Friday, January 23, 2015

Season 26 Offseason Free Agency Recap

It was an interesting offseason free agency period with plenty of talent available as well as debate on the hefty sums dished out.  Let's see who made the top ten out of this year's free agents, and where they landed!

1. Tony Yang, 31, SP
Previous Team: Santa Fe
Signed with Philadelphia - 5 years, $69 million

Yang is a hard throwing righty who keeps the ball down, with nice stamina, good control with an outstanding array of pitches.  His splits are good, not great, which is pretty much his only weakness.  Everyone seemed to be after Wallace, and even though Wallace is better right now, he won't be by the end of the contracts, which gave Yang the slight nod.  Nice job by Philly to nab him early at a reasonable price, while others were chasing Wallace.

2. Lyle Wallace, 37, SP
Previous Team: Los Angeles
Re-Signed with Los Angeles - 4 years, $90 million (Mutual Option for year 4)

Wallace was the ultimate win now pickup, but comes with risk as regression is expected with age.  Still, Wallace hasn't show signs of slowing down yet, which makes him less risky than the typical age 37 player.  He still appears to be one of the best pitchers in Cobbfather, and in the end that earned him another 20 mil a year, 10 mil signing bonus deal from LA.  It was probably key for LA to retain Wallace to have a shot in the tough NL West. 

3. Vic Crowe, 30, 2B
Previous Team: New York (NL)
Signed with Colorado Springs - 5 years, $100 million (Mutual Option for year 5)

After a two season hiatus, Crowe is returning to Colorado Springs with a hefty contract in tow.    Crow rated as the top offensive free agent this offseason, with outstanding power and tremendous batting eye, he has managed a .943 career OPS.  His splits are excellent as well.  I imagine it will be nice for Colorado Springs to have that bat back in the lineup, and should further their quest to challenge for the AL title. 

4. Hideo Sakamoto, 27, 3B/SS
Previous Team: Salt Lake City
Signed with Durham - 5 years, $82 million

Sakamoto is an outstanding fielder with 80+ ratings in every defensive category, and a nice bat, even though he hasn't had a breakout season offensively as of yet.  His very good contact, power and batting eye show promise, but his splits are fairly mediocre, which may be holding him back at the plate.  Still, his fielding skills make him well worth while, and he is also only 27 with no comp pick attached, since the reigning champs decided it was time to part ways with him prior to his final year of arbitration.  

5. Alex Alfonzo, 32, RP
Previous Team: Tampa Bay
Signed with Las Vegas - 4 years, $32 million (Mutual Option for year 4)

Las Vegas add the top reliever available to bolster a staff that was tops in all of Cobbfather last season.  Alfonzo can eat up a ton of innings (he pitched 175 innings last season) and those will be high quality innings due to outstanding pitches, very nice splits, excellent control and his ability to keep the ball down.  All in all, the contract seems like a bargain, which tends to happen in a well-stocked free agent pool like this one was. 

6. Gail Roberts, 31, 3B
Previous Team: Santa Fe
Signed with Dover - 5 years, $75 million

Looks like the rebuild in Dover is over with this signing!  Roberts is a nice hitter with good contact and splits, decent power and a plus batting eye.  His offensive output has been extremely consistent over the past few seasons.  Fielding wise, he has an excellent glove and arm strength, with solid range and accuracy.  Other than SS and C, he'd be able to hold his own at any position.  His versatility in the field is a major plus.

7. Wayne Roskos, 34, SP
Previous Team: Boston
Signed with Pawtucket - 5 years, $35.8 million

Roskos gets the nod as the 3rd best free agent starting pitcher this offseason, and is bouncing between AL powerhouses going from Boston to Pawtucket.  Roskos got roughed up a bit last year in Boston, but his ratings seem to indicate he is capable of doing better, particularly his excellent control, pitch arsenals and velocity to go with decent splits.  It will be interesting to see if he can rebound in Pawtucket.

8. Wilfredo Moraga, 30, 3B
Previous Team: Jacksonville
Signed with Los Angeles - 5 years, $53.5 million (Mutual Option for year 5)

LA wasn't done after re-upping with Wallace, grabbing another top 10 Free Agent.  Moraga is a very good defensive player (he'd rank as a plus defender anywhere but SS and C) who has solid, yet not great, power, splits and batting eye to go with decent contact.  Two seasons ago he put up a .912 OPS which seems to be his ceiling.  The combination of a solid bat and great defense  makes Moraga a solid signing this offseason.

9. Frank Nieve, 33, RP
Previous Team: Pawtucket
Signed with Atlanta - 3 years, $12.3 million (Mutual Option for year 3)

Nieve was the 2nd best reliever in the market, according to our scouts, and was signed at a very reasonable price by the team that lives in the top spot of the power rankings, Atlanta.   He won't give up many fly balls at all, and has nice control and pitches and pretty good splits.  He didn't pitch much in Pawtucket the past few seasons, and you have to wonder how many innings he'll log for a stacked Atlanta team, but he's a nice insurance policy, especially given the price.

10. Kevin Taylor, 31, LF/2B
Previous Team: Las Vegas
Re-Signed with Las Vegas - 3 years, $17.7 million (Mutual Option for year 3)

After declining his option to explore free agency, Taylor found that market for his services wasn't what he thought, and ended up back up in Vegas for less money.  Still, Taylor is a solid bat with excellent contact and power and decent to mediocre splits and batting eye.  It would be a reach defensively to put him at 2B or CF, yet he's just good enough where he wouldn't look completely lost out there.  Still, LF is probably his best primary position.  Taylor could be a nice addition in the form of a solid bat.

No comments: