What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
OK, this is completely hypothetical, but let's assume that we don't land Cliff Lee in free agency. What is our contingency plan? I've seen some interest in Carl Crawford, and there would be at least a few pitchers to look at in the trade market. Who would you want?
Ill assume that we would be looking for help at first, utility, two outfielders, a bullpen guy and a starter.
First - Adam DunnUtility - Andres Blanco (I honestly don't have any problem with him)Outfield - Carl CrawfordOutfield - Anyone that can play center wellBullpen - I would rather use a young guy from our systemStarter (assuming Lee isnt in the picture) - Brandon Webb
The free agent class doesnt really seem to be that great and I wouldnt really be thrilled about any of these guys except for Crawford and Dunn.
Here's a list of players who should be available during free agency this off-season:
Catchers:Type A: Victor Martinez, A.J. Pierzynski, Ramon Hernandez, Miguel OlivoType B: Bengie Molina, Jason Varitek, John Buck, Gerald Laird, Yorvit Torrealba, Rod BarajasOthers: Jose Molina, Josh Bard, Ramon Castro, Brad Ausmus, Gregg Zaun, Henry Blano
1B/DH/OF:Type A: Albert Pujols, Jason Werth, Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford, Jason Kubel, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez, David Dejesus, Derek LeeType B: Johnny Damon, Paul Konerko, David Ortiz, Hideki Matsui, Lance Berman, Carlos Pena, Scott Podsednik, Adam LaRoche, Aubrey Huff, Jose GuillenOthers: Jim Thome, Jorge Cantu, Austin Kearns, Nick Johnson, Russell Branyan, Lyle Overbay, Coco Crisp, Andruw Jones, Ty Wigginton, Pat Burrell, Troy Glaus, Jason Giambi, Mike Sweeney, Eric Hinske
2B/3B/SS:Type A: Derek Jeter, Adrian Beltre, Orlando Hudson, Miguel TejadaType B: Mark Ellis, Brandon Inge, Mike Lowell, Jhonny Peralta, Felipe Lopez, David Eckstein, Aramis Ramirez, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Uribe, Alex GonzalezOthers: Omar Vizquel, Julio Lugo, Cristian Guzman, Cesar Izturis, Wilson Betemit, Nick Punto, Jose Reyes, Omar Infante, Adam Kennedy, Pedro Feliz, Melvin Mora, Edgar Renteria, Jerry Hairston, Geoff Blum
SP:Type A: Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte, Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez, Bronson Arroyo, Ted Lilly, Jon GarlandType B: Kevin Millwood, Rich Harden, Jorge De La Rosa, Kevin Correia, Vicente Padilla, Brett MyersOthers: Erik Bedard, Freddy Garcia, Bruce Chen, Jeremy Bonderman, Ben Sheets, Livan Hernandez, Aaron Harang, Jamie Moyer, Brad Penny, Doug Davis, David Bush, Brandon Webb
RP: Type A: Rafael Soriano, Billy Wagner, Mariano Rivera, Matt Thornton, Arthur Rhodes, Takashi Saito, Matt Guerrier, Darren Oliver, Scott Downs, Frank Fransisco, Dan Wheeler, Jason Frasor,Type B: Grant Balfour, Kevin Gregg, Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes, Joaquin Benoit, J.J. Putz, Randy Choate, Jesse Crain, Koji Uehara, Kerry Wood, Chad Qualls, Octavio Dotel, Pedro Feliciano, Trever Miller, Trevor Hoffman, Aaron Heilman, Chad Durbin, Guillermo MotaOthers: Mark Hendrickson, Chad Gaudin, Bobby Seay, Jamey Wright, Ron Mahay, Sergio Mitre, Scot Shields, Jose Contreras, Tyler Walker, Kyle Farnsworth, Joe Beimel, Dennys Reyes, Jeff Weaver
Keep in mind that some of these FA's have options (like Darren Oliver). Free Agent compensation level was calculated on 8/22/2010 according to the Elias Sports Bureau rankings formula.
Really? Millwood and Harden are Type B FA? Amazing....
@Anthony: my mistake on Rich Harden. He is however, the highest scoring non-compensation FA.
On Millwood's compensation status, these are the numbers that Elias uses to determine the score for starting pitchers:
•SP: Total games (total starts + 0.5 * total relief appearances), IP, Wins, W-L Percentage, ERA, Strikeouts.
It's not like they just look at WAR and rank the pitchers based upon that. The biggest factor is getting on the mound and staying there. Midway through this season, Rich Harden was solidly in the Type B category. If he'd stuck in the rotation (even being terrible), he'd probably still have Type B status.
This is why I'm not a big stats guy because they don't always translate to real life. The fact that Brandon Webb has a lower compensation score than Rich Harden is ridiculous.
