Monday, November 30, 2009

Free agent recap

With the deadline for arbitration approaching Tuesday at midnight & the Winter Meetings only days away, free agents know the GM's have a lot of decisions to make this week.  Teams are gearing up for trades & players are getting ready for the best offers to come their way.  Of the 171 free agents this off-season, 7 have decided to sign early.  Here is a look at the 7 free agents to sign and their contracts.

INF Omar Vizquel: 1-year / $1.375M with White Sox
OF Andruw Jones: 1-year / $500,000 with White Sox
INF John McDonald: 2-year / $3M with Blue Jays (re-sign)
SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-year / $2.75M with Blue Jays
P John Grabow: 2-year / $7.5M with Cubs (re-sign)
INF Alex Cora: 1-year / $2M with Mets (re-sign)
C Jason LaRue: 1-year / $950,000 with Cardinals (re-sign)

How would the Mets look if they had both Halladay & Wells?

After reading an article written by a blogger in the New York Times, I thought, how would the Mets even look if they acquired both Roy Halladay & Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays?  Back on July 21st, reports were indicating that the Mets turned down a deal to acquire Halladay at the time for:

Prospect: OF Fernando Martinez (.176 AVG, 1 HR for Mets in 2009)
P Jon Niese (1-1, 4.21 ERA)
P Bobby Parnell (4-8, 5.30 ERA) &
Prospect: INF Ruben Tejada (AA; .289, 5 HR, 46 RBI)

this deal would have given the Jays 2 starting pitchers & a leadoff hitter to play LF/CF.  What if the Jays asked for:

P Oliver Perez (3-4, 6.82 ERA) 2-years / $24M remaining on 3-year deal &
OF Angel Pagan (.306 AVG, 6 HR)

and included Vernon Wells in the deal?

The Mets would add to their 2009 payroll of just over $145M (2nd behind the Yankees) but would sure up the top of their rotation & would give them a lineup to be afraid of again if injuries don't take over like in the 2009 season.  A look at the Mets projected lineup if such a deal would take place gives them the edge over the Phillies in my opinion.



Lineup
1. SS Jose Reyes .279 in only 36 games due to injury in 2009
2. 2B Luis Castillo .302 AVG, 20 SB in 2009
3. LF Carlos Beltran .325 AVG, 10 HR
4. 3B David Wright .307 AVG, 10 HR, 72 RBI in 09
5. CF Vernon Wells .260 AVG, 15 HR in 09
6. RF Jeff Francoeur .311 AVG, 10 HR as Met in 2009
7. 1B Daniel Murphy .266 AVG, 12 HR in 09
8. C Omir Santos .260 AVG, 7 HR
9. Pitchers spot



Rotation
Roy Halladay 17-10, 2.79 ERA
Johan Santana 13-9, 3.13 ERA
Mike Pelfrey 10-12, 5.03 ERA
John Maine 7-6, 4.43 ERA
Tim Redding 3-6, 5.10 ERA

Closer: Francisco Rodriguez: 35 saves in 2009

And if they could ever land free agent P John Lackey, they would be the team to beat!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who might the Jays acquire if Halladay is traded?



The hot topic these days in Toronto are the questions surrounding the ace of the staff Roy Halladay.

The Blue Jays have made it known that Halladay may not re-sign with the team after his contract is up at the end of the 2010 season.  If he is traded though, who might the Jays get in return?  This is the question most baseball fans are wondering.  Will the return be full of minor-league talent, 1 major league player and others?  Here is a look at a few players who might be calling Toronto their new home if Halladay is indeed dealt.

Red Sox Players
P Clay Buchholz: 7-4, 4.21 ERA, (3-1, 3.60 ERA vs Toronto in 2009)

P/SS Casey Kelly: 1st-Rd pick in 2006, turned down scholarship to play QB for Tennessee saying he wanted to play shortstop, Red Sox made deal telling him to play shortstop in 2008 then pitch first half of 2009.  Went 7-5, 2.08 ERA as pitcher / .219 AVG, 4 HR in 292 at-bats as hitter. Interesting!

