Thursday, February 28, 2013

Season 19 Free Agency Preview

Alberto Beltre
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Age: 34B/T: S/R
Born: Mao Valverde, DO
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Harry Mieses
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Age: 35B/T: R/R
Born: Don Gregorio, DO
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Vasco Serra
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Age: 36B/T: R/R
Born: Los Llanos, DO
Position(s): P (SP3)
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Need Starting Pitching?  Maybe one of the multiple time Cy-Young winners above could help!

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

It's almost time to start signing free agents, and if you are looking for Starting Pitching, this could be the year to strike it rich!   This class is stacked, and included three starters who have won the Cy Young Award three times, and none of them are the top Starting Pitcher in the class!   To throw a wrench in the mix, a superstar former MVP bat is available.  Do you go for pitching or the big bat?  Can someone get both?  Enough talk, here's your top ten Free Agents for Season 19!

1. Mendy Kondou, 30, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat:  Career .421 OPS
Salary Over/Under:  5 years, $105 million

Possible Destinations: Colorado Springs, Dover, Los Angeles, Burlington, Syracuse

Signed with Dover - 5 years, $110 million

Kondou’s accolades pretty much speak for the type of player he is:  former MVP, Seven-time silver slugger, six-time all-star, and a four-time gold glove winner.   Kondou has elite power, batting eye and contact, and is an excellent fielder, he’d work anywhere except shortstop.  At only 30 he’ll still perform at an elite level for several seasons.   Whoever gets him will get a huge boost to their lineup, albeit at a huge price, as Kondou looks to cash in.

2. Victor Almanzar, 31, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat:  3.00 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  5 years, $95 million

Possible Destinations: Detroit, Syracuse, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Omaha

Signed with Boston - 5 years, $110 million

Almanzar, a former Cy Young winner, gets the nod as the top SP, in a very strong free agent class for starting pitchers.  It’s hard to pinpoint any weaknesses in Almanzar’s ratings.  If you land him, you almost certainly have a new staff ace on your hands, and probably someone who will finish in the top 5 in the Cy Young race for several years to come.  Again, he will come at a steep price, but should be worth it.

3. Alberto Beltre, 34, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.01 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $75 million

Possible Destinations: Burlington,  El Paso, Little Rock, Durham, Dover

Signed with Durham - 5 years, $95.5 million

Beltre, a 2-time former Cy Young winner, winning it in both leagues, still should have some great years ahead for whichever team he signs with.  He dominates right handers still and has a great KnuckleCurve and Cut fastball that bewilders hitters.  If you don’t get one of the top two, he’d be a very nice consolation prize, if you can even call him that, he’d still be the #1 starter for a lot of teams.

4. Harry Mieses, 35, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.19 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $54 million

Possible Destinations: Colorado, El Paso, Omaha, Boston, Washington

Signed with Colorado Springs - 5 years, $80 million

What do you know, another two time Cy Young winner is available!   At 35, Mieses is still an incredible talent as good as the two above him.  Really, the only thing separating these three guys is age.  Mieses is incredibly solid across the board, and there’s really no weakness to point out, other than his age.  Even at 35, he’d be #1 in most other free agent classes, but this one happens to be stacked.

5. Welington Lorenzo, 32, SP
No Designation
Key Stat:  4.25 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $24 million

Possible Destinations: Austin, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Arizona

Signed with Los Angeles - 5 years, $24 million

We’ve now gotten past the former Cy Young winner candidates and on to some players that are not flawless.  Lorenzo is a step down from the other three SP’s, but can still be a solid #2 or #3.  He is vulnerable vs. lefties, doesn’t keep the ball down well, and doesn’t throw with much velocity.  He has a killer curveball, a couple of other good pitches, and very nice control.  He’s still a quality add for someone out there.  He won’t cost a draft pick either, which helps his value.

6. Johnnie Kennedy, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.02 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $30 million

Possible Destinations: Syracuse, Burlington, Tampa Bay, Omaha, Colorado Springs

Signed with Durham - 5 years, $100.5 million

Kennedy is extremely similar to Lorenzo, with a slight trade off of being better vs. lefties, but with worse pitches than Lorenzo.  Other than that, they’re basically the same.  He’ll be another nice #2 or #3 SP for someone, but again isn’t as stellar as the elite SP’s available. 

7. Vasco Serra, 36, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.68 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $30 million

Possible Destinations: Dover, Colorado, Boston, Los Angeles, Vancouver

Signed with Burlington - 3 years, $45 million

What do you know, yet another 2-time former Cy Young winner!  Albeit it was 11 and 12 seasons ago respectively, Serra can still pitch well, and you could make an argument to rank him #5, but we bumped him down because of his age.  He hasn’t declined much at all yet, but it’s coming.  He should be great for another 2-3 seasons, but after  that it’s hard to tell what the future holds.  Still, he’ll be a very nice additional to someone’s staff for the next few seasons. 

8. B.C. Moreno, 29, LF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .913 OPS last season
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $38 million

Possible Destinations: Colorado, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Durham

Signed with New York - 5 years, $67 million

After Kondou, it’s looking like a pretty rough free agent class offense wise.    For his relatively young age for a free agent and his nice power, we’ll say Moreno is the 2nd best offensive free agent.  You’re not getting a superstar, but he’s a solid bat.  In the field, he’s questionable as a right fielder due to a minus arm and accuracy, but would be a very solid left fielder. 

9. Moose Gonzales, 28, SS
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 12 plus plays at SS last season
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $25 million

Possible Destinations: Detroit, Syracuse, El Paso, Kansas City

Signed with Colorado Springs - 5 years, $46 million

Decent hitting shortstops are hard to find, and that’s why Gonzales made our list.   There isn’t much great to say about his hitting, except he’s better than most that have 80 across the board fielding ratings and can actually plays a good shortstop, and that makes him an asset.  He’s only 28, so he should be a solid shortstop for many more seasons.

10. Curt Hebert, 30, SS
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat:  12 plus plays at SS last season
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $24 million

Possible Destinations: Arizona, Dover, Tampa Bay, Little Rock

Signed with Burlington - 5 years, $60.6 million

It’s pretty much the same story with Hebert as it is with Gonzales.  He’s actually a little better hitter than Gonzales with more speed, but a little less solid in the field in terms of arm strength and accuracy, and is also a few years older.  Still, he’s a rock solid shortstop, and will be a solid add for whoever lands him.

It will be an interesting free agent period for sure, good luck to all!

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