Tuesday, December 18, 2007

S7 Free Agency Review

Here's the list of the 20 most active teams in free agency with some notes. At the bottom I list which teams I think did the best.

Anaheim – Another good FA season. They re-signed Albert Guzman and his career .400 OBP. Plus solid producers in former all-stars Emil Marichal and Dan West at a great price. Vic Green will give them 200 innings. Still the youngest guy they signed was 34 and the average age of the 10 FA’s signed was 36.

Arizona – Dick Yeats production has slipped, but he still has value.

Austin – Was able to re-sign their great WW pickup in Robin Sullivan, one of the better pitchers in the league.

Chicago – resigned his own in uber-RP Bob Appier, Santayana, and Ralph Kidd. Then they picked up a very good RP in Daniel Malone.

Cincinnati – Got one of the big bats available in Ben Musial, add him to Benj Clark and Eli Oliva makes a nice lineup. Victor Williams will be their new starting SS and Bruce Benes will be a nice addition as a SP/LRA. Then after trading away CLA/SuA Emil Renteria him in S5, they came back and resigned him.

Cleveland – Signed two reclamation projects. Both SPs Randy Pember and Al Sanchez have good ratings, but just haven’t performed like their ratings seem to indicate. If either turn out to have a good season Cleveland will be happy.

Colorado – Signed defensive minded SS, and a couple of RPs. Darrell Castillo will compete for a spot in the rotation.

Dover – Switch hitter John Bong has a history of swinging a good bat. Baily Crawford is a SS with a decent glove and his bat won’t embarrass his team.

Florida – Signed a high OBP in Louis Henderson. Yannick Gilbert is a gold glove CF that has a decent bat.

Hartford – Got All-Star Al Pena at bargain basement price, he is a difference maker that could put them back in the ALCS. Charlie Gwynn has also been resigned at great price, but he is no longer a SP due to injury.

Houston – Carlos Martin will be a fine addition to this team. He won’t be able to play 2B much longer, but his bat is good enough to be an option in the OF.

Indianapolis – Archie Saunders has always hit 32+ HRs and 100+ RBI, they will need all of that in their division.

Las Vegas – Hugh Moore is a huge pickup, he has averaged 58 HRs and 157 RBIs ever season. Otis Martin is a good switch hitting 1B that has had good seasons, but just hasn’t been given many ABs the last few seasons. Willie Roque and Doc May won’t be in the Cy Young mix, but could be very solid back of the rotation guys.

Milwaukee – signed a solid RP in Harold Sweeney and got a good defensive backstop.

Minnesota – Gerald Thomas is another SP with great ratings, but the last few seasons he has really been lit up by the opposition. What he does give them is a guy that has the stamina to rest the bullpen and that can pay dividends when he’s not pitching. A couple of middle relief guys should also help their bullpen.

New Britain – Resigned Jim Stewart who is a great slugger, Terry Cummings and Pete Buddie might regain some of their magic from past seasons. Tom Pember is a good young signing. Abraham Brown might be a decent RP, but he’s never pitched at the ML level.

NY – Signed 36 year old Wilfredo Iglesias, he was cheap which is good but he got absolutely rocked last season. He’s had a few decent seasons in the past, and his ratings really are decent. He’s a decent gamble for a low price.

Sacramento – Got a hot or cold pitcher in Dwight Marshall, he can be great and at $1.4 he’s a good buy and a contract the owner won’t mind eating if he pitches like s6 again. Junior Simmons is a top notch defensive SS, and Matt Charles can fill the role of long RP or spot starter if needed.

Salem – Only signed one guy, but Brian Scott is a very solid performer at the COF spots. He’s not the kind of guy that can carry a team by himself, but he certainly adds a very solid and consistent bat.

ScottsdaleDon Lane, Kirk Jenkins, and Andre Starr have four all-star appearances and two silver slugger awards but all are aging guys. Mostly they are going to play backup roles, but should give Scottsdale a deep bench and an extra RP.

Teams that did the Best in Free Agency

Cincinnati and AnaheimAnaheim probably added the most talent, but in two years most the guys they signed are going to be retired or just backups. Cincinnati grabbed one of the premier players available, a starting SS, and some relief help.

Next Best Teams in Free Agency

Las Vegas and HartfordHartford makes this list on one signing, a HOF player (Al Pena) for pennies. Las Vegas signed one of the top 5 players available and plus added a number of mid range players that should start.

Honorable Mention

Sacramento, Florida, Chicago, Salem

Money Burning a hole in their pocket

A tie between New Britain and Wichita. New Britain made some decent signings, but spent a lot of money and a few of the guys have little to no history of success. Wichita had a number of odd signings followed by immediately releasing the guy.

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