Friday, April 24, 2009

Top Free Agent Signings Season 8

Here are the ten most lucrative free agent contracts from Season 8! Feel free to comment, discuss, or whatever else!

10. 3B Skeeter Wilkinson ($17.7 M/3 years) - Augusta Hitmen
The Hitmen will attempt to address their offensive woes by bringing Wilkinson into the fold. Last season, he put up respectable numbers in Tacoma's extreme pitchers' park (.303/.362/.491) and Augusta hopes that he will improve on those this season. If he can, this may turn out to be a bit of a bargain.

9. SP Jay Myers ($18.9 M/3 years) - Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh is under new ownership and they go to the well early, addressing a need at starting pitcher. The three-time former all-star posted a 3.50ish ERA last season for Florida, and Pittsburgh will hope for more of the same. A good start in terms of addressing that pitching staff.

8. 3B Brooks Gruber ($21 M/5 years) - Boston Ball Busters
This is a lot of money to dish out to a player who has never appeared in the Majors. While his numbers last year in Triple-A were respectable (.820 OPS), it is hard to say whether he'll be able to translate that to the major league level. Boston hopes he works out, because they will be paying him for a long time.

7. SP Geraldo Delgado ($22 M/4 years) - San Francisco Seals
Delgado has been spectacular over his career (sub-3.00 career ERA with 130 wins), but he appears to be on the decline. At this stage, he is still one of the top pitchers in the game, but how will he look by the end of this contract? He will help San Francisco this year, but based on declining stamina, his days as a starter may be numbered.

6. SP Davey Montanez ($23.2 M/4 years) - Fargo Norsemen
Overall a pretty good signing for the Norsemen, although his lack of a strong 2nd pitch is of some concern. Still, he should bolster that rotation and make Fargo more competitive.

5. RP Julio Rivas ($23.3 M/4 years) - Charleston Hurricanes
It is not clear what role Charleston will use him in, but whatever they decide on, you can bet that he'll be successful at it. He has the stamina for long relief, but he's also got 161 career saves at the Major League Level. A solid signing for the Hurricanes.

4. RF Alex Jang ($30 M/5 years) - Tacoma Winter Stix
Last season Tacoma made huge improvements, nearly securing a wild card berth. This season they'll look to not only reach the playoffs, but contend for a division title, and Jang is looking to help them do it. He's untested in the major leagues, but looks like he has the tools to succeed. He's a bit misplaced in RF, though - perhaps a better fit in the opposite outfield position.

3. SP Ryan Palmer ($32.5 M/5 years) - San Antonio Rough Riders
Palmer is on the receiving end of a huge contract, and may not have the skills to back it up. His lack of control is a major problem as is his career 6.25 ERA - and that was at Tacoma's pitchers' paradise. San Antonio will hope he clicks and in a hurry.

2. 3B Brook Shelley ($33 M/4 years) - Seattle Argonauts
In a year where several 3Bs cashed in, Shelley does the best of all. And rightfully so. He's a great all around hitter, and a good enough defender to get the job done. He strikes out a lot, but Seattle won't care as long as he keeps hitting those bombs.

1. C Angel Sanchez ($70 M/5 years) - Anaheim Dodgers of Los Angeles/Sarasota
Sanchez receives a contract twice as big as the next highest deal. This is the kind of money that a franchise catcher can demand. His defense is good, but its his offense that earned him this contract. He'll start the season at just a shade under 300 home runs, and hit many, many more in his career with the Dodgers. They hope he will be the piece that takes them back to the World Series.


torrone said...

Sanchez is a great catcher who hits a ton and handles a pitching staff well. But to see a 3 poit drop in his Power rating at only 31 would be a source of concern for me. 5 years down the road I wonder how his owner will feel to be paying $14M+ to a 36 yr old C who is already showing signs of wear at 31.

Jeff said...

That's always the risk of things big, long contracts to veterans. I've got the same thing going on with Billy Sewell, although by the time his contract expires he'll only be 34. When you sign these contracts, you just hope these players will be worth it at the end, but a lot can happen (injuries, decline) over four or five seasons.

Trevor Baxter said...

good post