P Michael Bowden: 8 GP, 12 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched

P Daniel Bard: 2-2, 3.65 ERA in 2009, throws hard, 63 strikeouts in 49.1 innings

Yankees Players
P Phil Hughes: 8-3, 3 saves, 3.03 ERA, could be closer

P Joba Chamberlain: 9-6, 4.75 ERA, 133 strikeouts

C Jesus Montero: catching prospect in AA, .317 AVG, 9 HR, might turn into first basemen though

CF Austin Jackson: hit .300, 4 HR, 65 RBI, 24 SB in AAA,  could become leadoff hitter in future

Angels Players:
P Jered Weaver: 16-8, 3.75 ERA, 66 BB, 174 K in 2009

P Joe Saunders: 16-7, 4.60 ERA in 2009, has gone 10-1 in 14 career April starts

P Ervin Santana: 59-45, 4.52 ERA in career, once thought to be the next Pedro Martinez, not yet!

P Matt Palmer: 11-2, 3.93 ERA, Angels like him, but could be had

SS Erick Aybar: .312 AVG, 5 HR, 58 RBI, 14 SB, could be deal-breaker again, but now have Alex Gonzalez, so maybe not.

3B Brandon Wood: been a good prospect now for a while, when given the chance has yet to produce with .192 AVG in majors.

OF Reggie Willits: 27 stolen bases back in 2007, still good speed, just needs playing time

Dodgers Players:
P Chad Billingsley: 12-11, 4.03 ERA in 2009

C Russell Martin: Canadian catcher would love to play in Toronto, hit .250 last year

P Clayton Kershaw: going to be tough to get this guy, 8-8, 2.79 ERA, 185 strikeouts

3B Blake DeWitt: played well in 2008 (.264 AVG, 9 HR in 117 games) compared to 2009 (.204 AVG, 2 HR in 31 games)

Giants Players:
P Matt Cain: 14-8, 2.89 ERA in 2009

C Buster Posey: a long shot, .325 AVG, 18 HR, 80 RBI in AAA

I guess we will wait and see.

Blue Jays sign pair of shortstops

The Blue Jays have most likely moved on from the Marco Scutaro era after re-signing fan favourite John McDonald to a 2-year / $3M deal & signing SS Alex Gonzalez to a 1-year / $2.75M contract.  Gonzalez, a 11-year veteran, has played for the Marlins, Red Sox and Reds in his career hitting .247 with 114 HR & 521 RBI.  His best season was in 2004 for the Marlins where he hit only .232 but had a career high in HR (23) & RBI (79).  Gonzalez may not win a gold glove any time soon, but he is a solid defensive player. The combination of Gonzalez & McDonald is a step in the right direction for next season.  The ex-Red Sox shortstop is a career .279 hitter at Rogers Centre with 13 RBI in 17 games.  McDonald, who is very happy to return to Toronto, played in only 73 games in 2009 with 151 at-bats.  His role will be determined as the season progresses depending on injuries etc.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NL MVP Update

The National League MVP has been awarded to the Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols.  Pujols wins his 3rd MVP award and becomes the 10th player in history to win the award in back-to-back seasons.  Pujols hit .327 with a National League leading 47 HR & was third in the league with 135 RBI.  The vote was no contest as Pujols received all 32 1st-place votes.  The Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez finished second in voting with the Phillies 1B Ryan Howard a close third.  Interesting enough, the Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki, who struggled at the plate and with injury for most of the first half of the season, finished 5th in voting.

Monday, November 23, 2009

AL MVP Update

The Twins C Joe Mauer has won the American League MVP.  Mauer hit .365 with a career high 28 HR & 96 RBI.  Mauer earned 27 first-place votes and 1-second place vote.  The Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira finished second in voting with Yankees SS Derek Jeter 3rd.

News: The White Sox have signed INF Omar Vizquel to a 1-year contract.  Vizquel becomes the first free agent to sign and will serve as a backup in all infield positions for 3B Mark Teahen, SS Alexei Ramirez & 2B Gordon Beckham.

Extra Base Hit: Looking around the majors

Although transactions have been slow so far, teams are talking to players daily in trying to make the team better for 2010.  Here are a few whispers from around the league.

The Rockies are moving on without C Yorvit Torrealba after he rejected a 2-year deal.  Brian Schneider is a possibility to sign with the team

The Phillies decided not to pick up the option on 3B Pedro Feliz.  Who might replace him?

The Reds may have to trade INF Brandon Phillips or P Bronson Arroyo

The Dodgers may feel that trading for the Blue Jays P Roy Halladay may not be such a great idea.

The Mariners are exploring options to acquire the Tigers OF Curtis Granderson.

