This is the third part of our nine-part series entitled Set You Free, which takes a position-by-position look at this offseason’s free agency market. Today, Tyler Wasserman asks a simple question: who’s on first?
Last week, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took the baseball world by storm by signing Albert Pujols to a massive 10-year $254 million contract. In doing so, they secured themselves not only the best first baseman on the free agent market, but also arguably the best player in the game today. Let’s take a look at what remains for teams looking for free agent first basemen:
Bogusevic spent half of 2011 in Houston, finishing the season with 4 HR, 25 wRC, and 2.4 WAR in 87 games (182 PA). Bogusevic could be a combo threat of power and speed (13 HR, 23 SB at Triple-A Round Rock in 2010) if he reaches his full potential.
During the Winter Meetings, we saw both Heath Bell and Frank Francisco sign free agent deals to close games in new cities, although these moves were overshadowed by the Pujols and Reyes signings. Let’s take a look at the overall condition of the relief pitcher market.
Obviously, closers are being paid quite a large premium over setup men. But is this warranted? It seems as if many GMs are paying for saves; a very misleading stat. Rafael Soriano got a three-year deal in excess of $30 million last year because he had the brand name of an elite closer. However, as the Yankees experienced in 2011, relievers are very volatile, and even “elite closers” like Soriano tend to have sub-par years. Francisco Rodriguez, who recently accepted arbitration from the Brewers, will also be paid at least $12 million to be a setup man in 2012.
“Cruz has a big fastball, throws regularly in the mid-90s, but his control and his offspeed stuff are both well below average right now. I don’t think he has a great chance to stick.” – Ben Badler, BaseballAmerica.com
“Doyle is a righthander with guile who lacks a plus pitch but knows how to set up hitters. He helped his chances of being picked with an excellent Arizona Fall League performance. He certainly understands the geometry of pitching, consistently getting outs with his command and a cut fastball. Doyle’s 88-92 fastball did pick up as the season progressed and he touched 93-94 mph in Arizona. Doyle confuses hitters who don’t know him, as he often pitches backward, using breaking pitches to set up his fastball. He throws four pitches for strikes, including a biting slider and a high-70s change up.” – J.J. Cooper, BaseballAmerica.com
In Episode 135 of Listen Up! host Jesse Kass hosts the show solo with co-host Scott Heineman out of town. Kass discusses the continuation of the NBA Playoffs, including previews and predictions for the Conference Finals between the Heat & Pacers and Spurs & Grizzlies. Kass also talks about the offseason needs for the Bulls, Knicks, Thunder, and Warri […]