Tag Archives: free agents

On the Pirates signing of Clint Barmes

Sometimes I get the feeling that teams just sign free agents because they can and not because they need to.  Case in point, the Pirates signing of Clint Barmes to be their everyday shortstop for the next two seasons at a grand total of 10.5-million.

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The value of Arizona’s middle infield

By Travis Reitsma

Yesterday, former Blue Jay Aaron Hill signed a 2yr/$10-million extension with the Arizona Diamondbacks after the team declined his $8-million option just a few days prior.  Hill hit well in his late season stint with Arizona after coming over in an August trade with the Jays along with John McDonald for Kelly Johnson, but finished the season with an underwhelming .246/.299/.356 slash line, hitting just eight home runs.  Although he rebounded from an absolutely disastrous 2010, his .356 slugging percentage was a career low and a far cry from his 2009 mark of .499.  He actually posted a lower WAR in 2011 than he did in 2010.

So, did the D’Backs overpay Hill?

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In a weak and expensive free agent market for starting pitchers, Danks and Floyd may be better options.

By Travis Reitsma

When C.C. Sabathia re-signed with the Yankees almost immediately after opting out of the remainder of his deal, making him the richest pitcher in baseball history, the free agent market for starting pitchers went from not great to bad.  Only two others achieved ‘Type-A’ status in Rangers’ lefty C.J. Wilson and the Phillies’ Roy Oswalt, who’s well past his prime and is a significant injury risk.

Another intriguing option is Japanese righthander Yu Darvish who is expected to be posted by his NPBL team sometime this offseason, but with a posting fee, Darvish could end up costing his North American team over $100-million; a risky proposition for a pitcher who has never thrown a pitch in the Majors.  There are also ‘Type-B’ options Mark Buehrle, Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson, Aaron Harang, Bruce Chen, and Freddy Garcia and other notables such as Erik Bedard, Aaron Cook, Bartolo Colon, Zach Duke, Livan Hernandez, and Jon Garland.

In other words, there are some decent options, but no game changers outside of Wilson and Darvish who probably aren’t true number one pitchers themselves.  The problem with trying to acquire starting pitching on the free agent market is just how expensive it is.  Take a look at these contracts given out to starting pitchers last year:

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