AL & NL MVP breakdown

This week I assume will a busy one after a weekend of almost no movement around the majors. The Athletics signed INF Dallas McPherson to a minor-league contract and that’s all. McPherson, who has 150 HR in 608 minor-league games, will be competing for a job at third base.



The American & National MVP’s will be announced Monday & Tuesday. In the American League, the Twins Joe Mauer, who missed all of April with a back injury, will almost certainly be named the MVP. Mauer won the AL batting title (his 3rd all-time) with a .365 AVG, hit a career high in homeruns with 28 & had 96 RBI, also a career high. Mauer led the AL in on-base percentage & only committed 3 errors, playing great defense all season. Other contenders are:

Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira: .292 AVG, 39 HR, 122 RBI
Yankees SS Derek Jeter: .334 AVG, 107 R, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 30 SB






The National League MVP, announced Tuesday afternoon, shouldn’t be a surprise either as the Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols looks to win his 3rd MVP award. Pujols hit .327 with a MLB-leading 47 HR & 135 RBI. Pujols had a great month of June with 14 HR & 35 RBI, but I was more impressed with is September numbers of .375 AVG, 6 HR & 24 RBI. The acquisition of Matt Holliday definitely helped Pujols, they just couldn’t put things together in the playoffs. Other contenders are:

Brewers 1B Prince Fielder: .299 AVG, 46 HR, 141 RBI
Phillies 1B Ryan Howard: .279 AVG, 45 HR, 141 RBI, 186 strikeouts
Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez: .342 AVG, 24 HR, 106 RBI, 27 SB

Friday, November 20, 2009

Free Agents now free to sign

The free-agent market is now officially open for teams to negotiate contracts with the 171 players who filed for free agency. Teams have had almost a month and a half to evaluate there teams and needs, and now it’s time to go shopping via trade or signing. Although more players may become eligible if not offered arbitration in December, the top players at their position available now are all waiting for the chance to earn a pay-raise and at the same time, try and help their new team win a championship. This is the time of year us baseball lovers look forward to, since all teams, yes even the Pirates, still feel that making the team better now translates into fans coming to the park for the 2010 season. Although the rumours are fun to evaluate, waiting for the official announcements to analyze the deals is the best part. Here is a look at the top players at their positions in this average class of free-agency of 2009


CATCHERS

Bengie Molina – still a great hitter with 20 HR, 80 RBI last season

Rod Barajas – Toronto would love to re-sign the veteran

Miguel Olivo – surprised the Royals with 23 HR, made $2.7M last season

Chris Coste – minor-league contract a possibility

Jason Kendall – still productive at age 35, career .290 hitter

Yorvit Torrealba – hit.291 in 2009

Ivan Rodriguez – can still play after a great World Baseball Classic last season

Gregg Zaun – trade to Tampa not enough for Rays, will find a team, always does!

FIRST BASE

Carlos Delgado – coming off hip injury, Mets watching him work out in December

Russell Branyan – finally put together great season with 31 HR, made $1.4M last year

Hank Blalock – still strikeouts a lot & struggles against left-handers (.221 AVG, 6 HR)

Nomar Garciaparra – still wants to play, only played in 65 games in 2009

Adam LaRoche – played extremely well for Braves after being traded a few times



SECOND BASE

Orlando Hudson – lost job in playoffs to Belliard, won gold glove in 2009 though

Ronnie Belliard – played well for Dodgers after trade, 24 games hit .351

Felipe Lopez – looking for a long term deal, hit .310 last year, always changing teams?

Placido Polanco – Tigers hope to re-sign the .303 career hitter, Phillies like him too

SHORTSTOP

Miguel Tejada – 86 RBI in 2009, won’t get the $14.8M he earned last season though

Orlando Cabrera – hopes to re-sign with Twins

Marco Scutaro – after career season, looking for a 3-year deal



THIRD BASE

Chone Figgins – hearing that a home-town discount may be on the table to stay with Angels

Adrian Beltre – hit 48 HR in 2004 for LA, hit 8 for Seattle last year!  made $13.4M

Mark DeRosa – 12 teams interested in the .275 career hitter

Pedro Feliz - option not picked up by Phillies, Seattle a fit if they don’t land DeRosa

Troy Glaus – would like to stay with Cardinals after season of injuries

Melvin Mora – looking for 1 more contract at age 37



OUTFIELD

Matt Holliday – will he get the biggest deal this off-season, most likely

Jason Bay – rejected Red Sox latest offer for $60M, could get interesting

Jermaine Dye – option not picked up by White Sox, Giants looking for outfield help

