Monday, January 5, 2009

Good names still available!

"My clients and colleagues won't want to hear this, but it's not collusion; it's economic reality," said a prominent player agent who requested anonymity. "This is the bust to what in recent years has been the boom. That said, I really do expect the action to be fairly fast and furious in January."

Plenty of good, solid players at bargain basement prices still available. So save your "we need a salary cap" whinings, spare me the "it's collusion!" rantings. When guys like this are still homeless and your team is sitting doing nothing to improve, start rioting at your local stadium. The economy IS in the toilet but at some point, these players' prices will become prohibitively cheap enough for any team to afford:
Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Andy Pettitte, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez are still out there, as are slightly lesser lights such as Randy Wolf, Jon Garland and Paul Byrd. Curt Schilling is available, too -- for comment, to campaign, or maybe even to pitch again.
Relivers: Trevor Hoffman, Juan Cruz, Brandon Lyon, Joe Beimel, Eric Gagne, Eddie Guardado and Takashi Saito
A pack of "name" players for whom the stove has been anything but hot to this point: shortstop Orlando Cabrera, third baseman Joe Crede, first baseman Jason Giambi, catchers Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Varitek, and outfielders Mark Kotsay, Jim Edmonds and Garret Anderson.
And anyone who knows how to work a mouse knows that the biggest fish as yet unhooked is Manny Ramirez.
For teams looking for a younger offensive force, Adam Dunn (29), Milton Bradley (29), Pat Burrell (32) and Bobby Abreu (34) are still out there. So is Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson, whose recent injury history is said to be giving potential suitors pause, and future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

There are many guys in those lists above who could help turn a team's fortunes around, or at least give some hope. These are not $15m/year players. Likely half that, or more.

I'm sure these guys wouldn't want to sign one year cheapie deals, but some smart GM will start offering some of these guys short term deals to help his team acquire players that they might not normally be able to afford.

And as an aside, that move not to offer Abreu arbitration on his $16m 2008 deal looks pretty darn good right now, doesn't it?


Rick N said...

Happy New Year Jason.

Now that we have CC, AJ and Tex, Manny would be a nice acquistion. Trade Melky,Kennedy, and Nady to free up some players and offer Manny 3 years/$60 with some incentives.

Jay said...

You have to like what Cashman has done this offseason even aside from the major signings. In declining arbitration for Pettitte and Abreu, Trading for Swisher and selling Rasner to Japan, he's really minding the details too.