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Free Agent Auction Primer

Staff Writer Matt Sanders

KJNL Dynasty Baseball Weekly

 

 

          As free agency approaches, who exactly is out there? In this first addition of the Weekly we’re going to take a look at the big time free agents, the sleepers, and the people you should probably stay away from.

 

Matt’s Top 10:

 

1)     Bobby Abreu-OF-NYY-Abreu doesn’t put up dazzling stats; however he’s a great number two or number three OF. He hit just under .290 on the season with 16 HR, 101 RBI, and 25 SB to go along with 125 R. However he’s 33, so teams going the younger route may want to stay away from him, and his salary is going to base at 7.5 million dollars, so he’s not exactly cheap.

2)     Adrian Beltre-3B-SEA- Beltre has a good combination of speed and power, and is younger than Abreu at 28. He had 26 HR, 15 SB, 99 RBI, 87 R, and a .276 avg. in 2007. He’s going to cost you though at a base of 5,750,000 dollars.

3)     Jon Garland-SP-LAA-Garland was the victim of bad run support last season with a 10-13 record. He had a 4.23 ERA, the third best of his career in 2007 with Chicago before he was traded. In LA Garland will have plenty of run support and a solid bull-pen, an attractive situation. He’s only 28 and has twice won 18 games, plus he’s won at least 10 starts every season since 2002. His ERA has never been above 4.90 with the exception of his rookie season. Garland will come in at a base of five million.

4)     Jim Thome-DH-CWS-Thome is 37 and comes in at a base of seven million dollars, but trust me, he’s worth it. At his age he hit a team leading 37 HR, along with 100 RBI and a .275 avg. He’s a great Utill option, especially because all those numbers were with limited playing time at DH, think what he could do if he gets more time this season. I wouldn’t bid to high on him because of his age, but if you need an utill, Thome is the way to go.

5)     Eric Chavez-3B-OAK-Chavez saw his season cut short last season by an injury, however he still put up good numbers with 15 HR. If you need batting average, Chavez is not the way to go, he has a lifetime .269 avg. But if you’re looking for power out of third base he’s a good option. In 2006 he hit 22 homers. In 2005, his last full season, he hit 27 along with 101 RBI. He’s a bit of an injury risk, but puts up consistent power and will come cheaper than Beltre at a base of 4.5 million.    

6)     Akinori Otsuka-RP-TEX- Since he joined the league in 2004 he’s never posted an ERA above 3.00, which should be reason enough to look at him. He had a 2.51 ERA in 2007 along with a 1.08 WHIP. He was 2-1 with 4 saves and 11 holds in relief work. Will Eric Gange gone for good expect plenty of holds and even some saves from Otsuka in the future. However he’s 36.

7)     Joe Crede-3B-CWS- Crede had an awful season in 2007 that was injury plagued. However in 2006 he had 30 HR and a .286 avg. He’s the final 3B in the “Big Three” of Beltre, Chavez, and of course Crede. With Swisher and Cabrera in his line-up now we should see a jolt in offensive production, and he’s only 29. Plus he’s cheap for a potently good year at 2.47 million dollars base.

8)     Greg Maddux-SP-SD-Maddux is old but puts up solid numbers every season. Last year he turned in a 4.14 ERA, not bad at all for a third or fourth pitcher in your rotation. That came along with 14 wins. San Diego’s strong bull pen should help him some more.

9)     Carlos Delgado-1B-NYM-Delgado had an off year in 2007 and costs a lot of money, but he could bounce back in 2008 and is the top 1B free agent. Delgado is a power hitter and hit 24 bombs in ’07, but his .254 avg. scares some owners away.

10)Jason Varitek-C-BOS-The best catcher in this season’s free agent pool has to be Varitek. He hit .255 with 17 HR as the Red Sox’s captain in 2007.

 

Other Free Agents to Take a Look At:

     Jeff Kent-2B-LAD

     Garret Anderson-OF-LAA

     Ramon Hernandez-C-Bal

     Jake Westbrook-SP-Cle

     Pedro Martinez-SP-NYM

     Troy Percival-RP-TB 

 

My Top 3 Free Agents to Avoid-

 

1)     Barry Bonds-OF-FA-Bond’s may not ever play again, he’ll cost around ten million base, and that’s too big a risk for me especially since he’s in his mid-forty’s.

2)  Roger Clemens-SP-NYY-See Barry Bonds

3)     Tim Wakefield-SP-BOS-Wakefield had a good year last season but will most likely lose an everyday slot to younger guys like Bucholtz and Lester.