Johnny Damon – Yankees looking to offer 2-year deal, tied career high in HR (24)

Garret Anderson – hit 13 HR for Braves in 2009

Reed Johnson – can still play all 3 outfield positions, great teammate as well

Marcus Thames – seems to always hit HR, but always injured too

Rick Ankiel – struggled last year with 11 HR compared to 25 in 2008

Mike Cameron – played good defense and solid offense after returning from suspension

Andruw Jones – Rangers took a chance & showed he can still play

Scott Podsednik – White Sox re-acquired the speedy lefty & played well, stole 30 bases

Eric Hinske – which team will he follow to the World Series in 2010?

Marlon Byrd – Rangers hoping he will stay, .283 AVG, 20 HR, 89 RBI



DH

Jason Giambi – played well for the Rockies down the stretch, will get minor-league deal

Vladimir Guerrero – hopes to return to Angels, made $15M for only 15 HR

Hideki Matsui – World Series MVP should cash in nicely

Matt Stairs – wants to play 1 more season, then could be manager one day

Jim Thome – trade to Dodgers not a good fit, return to White Sox a possibility

STARTING PITCHERS

John Lackey – looking for $20M per season, best starter on market

Erik Bedard – injuries over career a concern. teams will take gamble though

Andy Pettitte – always seems to ponder future, Yankees will come calling though

Rich Harden – another Canadian pitcher that always seems to be injured, Jays a fit?

Doug Davis – had a good season with D’Backs with 9 wins, but keeps team in game

Jason Marquis – has had 6 straight seasons of 10 wins or more….how?

Pedro Martinez – looked good for Phillies, just not in Game 6 vs Yankees.

Vicente Padilla – surprised Dodgers with 4 wins in 7 starts, made $12M last year

Jon Garland – option not picked up by LA, good pitcher, has 4 really bad starts each year

Justin Duchscherer – A’s look to re-sign him after injury kept him out for 2009

Joel Pineiro – help the Cardinals stay in almost every game, 15 wins, 3.49 ERA

Ben Sheets – almost like a Mark Prior situation now, teams should take a gamble though

John Smoltz – Red Sox experiment didn’t work out, but Cardinals did, should stay in NL

Jarrod Washburn – had a 7.33 ERA in 8 starts for Tigers after the trade from Mariners

RELIEVERS

Mike Gonzalez – many teams including the Red Sox are calling

Kevin Gregg – lost closers role in Chicago to Marmol (7 blown saves) still wants to close

Fernando Rodney – saved 37 games for the Tigers with only 1 blown saves, impressive

Rafael Soriano – should probably stay in Atlanta now that Gonzalez will be gone

Jose Valverde – 25 saves good, maybe not for $8M though

Billy Wagner – still feels like he can close out games, yet to be seen after surgery

Kelvim Escobar – a wild-card to return to form, arm problems may limit his games

Brandon Lyon – made $4.25M to close for Tigers, might just be middle reliever now

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NL Cy Young Award Winner

The National League Cy Young Award was awarded to the Giants Tim Lincecum. Lincecum didn't necessarily have the best season when analyzing by the win total, but was the most dominate pitcher in the minds of the writers in 2009. The Giants ace went 15-7, 2.48 ERA in 225.1 innings pitched with 261 strikeouts and only 68 walks. Lincecum, who also won the award last season with an 18-5, 2.62 ERA, was dominate for the home crowd going 10-2, 1.88 ERA in 2009. The Dodgers seemed to be the only team to solve the lanky right-hander as Lincecum went 1-1 in 25.2 innings vs LA with a 4.56 ERA. Last season the Dodgers failed to record a win vs Lincecum going 0-2 in his starts. The Cy Young race was close though, with Lincecum receiving 100 points (11-first place votes, 12-second place, 9-third place), Cardinals Chris Carpenter 17-4, 2.24 ERA, 144 strikeouts receiving 94 points (9-first place votes, 14-second place, 7-third place) & Cardinals Adam Wainwright receiving 90 points (12-first place votes, 5-second place, 15-third place)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Managers of the Year & a Mark DeRosa update

The 2009 National League Manager of the Year is Rockies Jim Tracy. Tracy took over for Clint Hurdle in late May and compiled a 74-42 record, finishing 1st in the wild-card race. The announcement came with more news as the Rockies decided to give him a 3-year contract. Tracy won the award with 29 first place votes (151 Pts) with the Cardinals Tony La Russa finishing a distant second with only 55 Pts.

