January 19, 2009

Free Agents - Part 2

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.

Player Age Status Old Team Rank
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.

Gregg Zaun  C 37 Toronto 39
Adam Melhuse  C 36 Colorado NR
Brad Ausmus  C 39 Houston NR
Gary Bennett  C 36 LA Dodgers NR
Henry Blanco  C 37 Chicago Cubs NR
Javier Valentin  C 33 Cincinnati NR
Paul Bako  C 36 Cincinnati NR
Sal Fasano  C 37 Cleveland NR
Jim Edmonds  CF 38 Chicago Cubs 32
Emil Brown  LF 34 Oakland 85
Jacque Jones  LF 33 Florida 100
Jay Payton  LF 36 Baltimore NR
Eric Hinske  RF 31 Tampa Bay 54
Brad Wilkerson  RF 31 Toronto 87


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:

Keith Foulke  RP 36 Oakland NR
Ramon Martinez  2B 36 NY Mets NR
Brendan Donnelly  RP 37 Cleveland NR
Kevin Millar  1B 37 Baltimore NR
Rich Aurilia  1B 37 San Francisco NR
Eddie Guardado  RP 38 Minnesota NR
Elmer Dessens  SP 38 Atlanta 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
Kent Mercker  RP 40 Cincinnati NR
Rudy Seanez  RP 40 Philadelphia NR
Tom Gordon  RP 41 Philadelphia NR
Mike Timlin  RP 42 Boston NR
Tom Glavine  SP 42 Atlanta NR



Here is the list of the last 43 remaining free agents:

Player Position Age Old Team Rank
Brandon Lyon  RP 29 Arizona 20
Joe Crede  3B 30 Chicago Sox 34
Pedro Martinez  SP 37 NY Mets 44
Will Ohman  RP 31 Atlanta 51
Ray Durham  2B 37 Milwaukee 67
Kenny Rogers  SP 44 Detroit 75
Nomar Garciaparra  SS 35 LA Dodgers 76
Sean Casey  1B 34 Boston 77
Omar Vizquel  SS 41 San Francisco 80
Craig Counsell  3B 38 Milwaukee 81
Curt Schilling  SP 42 Boston 90
Daryle Ward  1B 33 Chicago Cubs 92
Alex Cora  SS 33 Boston 99
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
Chuck James  SP 27 Atlanta NR
Tyler Johnson  RP 27 St. Louis NR
Lance Cormier  RP 28 Baltimore NR
Juan Rincon  RP 29 Cleveland NR
Luis Rivas  SS 29 Pittsburgh NR
Alex Cintron  SS 30 Baltimore NR
Jason Jennings  SP 30 Texas NR
Tony Armas  SP 30 NY Mets NR
Casey Fossum  RP 31 Detroit NR
John Parrish  SP 31 Toronto NR
Mark Mulder  SP 31 St. Louis NR
Odalis Perez  SP 31 Washington NR
Ty Wigginton  3B 31 Houston NR
Freddy Garcia  SP 32 Detroit NR
Josh Fogg  SP 32 Cincinnati NR
Scott Elarton  SP 32 Cleveland NR
Sidney Ponson  SP 32 NY Yankees NR
Aquilino Lopez  RP 33 Detroit NR
Livan Hernandez  SP 33 Colorado NR
Matt Wise  RP 33 NY Mets NR
Randy Flores  RP 33 St. Louis NR
Doug Mientkiewicz  1B 34 Pittsburgh NR
Jamey Wright  RP 34 Texas NR
Miguel Cairo  1B 34 Seattle NR
Julian Tavarez  RP 35 Atlanta NR


Tomorrow I will take a look at the likely 25 man roster and what other positions can be excluded.

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