Blog Entry

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

Posted on: December 15, 2008 3:32 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 3:38 pm


Friday marked the date when teams sent a load of non-tendered players packing to join the already crowded free agent pool. Of those players, a large amount of whom are bottom-of-the-barrel type athletes, there are to be found a few possible sleepers:

Ty Wigginton - Probably the most sought-after non-tendered player on the market. Wigginton was let go by the Astros after signing a deal with them only a year ago. The now former Houston third baseman hit .285 last season with 23 homers in just 386 ABs. Wigginton is just 31 years old and is very consistant, hitting at least .275 with 22 HRs in each of his last three seasons, not to mention that he is versitile (having played second base for Tampa Bay two years ago) and can be picked up relatively cheaply at around $3.5 million a year. Apparently the Giants, Indians, Pirates, and Reds have all already shown interest.

Chris Capuano - After undergoing his second career Tommy John surgery Capuano didn't play at all during the 2008 season and was subsiquently not offered a contract by the Milwakee Brewers. In 29 starts in 2007 the lefty posted a 5-12 record, 5.10 ERA, and 132Ks. While those numbers are far from impressive, in his previous two seasons, which took place after his first Tommy John surgery, Capuano went 29-24 with a 3.99 ERA and pitched at least 220 innings both years. He might have to start the year on the DL, but the 30 year old is capable of keeping the ball around the plate (3:1 career K:BB ratio), and, if healthy, eating up some innings. For a couple million, this guy could be a steal for teams who are contenders but still have holes in their starting rotations like the Blue Jays, Twins, Cardinals, or even the Brewers.

Daniel Cabrera - The Orioles parted ways with this 5 year veteran on Friday after the hurler failed to post a winning record in any of the last four seasons. The 27 year old fireballer ended last year with an 8-10 mark and a 5.25 ERA. While Cabrera's final statistics are by no means head-turning, the fact that through through July first in 2008 he was able to compile a 5-1 record, 3.60 ERA and 10 straight quality starts, is what will land him a spot somewhere next year. Because he has a reputation (well deserved) of being unbelievably inconsistant, he will not be signing with any immediate contenders, but there are teams like the Padres (if they keep Peavy), Athletics, and Braves who have an outside shot at making a run at the playoffs and could afford to take a chance at around 2 million per. I could even see the Red Sox taking at a look at him and turing him into the long relief guy out of the pen, much like they did with Kyle Snyder a few year ago (very similar build and control issues).

Takashi Saito - The belief that the Dodgers are going to make a hard push for Trevor Hoffman has been confirmed by the team not offering 39 year old Takashi Saito a contract. Saito had a productive, but injury plagued 2008 campaign (4-4, 2.49, 60Ks in 47 IP) leading many teams to think his days as a quality bullpen arm are numbered. While not expected to sign anywhere as a closer, the Japanese born right hander could make his way to a legitimate team in need of an 8th inning type arm like the Diamondbacks, Giants, White Sox, or possibly even the Yankees.

Other notable non-tendered free agents include Joey Gathright (KC), Jonny Gomes (TB), Willy Taveras (COL), and Chuck James (ATL).


Since: Jan 17, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2009 5:52 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough


Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: December 23, 2008 8:38 am

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

Nice analysis.  Though, I really disagree with any positive analysis of Daniel Cabrera.  I may be biased, as an Orioles fan, but he is just horrible and past any resurgence that could possibly come.  Inconsistency doesn't cover it.  I'm glad he's across town with the Nationals.  Those fastball hitters in the NL East are going to continue to hurt him (Ryan Howard hits really far), and I don't like the Natties.  I wouldn't really have seen the A's or Padres interested in a guy like Cabrera with all the walks he gives up...and definitely not the Red Sox.  I don't see him getting their rotation anywhere....they have a very good rotation as it is.

Capuano could be a #5 guy...but don't count on him to eat up innings like he used to.  Tommy John keeps that nice contract from being that 'free lunch' that everyone is looking for.  Most guys don't come back successful from Tommy just hear about the ones that do much more than the ones that don't.

I hadn't heard about the Dodgers push for Hoffman.  I'm not sure why they would...they have a scary arm at the end of the games and Hoffman is likely overpriced based on his past performance, rather than what he could do for the team.  But I still think he can be useful to mix it up before Broxton.  I totally agree the Yanks or Diamondbacks would be wise to invest in Saito.  I'm not convinced spending tons of money on relief pitching is a good idea, though.  That money can be spent elsewhere to prevent from having close games in the first place.