The AL Manager of the Year went to the Angels Mike Scioscia, who helped the Angels win their 3rd straight division title. Scioscia finished ahead of the Twins Ron Gardenhire, who was second in voting for the second consecutive season.

In other news, the Brewers claimed Canadian C George Kottaras off waivers from the Red Sox, last season Kottaras hit .237 for the Red Sox in only 107 plate appearances. Kottaras was injured most of the second half of the season with back trouble.



Looks as if the Cardinals & Mariners may be front-runners to sign INF Mark DeRosa. Last season, DeRosa hit .250, 23 HR & 78 RBI for the Cardinals & Indians.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 American League Cy Young Award

The American League Cy Young Award winner for 2009 is Royals P Zack Greinke.  The Royals ace had a great year finishing at 16-8, 2.16 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 229.1 innings pitched in 33 starts.  Greinke beat out the Yankees CC Sabathia, Tigers Justin Verlander, Mariners P Felix Hernandez & Blue Jays P Roy Halladay.  Greinke has come a long way from his 2005 campaign where he finished with 17 losses (leading the American League in that category)  Greinke started the 2009 season with a 0.84 ERA over his first 10 starts, but also finished with an impressive 0.75 ERA in his last 8 starts.

Voting Results:               (5 pts)    (3 pts)   (1 pt)
Player                             1st         2nd     3rd      Pts
Zack Greinke, KC             25          3                   134

Felix Hernandez, SEA         2          23         1        80

Justin Verlander, DET         1                       9      14

CC Sabathia, NYY                           2          7       13

Roy Halladay, TOR                                    11       11

ExtraBaseHit: Running the bases with Lyle Overbay



#35 Lyle Overbay (Toronto Blue Jays)

Height: 6-2 Weight: 230
Bats: L Throws: L
Born: Jan 28, 1977 - Centralia, WA
College: Nevada
Drafted in 1999 - 18th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks


ExtraBaseHit caught up with the Toronto Blue Jays First Baseman and asked a few questions.
 
Favouite Food: Pizza
1st hit off: Jay Powell
Favourite team growing up: Denver Broncos
Favourite Athlete all-time: Bo Jackson
Favourite restaurant in U.S or Canada: The Metropolitan Bar & Grill (Seattle, WA)

Monday, November 16, 2009

2009 Rookies of the Year

Marlins OF Chris Coghlan was named National League Rookie of the Year & Athletics P Andrew Bailey was named American League Rookie of the Year.  Coghlan, a converted infielder turned outfielder, hit .321 with 9 HR & 47 RBI in 128 games & played a solid left field finishing with 5 errors.  Coghlan becomes the 3rd Marlin in history to win the award with P Dontrelle Willis winning in 2003 & SS Hanley Ramirez in 2006.  Andrew Bailey, had a great season finishing with 26 saves in 30 chances (an Athletic rookie record) and made the All-Star team as the A's representative.  Bailey became the closer after Brad Ziegler failed to repeat on his strong second half of 2008.  Rangers SS Elvin Andrus was the front runner to win the award, but the writers must have felt the 0.88 WHIP, 91 strikeouts & only 24 walks in 83 1/3 innings in 68 games was the difference.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ExtraBaseHit: Weekend review

With the free agent market ready to open up Thursday, only a few teams made moves this weekend.  The Mariners decided to extend SS Jack Wilson's contract by one extra year.  Wilson had an option for the 2010 season, but they decided to change the contract a bit & make it a 2-year / $10M contract.  In 31 games for Seattle, the .268 career hitter only had a .224 average & 8 RBI.  In other news, the Brewers declined a $6.5M contract on P Braden Looper.  Looper was 14-7 on the season, but posted a 5.54 ERA after the All-Star break.  Oddly enough, only 4 of his 14 wins came at home.  After acquiring P Rafael Betancourt from the Indians, the Rockies decided to decline his $5.4M option for next season.  in 32 games for the Rockies, Betancourt had a 1.78 ERA with 5 BB & 29 K in 25.1 innings.  Money seemed to be the reason behind the declined option, although the Rockies still hope to re-sign him soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Red Sox hope to keep Jason Bay