Pryor, I just have two quick points. First, If you read the post right above yours, you'll see that Rich Harden has the same compensation level as Brandon Webb: none. I made a mistake on that one. Second, Brandon Webb has exactly one appearance in the last two years. It would be silly to count on him for anything. I seriously doubt he'll get any more of a look this offseason than Harden and Ben Sheets got last year. He's probably going to get a one year deal similar to Rich Harden's. Now, I think he'll be the more productive pitcher next year, but there's a chance he'll never be the same.
By the way, I'd appreciate someone actually giving their input on the original question. Philly did an excellent job, and I really appreciate that, but if someone else is going to post on this, I'd like their opinion on the original question (FA/trade targets you'd go for if we fail to retain Cliff Lee).
My plan B if you don't sign Cliff Lee is simple. See if you can pry loose Zack Greinke away from KC. He has 2 years left on his contract and for the first time has grumbled about being stuck on a losing team. It would likely take a haul to get him, but from KC's perspective, it is likely their best bet to turn their franchise in the right direction (think the Mark Teixeira trade from the Rangers perspective).
I don't want to throw free agent money at back of the rotation fodder. I would rather trot out Scott Feldman, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison or Michael Kirkman than go after Jeremy Bondermans of the world. If you are trying to add pitching, go big or go cheap. Otherwise use the assets you have.
Thanks for compiling the list above, Dave. Here are the players I'd most like the Rangers to target:
C Yorvit Torrealba (mutual option with SD in '11) - I think he could potentially be a long-term solution at catcher. Granted, he has been platooned throughout his career and may have an injury history worth considering. But he's only earning $750K this season, and while he's due a raise, perhaps he'd agree to a multi-year deal at just $2-3M per.
1B/DH Nick Johnson (mutual option with NYY in '11) - Under the hopeful assumption that Moreland earns the starting job for 2011, Johnson could be a very strong back-up, even filling in for longer stretches should Moreland incur a slump or injury. His patience would also make him particularly valuable in pinch-hit situations.
2B/3B/SS/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. - I realize his previous stint with the Rangers wasn't very memorable, but to me Hairston is the quintessential utility player. Positional versatility, good attitude (I think), respectable bat, major league experience. Given the very nice season he's having in San Diego though, he might not be so inclined to settle for the role of super-sub (when he could probably be a starter elsewhere).
SP Brad Penny - I honestly still think he can be a reliable and effective starter in either league, but here's hoping he remembers whatever Dave Duncan was teaching him earlier this season (before Penny's back injury). I wouldn't want to sign him for more than 1 year at $5M though, especially after the Harden adventures. (The Cardinals are paying him $7.5M this season.)
RP Koji Uehara - He had an excellent career in Japan, and I think his pitches translate well to the American game (as Vlad found out the hard way Saturday). However, I couldn't justify paying him what he's making now ($5M/yr).
I now realize that I conceived the above from a rather frugal point of view. But given the hypothetical situation in question (no Lee), I suppose I needn't be so conservative. In any case, having real payroll flexibility sure is a welcome change.
Also, I generally agree with Steve's "go big or go cheap" philosophy on starting pitching, so my Penny idea might not be the greatest. He'd certainly be my last priority among the targets above.
Ok, I'm not saying I'd do this, but here is my wild scenario(more of a fun fantasy musical chairs suggestion than a real-life possibility). Trade Josh Hamilton (his value after this MVP season is going to be at an all-time peak, his stock will only decline after this year) for a mega-haul which must include a long-term catching solution, that had already proven himself in the big leagues for a couple of years. Then with the money you're saving on not having Hamilton or Lee, you go sign Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre. OF is set with Crawford/borbon/Cruz with murph and Moreland as depth guys. Infield is Moreland/kins/Elvis/beltre with young at Dh. Then use whatever money you have left to sign a rotation piece, or use some of our prospects + some of the return from trading Josh to pick up a greinke or at the minimum a solid #2 guy. The only hole to fill then would be at 1b if Moreland slumps, so maybe you look into that market. Endless possibilities. More realistic scenario, keep what you have, add some depth in the rotation, 1b, catcher.
For a contract in the 4-5 million range with performance incentives and a larger team option for 2012 (maybe 8-9 million), I'd be interested in Brandon Webb or Brad Penny. I might actually want to try something like that even if we can retain Lee.
I understand your reasoning for trading Hamilton, Jake...but I just don't think you can do that. Huge fan fovorites like him need to be retained. If you trade Josh, you send a message to the rest of the team (and the league) that if you have a monster year, we will look to move you.
Without getting too specific, I think we need to go after a reliable front of the rotation arm and a 3B who can field then let Young DH.
I would love to see an outfield of Hamilton, Crawford, Cruz. WOW. That would be so dirty. But that's just what I would enjoy seeing. I don't expect it to happen but how cool would that be?
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