Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Agency Part 2

The Nationals made the big headlines but there were plenty of other interesting deals made during the second half of Free Agency. Here's a summary of the rest of the Type A and B signings:

Doug Bay, RP: Chicago (AL) - 1 year, $4.6MM. Excellent "old-guy 1-year contract. Bay has seen only a negligible ratings drop (couple of points in DUR) and is looking like he'll be effective until he's 40. Blanch's Grade: A

Ajb's Second Opinion:
The screwball specialist will be at it again for one more season. Great control plus nasty nasty screwball equals many outs. Wouldn't be surprised to see him step in and close a few games but for right now he will be a key pitcher out of the pen to bridge the gap between the starters and the closer. Ajb's Grade: A

Neifi Martin, 3B: Philadelphia - 3 years, $11.4MM. Neifi's still good, but the ratings are collapsing. Fortunately the Phillies retained a mutual option for the 3rd year. He'll still hit this year, but the end is in sight. Blanch's Grade: B

Ajb's Second Opinion: He's not the player he once was as his ratings are starting to decline. Even so he still should put up solid numbers for the majority of his contract. His bat may still hold up but his defense is falling fast. May see time in the OF. For 3 million a year he is not being overpaid at all. Ajb's Grade: B+

Aaron Taylor, 2B: Pittsburgh - 3 years, $20.8MM. Great defense, a little pop, and he plays 162 games a year. Maybe a little steep on the price tag, but a solid player. Blanch's Grade: A-

Ajb's Second Opinion: Terrific signing, great health and his ratings have not yet started slipping. His offensive production should totally justify the annual salary that he will be making. Ajb's Grade: A

Jesus Olivares, RP: Washington D.C. - 5 years, $110MM. The one everyone's talking about. On one hand, can you give a max contract to a relief pitcher? On the other hand, Olivares can give you SP innings with a little work. You have to take the Olivares, Javier and Lindblom contracts (total: $274MM) as a package deal: World Series or two, they all get an A. No WS, they get an F. For now, Olivares is a very good pitcher who got overpaid. Blanch's Grade: C

Ajb's Second Opinion: Hmm, where have I seen this before. Washington making a huge free agent signing, again. Well there is no doubt who has one of the better bullpens in this world. Like I said before, this is a A+ signing if they win a World Series or two, if they don't, well then that's a lot of money being spent. Ajb's Grade: B

Miguel Javier, 2B: Washington D.C. - 5 years, $90MM. Everything's pretty much all been said about D.C.'s contracts at this point.

Ajb's Second Opinion: See every other Washington signing....

Alex Renteria, C: Tampa Bay - 3 years, $15.3MM. Looks like a great price for an All-Star to me. Blanch's Grade: A

Ajb's Second Opinion: Last year was a great year for him and while he has never had trouble hitting 15-20 home runs a year, his batting average has never been great (until last year). 5 million a year for the next 3 years is not over paying for his services. Ajb's Grade: B+

Len Brower, RP: Tampa Bay - 1 year, $3.9MM. Another good 1 year, old-reliever deal. Blanch's Grade: A

Ajb's Second Opinion: He should be a solid addition to the Rays bullpen, and if he's not? Well he's only signed for one year. Good signing. Ajb's Grade: A

Nigel Simon
, 3B: Tampa Bay - 3 years, $15MM. Not a bad price for a guy who could put up numbers close to Vin Sanchez'. Blanch's Grade: B+

Ajb's Second Opinion: A poor man's Vin Sanchez is a good way of describing him. And for 5 million a year he is a lot cheaper then Sanchez. Ajb's Grade: B+

Sarma Nagy
, RP: Chicago (AL) - 1 year, $3.7MM. Sox hit the nursing home for another (good) reliever. Blanch's Grade: A

Ajb's Second Opinion: He is coming off of major shoulder surgery. Doesn't have the health he once did, but for 1 year he should be able to be a good asset the the White Sox's bullpen. Just don't pitch him to much. Ajb's Grade: B+

Vin Sanchez
, 3B: Milwaukee - 5 years, $101MM. Sanchez is a really good player, no doubt. $101 million worth? No. Blanch's Grade: C

Ajb's Second Opinion: Best player in this free agent class? Yes. Will he make Milwaukee a better team? Yes. Can he carry the team by himself? Probably not. Not a terrible signing, it fills a need but Milwaukee has other things to worry about, like who is going to play CF. Ajb's Grade: B

Tony Cornejo
, SS: Seattle - 2 years, $5.4MM. Slick fielder is worth every penny, although he probably continues as a backup. Blanch's Grade: A

Ajb's Second Opinion: Great defensively, average with the bat. He could see some time as the starter at short, but his real value will probably be coming off the bench as the number 1 defensive replacement. Ajb's Grade: A

Joe Davis, RP: Seattle - 2 years, $9.6MM. 5.38 ERA last year. 2.79 ERA the year before while walking 27 in 38 innings. OK. Ryne Duren**, Ricky Vaughn, Nuke Laloosh...Joe Davis? Blanch's Grade: B

Ajb's Second Opinion: He throws very very hard. National League hitters are breathing a sigh of relief now that they do not have to face him.... and fear of getting blasted by him. Needless to say he doesn't have great control. Getting out of Colorado and going to a big time pitchers park should help his numbers. Ajb's Grade: B

** from the Ryne Duren Wikipedia entry:

Rinold George "Ryne" Duren (February 22, 1929 - January 6, 2011) was an American relief pitcher in Major League Baseball.[1]

He was known for the combination of his blazing fastball and his very poor vision. With his thick coke bottle glasses, few batters dared to dig in against Duren. Casey Stengel said, "I would not admire hitting against Ryne Duren, because if he ever hit you in the head you might be in the past tense."

Cristobal Vizcaino, RP: Minnesota - 2 years, $6MM. Had a couple of good seasons in Minnesota, so maybe the homecoming does him good. Can't fault the Twins for the price. Blanch's Grade: B

Ajb's Second Opinion: Had a rough go, during his two years in Arizona. Still a solid left handed pitcher. Good health and has not started his decline ratings wise. Good signing. Ajb's Grade: B+

Jerry York, SP: Minnesota - 2 years, $13MM. Is a 200-game winner in HBD like a 300-game winner in rl? Jerry's still got it. Blanch's Grade: B

Ajb's Second Opinion: Does the old man still have 2 years left in the tank? Probably. Great health and surprisingly has not had a major drop off in ratings yet. Should continue his ascent towards the top 5 record in wins, as he only needs 4 to be in 5th place. Ajb's Grade: B+

Carl Ashley, RP: Arizona - 1 year, $1.9MM. The Diamondbacks wrap up FA with another nursing home reliever. Not the best of the old RP's, but the best price. Blanch's Grade: B+

Ajb's Second Opinion: Good reliever already, but the price the Diamondbacks got him at he looks like a great reliever. Should have one solid year left. Ajb's Grade: B+

1 comment:

nfet said...

Love the Sanchez's not often you can get an MVP guy on the FA market who is under 30, for less than the max, as well. I'd give that one an A+.