The Red Sox know that keeping free agent OF Jason Bay will be expensive, but will it be worth it?  With the Red Sox last season, Bay hit .267 with a career high in homeruns with 36 and RBI with 119.  Bay, a fan favourite since the trade from the Pirates in 2008,  went on to make his 2nd all-star team & first since the 2006 season.  But what will Bay demand on the open market?  Let's compare him to teammate J.D. Drew, who made $14M last season.  Drew hit .279 with 24 HR & 68 RBI in 2009.  He has only had one 30 HR season (31 with Atlanta in 2004) and one 100 RBI season (100 with the Dodgers in 2006) compared to Bay who has four 30 HR seasons (2005, 06, 08, 09) & four 100 RBI seasons (2005, 06, 08, 09).  If the Red Sox want to keep Bay, they know the comparisons to the Drew contract 5-year / $70M in 2007 will be used by Bay's agents.  Drew is still owed 28 million over the next 2 years, Bay made $7.8M last season.  Translation, Bay should receive a 6-year / $96M contract, in comparison to Drew.

Friday, November 13, 2009

10 Jays become eligible for arbitration

With the World Series almost 2 weeks old now, all teams are focused on their main goal, win in 2010. Rumoured trades, free agent news and the dreaded arbitration process are all getting closer. Over 200 players are potentially eligible for arbitration, in which they qualify if they have 3 or more years of service time, but less then 6 years (in which they would be a free agent.) Big names like the Giants P Tim Lincecum, Mariners P Felix Hernandez and Tigers P Justin Verlander are all eligible and due for a huge raise. The Blue Jays don't necessarily have big raises on the horizon, but the 10 that are due for arbitration are all interesting parts for the team going forward. Listed are the 2009 salaries:

P Jeremy Accardo: $900,000
P Shawn Camp: $750,000
P Jason Frasor: $1.45M
P Casey Janssen: $413,900
P Brandon League: $640,000
P Shaun Marcum: $405,200
P Dustin McGowan: $419,400
P Brian Tallet: $1.015M
C Raul Chavez: $500,000
OF/INF Jose Bautista: $2.4M

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ordonez on the move?

Strange rumours happen this time of year, but one that I've heard a couple of times is a trade between the Braves & Tigers. The Braves would love to trade Derek Lowe, but they know Javier Vazquez will get them value in return. The Tigers are interested, and would possibily trade OF Maglio Ordonez and cash to get him.

Braves sign P Tim Hudson

The Atlanta Braves have signed P Tim Hudson to a 3-year/$28M contract extension. Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008 and was out for almost a calendar year. The Braves hope he can return to be the dominate pitcher they acquired from the Athletics for OF Charles Thomas, P Dan Meyer and P Juan Cruz before the 2005 season. For 6 seasons with the A's, Hudson went 92-39 and was an absolute force on the mound. In the 5 seasons with the Braves before the elbow trouble he went 56-39.
The last 3 seasons at Turner Field, Tim Hudson went 16-8, 3.18 ERA in 206.2 IP and 128 K's, similar numbers to the 2000 campaign alone when he went 20-6, 202.1 IP and 169 K's. 3 years may be too much!

Yankees might pursue John Lackey/Chone Figgins


The rich just keep getting richer. The Yankees, fresh off their 27th World Series in team history might explore the signing of free agent P John Lackey. The Mets were scared of his arm problems, but that won't stop the Yankees. Lackey is hoping for a Burnett-like contract, which is doubtful, but he has put up good numbers vs the Yankees and they usually go after guys with that success. Lackey went 1-0, 2.57 ERA last season vs the Yankees and over the last 3 seasons at new and old Yankee Stadium has gone 1-0, 2.86 ERA in 22 innings with 19 K. INF Chone Figgins is also a free agent and depending on how the Johnny Damon negotiations go, may be a fit a top the lineup. Figgins scored 114 runs and stole 42 bases in 09, and is a healthy option for sure compared to Damon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Agents: Former Blue Jays

With guys like P John Lackey and OF Jason Bay on the market this season, I thought to look beyond the big names and see how many former Blue Jays will hit the open market. The list may surprise you as it was longer then expected.

OF Reed Johnson (CHC) *2 times on DL last season
still a good defensive player for all 3 outfield positions. Made $3M last year so most likely to take a pay cut. May still have back trouble, but can definitely help a team as a bench guy. Return to Cubs likely

OF Frank Catalanotto (MIL) 77 GMS, .278 1 HR, 9 RBI in 2009
can still hit at the major level, just out-priced himself after stints with Toronto and Texas. A great National League guy that can pinch hit. Giants a good fit.

