View Full Version : Buyer Beware: Potentially Underpaid and Overpaid FA's

11-21-2006, 03:37 PM
In wake of recent contracts I decided to compile this list out of remaining free agents, hoping that the Reds will not fall for some of these traps. We have a good idea of the market already and I included some predictions for the bad values.

1. Gary Matthews Jr.

Word is that he's been offered over 10M a year already by multiple teams and is seeking a 4 yr. 48M deal, or possibly even 5 year, 60M deal.
With one solid season under his belt that is truly ridiculous.

Prediction: 4 years, 42M with the Giants.

2. J.D. Drew

Not only did he opt out of his 11M/yr. deal, he apparently will settle for something
13-15M/yr. While he was very solid when healthy, his health has been horrible throughout
his entire career. A loser in the Carlos Lee sweepstakes will likely overpay for him.

Prediction: 3 years, 40M from the Orioles.

3. Vicente Padilla

Is looking for over 10M a year and up to 12M for 4 years. Very ridiculous considering his
consistency. He has been a #2 starter in the past but at other times a #4 or #5. His
health has also been questionalbe. The Phillies unloaded him last year so clearly he is not
this stud that he's been made out to be.

Prediction: 4 years, 42M from the Red Sox.

4. Barry Zito

He's good but he's not going to be worth the 15+M/yr. he will get. His stuff is not that
great besides his amazing curveball; given his less than stellar 2004, and good but not great 2005 and 2006 campaigns he is not really an ace right now but instead a very good #2 starter. 15 or more M a year for that is way too much but someone will fall for it.

Prediction: 6 years, 95M from the Mets.

5. Jeff Weaver

His excellent postseason will give him a fat 2 or 3 year deal for about 5-7M per year.
Maybe not the kind of $ he wanted to get orginally but very good for him considering he was
released midseason (and had a 3-10. 6.29 line). His original plan prior to last season was to sign a 1 yr. 8.3M deal and then play well enough to garner a LTC for at least that much and probably more per season. Some desperate team will far for him, however. He has been putrid the past four years... two campaigns w/ over a 5.75 ERA and 150
IP. The other two years were in Dodger Stadium and still were very mediocre. Can you say overrated?

Prediction: 2 years, 13M from the Cubs with a 7M 2009 option.

6. Gil Meche

He is seeking 8-10M a year and considering he has never posted anything better than #4 starter #'s and he's spent his entire career in a pitchers park, that is pathetic. He does have good
stuff and may flourish as a closer but for the money he wants that's a ridiculous gamble.

Prediction: 4 years, 32M from the Blue Jays.

7. Eric Gagne

Given his health the fact that he is seeking (and probably will get) a 1 yr. 10M deal, shows
the desperate nature of some teams. In most years pitchers coming off injuries would get
2-3M/ year at most.

Prediction: 1 year, 10M from the Red Sox.

8. Scott Schoeneweis

Seeking a four year deal; considering he was practically given away midseason, that is
ridiculous. He was solid for the Reds but definitely a very overrated player.

Prediction: 3 years, 12M from the Giants.

9. Ted Lilly

He used to be underrated but now he is grossly overrated. He's 31 and has pitched over 150
IP only three times; never 200 IP. His Milton-esque 2005 campaign is a sign that he's very
inconsistent and can be very attrocious at times. His best seasons are just in the
4.00-4.50 range; not bad but definately not worth the 10M a year he is seeking. Again, he
could be Eric Milton version 2.0. While he likely won't get over 10M, 9M is very likely.

Prediction: 4 years, 36M from the Cubs.

10. Julio Lugo

He is the best middle infielder on the market and posted solid #'s but considering his
collapse down the stretch for the Dodgers, he is not very good. The Astros let him go a few
years ago (for horrible play and IIRC beating his wife) and he has only flourished in a non-pressure environment. His price tag went down (he wanted 5 years, 40M originally from the Rays) but it still is very high despite his less than impressive career thus far.

Prediction: 4 years, 32M from the Red Sox.

(Note: No predictions for underpaid players).

