Category Archives: Free Agency

Nick Markakis is not the Mets’ savior

In his October 15, 2014 piece, NY Post‘s Joel Sherman outlined why he felt free-agent-to-be Nick Markakis would be a nice fit with the New York Mets.

Fans: ignore Joel Sherman. Continue reading

Ervin Santana: A Potential Bargain for Pitching-Starved MLB Teams

At the same point last offseason, starting pitcher Kyle Lohse was still a free agent. In fact, it would take until March 25 for Lohse to finally sign a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. But unlike Lohse, who too wore the rejected-qualifying offer Scarlet Letter, current free agent Ervin Santana has apparently waved the white flag in his pursuit of a multiyear deal.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the 31-year-old is eager to sign with a team and get to spring training—even at the cost of a lucrative, long-term contract. Aside from how most teams would forfeit an unprotected first-round pick to sign the right-hander, the sheer opportunity to sign a free-agent pitcher of Santana’s caliber to a one-year deal instantly makes him a bargain. Continue reading

What Changed the New York Yankees’ Mind About Brett Gardner?

According CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees reportedly extended outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year, $52 million contract.

Gardner, 30, is young by Bombers’ standards and has excelled as a starter over the past four seasons. And with a career park-adjusted 97 OPS+, 10.3 percent walk rate, 161 steals (an 80.9 percent SB%) and 84 defensive runs saved (DRS) in the outfield, Gardner is undoubtedly a valuable asset.

Yet, in less than a three-month period since signing Jacoby Ellsbury, which subsequently incited hoopla surrounding Gardner’s future with the organization, per The Star-Ledger’s Andy McCullough, the southpaw went from seemingly expendable to a core organizational mainstay. Given the extreme variance, it only makes one wonder: What could have changed the Yankees’ mind about Brett Gardner? Continue reading

The Baltimore Orioles Are a Good Fit for Ubaldo Jimenez

It took until mid-February, but Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the better starting pitchers on the free-agent market, has finally put pen to paper. Jimenez, who posted a 3.30 ERA, park-adjusted 114 ERA+ and 2.43 K/BB in 2013, is set to sign a four-year, $50 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The deal matches the one the Milwaukee Brewers handed Matt Garza in January, but is perhaps surprising to some given Ubaldo’s struggles from 2011 to 2012 (a combined 5.03 ERA, 82 ERA+ and 1.87 K/BB). Yet, despite the contract-year alarm bells going off, there are a few factors that point to at least a continuation of success in 2014 with the Orioles. Continue reading

Paul Maholm Should Fire His Agent

Like most good, high-payroll organizations, the Los Angeles Dodgers weren’t satisfied with just winning the National League West in 2013. General manager Ned Colletti has spent over $80 million this offseason in free agency and another $215 million to extend the team’s ace, Clayton Kershaw. Needless to say, the Dodgers are the favorites to win the NL West and arguably the pennant too.

But while Colletti is doing his job as general manager, one can’t say the same for the agent of recent Dodgers’ signee Paul Maholm. In an offseason where mediocre starting pitchers garnered multi-year contracts, Bo McKinnis was only able to net his client a one-year, $1.5 million deal. Continue reading

5 Realistic Moves the New York Mets Should Have Made This Offseason

Playing armchair general manager is often met with skepticism. In an ideal world, the New York Mets would have outbid the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano’s services, subsequently adding one of the premier offensive threats at a notoriously light-hitting position.

But given the Mets’ small-market approach, inking Cano was never in the realm of possibility—even if the team did buy him lunch (per the NY Post’s Ken Davidoff).

Yet, there were a number of low-cost, high-reward acquisitions other teams executed that the Mets could have also made.

For instance, despite posting comparable three-year averages to many of the highest-earning starters this offseason, Paul Maholm only garnered a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Given the mediocre Plan B rotation options behind Jenrry Mejia, the Mets should have invested in Maholm. Continue reading

The Best Free-Agent Defensive Players Still Available

Surprisingly, Juan Uribe was the best defensive free agent before the offseason began.

Surprisingly, Juan Uribe was the best defensive free agent before the offseason began.

As expected, most of the big-name free-agents have signed contracts by this point.

That said, if the Baltimore Orioles decided to upgrade from Nolan Reimold, both Kendrys Morales and Nelson Cruz, who hit 23 and 27 home runs in 2013, respectively, are still looking for jobs. The same goes for the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels, both of whom could bolster their rotations by inking the likes of Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo and even Masahiro Tanaka.

But when it comes to improving teams’ defenses last minute, the pickings might be slimmer.

The top-six free-agent defenders have long been off the market, with Juan Uribe’s glowing 15 DRS and 35.3 UZR/150 leading the way.

Player Pos. Inn UZR/150 DRS
Juan Uribe 3B 900.1 35.3 15
Jacoby Ellsbury CF 1188.1 12.9 13
Mark Ellis 2B 950.0 7.8 12
Marlon Byrd RF 1168.1 2.6 12
Mike Napoli 1B 1097.1 13.3 10
David Murphy LF 980.1 15.5 8

Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the best free-agent defensive players still available.

Note: players must have logged at least 100 innings at a given position to become eligible. Continue reading