The more I thought about this set of posts, I realized this is far more than a two part series. What I am going to do in this the second part of the Free Agent dissection.
The first logical thing to look at is who, of the 108 free agents ( I realized after the post that Jeff Salazar was already signed by the Pirates) can automatically be eliminated.
The first group we are cutting are the class A and B free agents. The Pirates plan to build through the draft and build a strong minor league system. Signing a type A or B free agent costs the team draft choices, unless they are signed after the June entry draft (if I understand that rule correctly). Here is the list of players eliminated on this fact alone, the count is 31 reducing the free agent list to 77.
|Manny Ramirez, LF||36||Free Agent (A)||LA Dodgers||3|
|Adam Dunn, LF||29||Free Agent (A)||Arizona||7|
|Oliver Perez, SP||27||Free Agent (A)||NY Mets||10|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||31||Free Agent (A)||Arizona||12|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||34||Free Agent (A)||NY Yankees||14|
|Juan Cruz, RP||30||Free Agent (A)||Arizona||16|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||34||Free Agent (A)||Chicago Sox||21|
|Ben Sheets, SP||30||Free Agent (A)||Milwaukee||23|
|Andy Pettitte, SP||36||Free Agent (A)||NY Yankees||26|
|Jason Varitek, C||36||Free Agent (A)||Boston||49|
|Russ Springer, RP||40||Free Agent (A)||St. Louis||68|
|Randy Wolf, SP||32||Free Agent (B)||Houston||24|
|Jon Garland, SP||29||Free Agent (B)||LA Angels||36|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||39||Free Agent (B)||Chicago Sox||37|
|Paul Byrd, SP||38||Free Agent (B)||Boston||38|
|Braden Looper, SP||34||Free Agent (B)||St. Louis||43|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||37||Free Agent (B)||NY Yankees||46|
|Garret Anderson, LF||36||Free Agent (B)||LA Angels||55|
|Frank Thomas, DH||40||Free Agent (B)||Oakland||57|
|Eric Gagne, RP||33||Free Agent (B)||Milwaukee||61|
|Dennys Reyes, RP||31||Free Agent (B)||Minnesota||62|
|Brian Shouse, RP||40||Free Agent (B)||Milwaukee||65|
|Juan Uribe, 3B||29||Free Agent (B)||Chicago Sox||70|
|Joe Beimel, RP||31||Free Agent (B)||LA Dodgers||72|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||38||Free Agent (B)||Kansas City||88|
|Moises Alou, LF||42||Free Agent (B)||NY Mets||97|
|Luis Ayala, RP||31||Free Agent (B)||NY Mets||98|
|Jason Isringhausen, RP||36||Free Agent (B)||St. Louis||NR|
|Jeff Kent, 2B||40||Free Agent (B)||LA Dodgers||NR|
|Luis Gonzalez, LF||41||Free Agent (B)||Florida||NR|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||36||Free Agent (B)||Florida||NR|
Of the remaining 77, 2 more can quickly be removed. Those are players listed as DHs. While these are players better known for bats, the Pirates can not have players on their bench that would be a liability in the field. Cross off the following:
|Cliff Floyd||DH||36||Tampa Bay||78|
|Jonny Gomes||DH||28||Tampa Bay||NR|
Some may find crossing off Gomes because he is listed as a DH is crazy. I don't think so, he is listed as a DH for a reason.
We are now down to 75.
The next group I am cutting are outfielders and catchers. The Pirates are very deep in outfield options. With McCutchen and Tabata on the horizon. All three outfield spots set with Moss slated for right, Morgan in left and McLouth as a fixture in the OF. There aren't enough positions to go around. The Pirates have Pearce, Monroe and Salazar in the mix for the bench outfield spots.
There are a ton of catchers coming to spring training, an experienced backup to Doumit would be ideal, but the Pirates seem to believe they can find an option in the group they have coming to Bradenton. You can also look to the fact nearly every catcher on the list is of an older variety. Outside of Javier Valentin, not one of them are under 36. Squatting for a career does not lend to long careers.
Neither outfield nor catcher need to be addressed at this point. This knocks another 14 players off the list dropping the Pirates options to 61.
|Gary Bennett||C||36||LA Dodgers||NR|
|Henry Blanco||C||37||Chicago Cubs||NR|
|Jim Edmonds||CF||38||Chicago Cubs||32|
|Eric Hinske||RF||31||Tampa Bay||54|
One last cut I am making, I am dropping the following players over the age of 36, not every player over 36 just the ones outside the ESPN/BA top 100 free agent list. The Pirates won't take a chance on these older players unless it is a minor league deal. Most of these players would not accept such a deal. Here is the list of 18 I am dropping from the list:
|Ramon Martinez||2B||36||NY Mets||NR|
|Rich Aurilia||1B||37||San Francisco||NR|
|Jon Lieber||RP||38||Chicago Cubs||NR|
|Ricardo Rincon||RP||38||NY Mets||NR|
|Damion Easley||2B||39||NY Mets||NR|
|Mark Sweeney||1B||39||LA Dodgers||NR|
|Orlando Hernandez||SP||39||NY Mets||NR|
|Ron Villone||RP||39||St. Louis||NR|
Here is the list of the last 43 remaining free agents:
|Joe Crede||3B||30||Chicago Sox||34|
|Pedro Martinez||SP||37||NY Mets||44|
|Nomar Garciaparra||SS||35||LA Dodgers||76|
|Omar Vizquel||SS||41||San Francisco||80|
|Daryle Ward||1B||33||Chicago Cubs||92|
|Ambiorix Burgos||RP||24||NY Mets||NR|
|Jairo Cuevas||SP||24||Kansas City||NR|
|Mario Alvarez||SP||24||LA Dodgers||NR|
|Charlie Haeger||SP||25||San Diego||NR|
|Argenis Reyes||2B||26||NY Mets||NR|
|Tyler Johnson||RP||27||St. Louis||NR|
|Tony Armas||SP||30||NY Mets||NR|
|Mark Mulder||SP||31||St. Louis||NR|
|Sidney Ponson||SP||32||NY Yankees||NR|
|Matt Wise||RP||33||NY Mets||NR|
|Randy Flores||RP||33||St. Louis||NR|
Tomorrow I will take a look at the likely 25 man roster and what other positions can be excluded.