1. Trot Nixon

Could be the best bargain of the offseason; probably seeking 5M a year. Considering J.D.Drew, a
very similar player statistically (when both are healthy) with similar health issues is
seeking nearly three times as much, Nixon is a bargain. He posted a .974 OPS in 2003 and
almost always has a .800+ OPS.

2. Tony Armas Jr.

Had a questionable health history, however, is still young and can rebound. Could also be
an effective closer or in the pen somewhere; never has been tried before in his career.
Probably will only get 2-3M a year at most. He can produce as much as guys like Meche for a fraction of the price but just needs to stay healthy.

3. Ryan Klesko

Coming off his injury, he could be a great choice for a rebound. In a hitters park, healthy
and used in a platoon role, his numbers would be great. Likely

4. Jose Guillen

Coming off a horrible year but his injuries affected him. Considering he spent the past few
years in a pitchers park, his numbers suffered as well. Could be a great deal for 5M or so.

5. Kenny Lofton

Once was a very overrated player but now just the opposite; he quietly posts .300 with solid
speed. His range is declining but in a corner outfield spot he'd be a cheap and reliable
option for a 1-2 year deal.

6. Javy Lopez

Just like Lofton, he was once overrated but now is underrated. The catching market is thin
but Javy could rebound to almost certainly not his 2003 form but at least his 2004 form. A
1 yr. 2-3M deal would be a great deal; taking his release into consideration in September it
is possible. He might even be a solid DH/backup catcher.

7. Tomo Okha

An underrated middle of the rotation starter, for abotu 5M a year he'd be a steal
considering what guys like Meche or Padilla will get. When healthy he has posted very solid
numbers for a #3 starter.

8. Cliff Floyd

He can be a major offensive threat when healthy but ideally for an AL team as a DH. His
2005 numbers were very decent and for a team like the Twins a 1 yr. 4M deal would be great.

9. Mark Mulder

There's a lot of interest and given his uncertain health it may lead to overpaying but
there's still a chance he can be an ace... for the 5-6M he'll get that is a great deal.

10. Dave Dellucci

He is very effective when he plays and like Mulder might receive too much interest to be a
bargain, however, his effectiveness in his limited time and the chance of him posting very
decent #'s makes him a good deal. He likely won't get more than 5M a year as well.

Honorable Mention:
Craig Wilson, Luis Gonzalez, Jason Schmidt, Shannon Stewart

11-21-2006, 03:59 PM
Nice writeup.

11-21-2006, 04:14 PM
Dellucci would look very nice in our OF.

I'd give him 5M per.

I'd also give Ohka that same 5M per to be our #3.

It's a shame we won't see either of these two at GABP unless they are on the other team.

11-21-2006, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the insight. I think you nailed them all on the head.

The Boston Globe mentioned this morning that GM's are showing very little interest in Nixon. I wonder if he might be attracted to GAB on a one year deal to put up some attractive numbers before testing the waters again. It worked wonders for Rich Aurilia. I remember the Bowden signing Benito Santiago and Tony Fernandez to one year deals when they found few offers. Those two deals helped fill a couple of holes in the '90's.

Perhaps Nixon to platoon with Freel or Denorfia and Lopez to platoon with Hatteberg.

11-21-2006, 04:18 PM
Perhaps Nixon to platoon with Freel or Denorfia and Lopez to platoon with Hatteberg.

If the Reds were smart they would seriously consider this. Move Dunn to first, Griffey to left and then platoon Deno, Freel and Nixon in the CF and RF positions. Deno in CF and Freel in right versus all lefties, and then either Deno or Freel in center depending on rest, health, whatever and Nixon in RF against all righties.

11-21-2006, 04:18 PM
I've been advocating Nixon and Wilson. I think they'd be nice additions to our offense.

What's the market for Jason Schmidt? Why's he on the underpaid list "honorable mention"? I was under the impression that a lot of teams were on him. I'd love to see him in the Reds rotation.

11-21-2006, 04:21 PM
I'll say it again, as I have been saying for about 2 years, David Dellucci.

11-21-2006, 04:29 PM
Dellucci, Guillen, Nixon, Armas and Catalanotto (not listed) are on my list. :D

11-21-2006, 04:30 PM
Dellucci, Guillen, Nixon, Armas and Catalanotto (not listed) are on my list. :D

Nix Cat. He signed with Texas.