INF Felipe Lopez (MIL) 29 years old, .310 AVG in 2009
Finally recognized his talent, but can't seem to stay on 1 team. A 1-year deal is an option since he still has to prove he can put up numbers consistently. If Dan Uggla traded, Florida a good spot.

P Dave Weathers (MIL) 40 years old, 964 career games
still feels he can play even at age 40. Played with Jays in 1991-92 season. Solid for the Reds for years. Return to Reds a possibility.

1B Carlos Delgado (NYM) 473 career HR's
after an injury-plagued season looks to rebound for a contender. Tried to make a comeback in September, but hip was still an issue. Made $12M last season after Mets picked up option. Can still be a force if healthy. Seattle needs help at first.

C Bengie Molina (SF) .265 AVG, 20 HR, 80 RBI in 2009
Great team guy. Not the fastest runner in the majors, but continues to put up great numbers each season. Loved playing for Toronto and always said he would love to return.

3B Troy Glaus (STL) 304 career HR's
had a tough season, being on the DL for most of it, only playing in 14 regular season games. Came back and convinced the Cardinals he was healthy enough to make playoff roster. Most likely to DH for rest of career, so American League will be his destination, unless he takes a huge paycut to stay with Cardinals.

2B Orlando Hudson (LAD) .283 AVG, 9 HR, 62 RBI in 2009 season
took a back seat to Ronnie Belliard at end of season and playoffs. Still has great range at second base and should be a steal for any team that can sign him. Great character guy for the clubhouse.

P Scott Schoeneweis (ARI) 562 career games
Still can be effective out of the bullpen. Might only receive a minor-league deal with a club.

P Brandon Lyon (DET) 6-5, 3 saves (3 blown saves) in 2009
Earned a $4.25M contract in 2009 after a great 2008 with Arizona. Started off as Detroit's closer, but didn't last long as he blew 2 saves early in April. Always had a great arm when healthy. Red Sox would love to have him back.

P Bruce Chen (KC) 1-6, 5.78 ERA last season
always shows flashes of being a consistent pitcher, but can't seem to put things together. Minor-League deal likely

C Gregg Zaun (TB) 34 games, 4 HR with Rays
Rays decided to not pick up option for $2M making him a free agent. Played well against the Jays, hitting a grand slam off Brandon League to give Tampa a big win. Always seems to find a team that wants him.

INF/OF Eric Hinske (NYY) 113 career HR's
Found his way out of Pittsburgh and on another team that took a trip to World Series. Did so with Red Sox and Rays. Solid guy and good left-handed bat off bench. Defensively, a liability all over the field, but can still hit.

INF Miguel Cairo (PHI) .267 AVG in 27 games in 2009
A one-time Blue Jay in 1996, Cairo is still playing good defense, which keeps him in the league. Has a .983 fielding % in his career.

P Miguel Batista (SEA) 7-4, 71.1 IP, 52 K in 2009
ended up the Mariners set0up man at end of season. Coming off a huge 3-year contract that saw him start and close throughout the time. Most likely to receive a 1-year deal, can still throw hard.

Blue Jays Free Agents
C Rod Barajas .226 AVG, 19 HR, 71 RBI
INF John McDonald .258 AVG
INF Kevin Millar 7 HR
INF Marco Scutaro .282 AVG, 12 HR

Other Notables
OF Matt Stairs (PHI) .194 AVG
P Kelvim Escobar (LAA) 101 career wins
P Tomo Ohka (CLE)1-5 record

Monday, November 9, 2009

Red Sox moves

The Boston Red Sox have exercised the $7.7M option on C/1B Victor Martinez & declined their option on fan favourite C Jason Varitek. In the 56 games for Boston, Martinez went on to hit a respectable .336 with 8 HR and 41 RBI. Martinez was a perfect fit for Fenway Park, hitting .304 with 21 RBI in 27 games as an Indian and Red Sox. Although his defense has declined as a catcher, First Base or DH should be his new home for 2010. Jason Varitek will possibly be testing free agent waters again. After not finding any suitors last season, Varitek returned to Boston on a 1-year deal with a $5M option that was not picked up. Varitek (a career .259 hitter only had a .209 average last season. He did hit 14 HR's but only 4 of those came with runners on. The 13 year veteran does have a player option for $3M that he can exercise. My guess is that he will.