Wigginton would be a good pickup for any team for that cheap.  I'm not sure $3.5 million will be enough to land him, though.  With the value of contracts around the league, he could end up with a little more.  However, I could see the Athletics swooping down and trying to pick him up cheap.  After an uncharacteristic move for Matt Holliday, they're coming into the season with a little less payroll room than they have in the past.  I'm interested to see what they have up their sleeve.

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2008 9:51 am

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

Just to update, since the writing on this blog Chris Capuano has resigned with Milwakee to a minor league deal and Daniel Cabrera has signed a 1-year 2.6 million dollar deal with the Nationals.

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2008 9:55 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

Aaron Miles of the Cardinals might be a better option from the Non-tender list. His OPS is about 100 points better than Bloomquist.

You're absolutely correct if the goal is to find a starter or even a platoon player (although Miles is a switch hitter). The problem for a team like the Red Sox is that ,Teixeira or no Teixeira, they are set for starters in the infield. Miles has averaged 134 games a year for 4 of the last 5 years and it seems that he would be looking for a situation where he could play close to every day since he is still only 32 years old. That won't happen with the Sox unless there is an injury.

Bloomquist, on the other hand,has been a utility/back-up player his entire career and has been willing to accept that role. He also has extensive outfield experience, something that Miles does not bring to the table (7 total games). This type of versatility has always been important to the Sox as they build their bench.

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 1:41 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

no worries.  ty would be a great signing for the twins though, as they seem to be planning on using a platoon of brian buscher and brendan harris at 3B, changing based on whether they are facing LH or RH pitching

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2008 1:08 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough


You are absolutely right. Liriano's comeback escaped my mind and I figured they would need a back-end of the rotation type to go along with the four other young arms. Thanks for the correction.

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 12:42 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

the twins have holes in the bullpen, as well as 3B, NOT their starting rotation, which is loaded with young talent with fransisco liriano, scott baker, kevin slowey, nick blackburn, and glenn perkins, with phil humber waiting in the wings.  signing another starting pitcher would make NO sense for them unless the planning on converting him to a reliever.

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2008 12:01 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

The non-tendering of Daniel Cabrera is very telling of Cabrera the person.  The guy has an electric fastball and can downright dominate games.  I was searching through his game log and found this: 9IP 3H 1 ER 0BB 7K.  Here's the most impressive part, he had an 18 -2 ground ball to fly ball outs ratio.  The problem with Cabrera throughout his career was also found in his 2008 game log, as for every gem, there were games in which he  blew up and issued 6 or 7 walks.  Throughout Cabrera's 5 year MLB service time, he's been consistently inconsistent with his command.

The Orioles are in rebuilding mode within the very competitive AL East.  They have some good, young position players currently on the roster, but beyond Guthrie they are lacking starting pitching depth and have very little in the way or starting pitching depth.  On paper, paying Cabrera the couple of million that he would earn through arbitration makes sense.  For the sake of argument, let's say that Cabrera figures it out in the first half of the season.  Then the Orioles have a trade trip at the deadline in which they could flip for some minor league players who may be able to help down the road.  The downside is that the Cabrera doesn't figure it out.  However, this still leaves the Orioles with a SP who is  likely to eat 180-200 innings.  In terms of roster construction, that's very valuable for the Orioles as they wouldn't have to force extra innings on to young pitchers.

Certainly some major league organiziation will pick the low-risk (I don't see him getting over 1M), high-reward Cabrera.  Who knows the change of scenery or the chance to prove his old team wrong might flip a switch for Cabrera.  However, I just don't see it happening because this guy just doesn't have his head screwed on straight.

The only reason that I can think of that the Orioles would non-tender Cabrera is that they've deemed him uncoachable and impossible to  be around.  Based upon what I've seen -  the losing control of himself on the mound (intentionally throwing at batter's heads), no improvement in his 5 years of service time (even with Leo Mazzoni), and now the insight provided by the Orioles non-tendering him, I certainly wouldn't want him on the the team that i root for, the Red Sox. 

Since: Oct 13, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2008 11:04 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

Aaron Miles of the Cardinals might be a better option from the Non-tender list. His OPS is about 100 points better than Bloomquist.

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2008 9:14 pm

GM for a Day:Diamonds in the "non-tendered" rough

Wigginton is going to get paid more to be an everyday player than the Red Sox would be able to offer him to be a backup. Plus, with Youkilis being able to spell Lowell at third and Jeff Bailey backing up firstbase, the Sox really need a utility guy that can play middle infield, and Wigginton can't play Shortstop.

The guy the Sox are really high on right now it Willie Bloomquist who played with Seattle last year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or