a great career.
- Kevin Millwood - how the mighty have fallen. $11M??? Crazy money for the season that he had (4.85 ERA). I wonder how much he's asking, and if any teams are interested. He might end up with a one year contract to prove how good he is a la Garciaparra. He's had a couple excellent seasons and a couple pretty good seasons, so a team should take a one year flier on him. Tigers maybe? (they gotta sign SOMEONE!!!)
That's all I can see right now. Let me know if I've missed anyone important. There are still a lot of great/very good/good players left going into the holiday season, which I'm assuming will be a slow time for signings. Hopefully the Randy trade will go through so the other free agents can start falling into place.
posted by shawn
: 12/20/2004 08:09:00 PM -