11-21-2006, 04:36 PM
I could definitely see us going after Ohka and Armas. Don't know about converting him to the pen though sometimes players aren't willing to make that adjustment after years of starting. But it has worked in the past for some. Jose put up some great numbers for the Reds and played some pretty good defense if I remember. He hit .331 at GABP and slugged .645 I know how we hate retreads here but I think he would definitely bring some offense.

11-21-2006, 05:21 PM
I'm not crazy about Larry Bigbie, but he might be worth a gamble on a minor league contract. Injuries have cut his market value, but he was once a fairly promising outfielder.

11-21-2006, 05:24 PM
Would Jose Guillen be a good pick up or would he complain about playing time?

11-21-2006, 05:29 PM
Well I put Schmidt on the potentially underpaid list b/c compared to like 6 years 90-100M for Zito, 4 yr. 48M looks a lot more realistic for Schmidt. I could personally see him fetching 13M a year but still 3-4M less than Zito. He's older but really the past few years has been just as good and even more dominant recently (both had bad years recently with Zito's 2004 and Schmidt's 2005). I mean his age labels him as a risk but because of that he's not asking for like a 6-7 year deal like Zito.

11-21-2006, 06:41 PM
Nice work, rails. I'm not big on lefty bats (barring a Griffey trade) which take Klesko, Nixon and Dellucci out of the loop. But I've been hitting the Craig Wilson note for a while. Jr. can't hit lefties and Hatteburg's due for a fall.

11-21-2006, 07:01 PM
Take the money you saved from LaRue (I think about 2.5 mil) and put it toward Tomo Ohka.


You could be looking at a 60-65 win rotation right there.

11-21-2006, 07:12 PM
Would Jose Guillen be a good pick up or would he complain about playing time?
The second one.

Caveat Emperor
11-21-2006, 07:22 PM
I've been advocating an Ohka pickup for a while.

He's not going to wow you with strikeouts and great stuff, but he is extremely stingy with walks (2+ K/BB and has only issued more than 50 BBs once in a season), posts an OPS-A at a very reasonable .765 career, and keeps the ball inside the ballpark.

If he can be had for a reasonable dollar figure, he'd make a fantastic #4 starter for this club. Certainly he's a guy that wouldn't cause retching and intestinal discomfort when I looked at the probables and saw his name in the paper.

11-21-2006, 07:54 PM
...and Lopez to platoon with Hatteberg.

I pull this suggestion off the table. I just noticed he had 2 homeruns and three walks in 89 atbats versus lefthanders. His OPS was below .300. Sorry, Javy.

11-21-2006, 09:55 PM
Nixon and Armas would be great additions and if Mulder can sign for under 7mil per year might be worth a gamble for 2 years with an option for a 3rd.

11-21-2006, 10:22 PM
Is Schmidt worth going after? I really hoped he'd be pursued, despite his propensity for flyballs. He's been fantastic for about 6 years running.

11-21-2006, 10:33 PM
Don't forget about draft pick comp for some of these guys.

11-22-2006, 02:56 PM
Seems like the right thread to stick this little tidbit from espn...

ESPN.comís Bill Simmons on the Red Sox going after J.D. Drew: ďIf the prevailing line of thought (from his previous team) is somewhere between, ĎI canít say I was upset to see him go,í and, ĎInstead of signing him, you guys should just set it on fire to see how $50 million smells when itís burning,í thatís probably not someone you want to be signing.íí

11-24-2006, 09:00 AM
The Angels signed Matthews for 5 yrs/50 Mil. Wow! :eek:

11-24-2006, 09:32 AM
The Angels signed Matthews for 5 yrs/50 Mil. Wow! :eek:

Speaking of "see how $50 million smells when itís burning"...

11-24-2006, 12:04 PM
Speaking of "see how $50 million smells when itís burning"...

That has to be the worst contract I have ever heard about. You can justify contracts such as ARod (hard but you can considering the numbers and his fan appeal) even Manny but this cannot be far from the worst ever. (Maybe Chan Ho Park beats it - I remember it and thought the same thing then)