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.
Craig Wilson, Luis Gonzalez, Jason Schmidt, Shannon Stewart