Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 4:41 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With Prince Fielder finally off the market, we're officially in free-agent left-over time, with most of the big-name, big-money guys enjoying new contracts.
So, who is left? That's a good question. The best players available are starting pitchers -- with Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt leading the charge -- but in our free-agent tracker, only one position player (Derrek Lee) among the top 25 free-agent position players is available, while three top 25 pitchers remain (Jackson, Oswalt, Javier Vazquez).
Here's the best player -- and the rest -- among the remaining free agents at each position as we get closer and closer to spring training:
Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez. OK, he's a big name, a future Hall of Famer, but he's also 40 -- and a catcher. Rodriguez, 156 hits from 3,000, adjusted to being a backup catcher last season and it's the role he'll play if he can find a team for 2012.
Others available: Jason Varitek, Ronny Paulino, Ramon Castro, Jason Kendall.
First base: Derrek Lee. The 36-year-old finished the 2011 season in Pittsburgh and had a nice finish to the season, hitting .337/.398/.584 with seven homers in his return to the National League Central after struggling in Baltimore for most of the first half of the season. However, he did miss nearly a month after breaking a bone in his left wrist shortly after joining the Pirates. Lee could retire, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reported.
Others available: Casey Kotchman, Conor Jackson, Ross Gload, Russell Branyan.
Second base: Jeff Keppinger. The Giants non-tendered the 31-year-old infielder who struggled in his 56 games in San Francisco. Keppinger hit just .255/.285/.333 as the team's everyday second baseman, well off his career .281/.332/.388 line. Keppinger brings versatility with the ability to play any of the infield positions, and he's also played in the outfield. He could be a fit with the Mariners, Yankees or Rays.
Others available: Aaron Miles, Carlos Guillen.
Third base: Mark Teahen. Our top third baseman was recently released to make room for a 41-year-old relief pitcher, what does that tell you? The Blue Jays acquired the 30-year-old Teahen in three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson and others to St. Louis and Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Teahen hit .200/.273/.300 with the White Sox and Blue Jays, playing both corner infield and outfield spots, in addition to handling some DH duties. Another positive is that he often tweets pictures of his two adorable boxers.
Others available: Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Alex Cora.
Shortstop: Ryan Theriot. Theriot is versatile, with the ability to play pretty much anywhere on the field -- but he's best suited, defensively, to second base. He started the 2011 season as the Cardinals' starter at shortstop, but there's a reason the team went out to get Rafael Furcal. He hit .271/.321/.342 for the Cardinals last season, but at this point he's likely best suited as a utility player.
Others available: Edgar Renteria, Miguel Tejada, Felipe Lopez.
Outfield: Yoenis Cespedes. While we have J.D. Drew ranked higher, he's expected to retire soon, leaving the extremely talented Cespedes as the top available outfielder. Cespedes has just recently acquired citizenship in the Dominican Republic, so now the official courting of the Cuban center fielder can begin. The Marlins, of course, are said to be very interested, even if Cespedes is less interested in Miami. Both Chicago teams are said to have interest in him as well.
Others available: Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, Juan Pierre, Magglio Ordonez, Corey Patterson, Rick Ankiel, Marcus Thames, Jeremy Hermida, Jay Gibbons, Milton Bradley.
Designated hitter: Johnny Damon. The 38-year-old Damon is hardly the prototypical slugging designated hitter, but he still has some value. Last season he hit .261/.326/.418 for the Rays with 16 home runs. He could be a fit in Detroit, where he hit .271/.355/.401 with eight home runs in 2010.
Others available: Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero.
Starting pitcher: Edwin Jackson. At 28, Jackson has already pitched for six different teams and could be looking at his seventh. With the White Sox and Cardinals, the hard-throwing right-hander went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 31 starts and 199 2/3 innings. He struck out 148 batters while putting up a 1.437 WHIP. There are recent reports that he's willing to sign a one-year deal, and is drawing interest from the Tigers. He was 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Detroit in 2009.
Others available: Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis, Brad Penny, Chris Young, Brandon Webb, Jon Garland, Livan Hernandez, Tim Wakefield, Scott Kazmir, Rodrigo Lopez, Kyle Davies, Ross Ohlendorf, Doug Davis.
Relief pitcher: Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes turned 42 during the World Series and still appeared in 51 games during the regular season and eight more in the postseason. The left-hander had a disappointing run with the Rangers after signing a two-year deal with Texas. But he returned as part of Tony La Russa's bullpen in St. Louis, earning his first World Series ring in his 19 years in the big leagues.
Others available: Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge, Dan Wheeler, Damaso Marte, Michael Wuertz, Zach Duke, Javier Lopez, Juan Cruz, Jason Isringhausen, Mike Gonzalez, Todd Coffey, Shawn Camp, Scott Linebrink, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jamey Wright, Chad Durbin, Brian Tallet, Hideki Luis Ayala, Micah Owings, Dan Cortes, Sergio Mitre, Tony Pena, David Aardsma, Pat Neshek, Danys Baez, Ramon Ortiz.
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Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Aaron Cook, Aaron Miles, Alex Cora, Arthur Rhodes, Bill Hall, Brad Lidge, Brad Penny, Brandon Webb, Brian Tallet, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Guillen, Casey Kotchman, Chad Durbin, Chad Qualls, Chris Young, Connor Jackson, Corey Patterson, Damaso Marte, Dan Cortes, Dan Wheeler, Danys Baez, David Aardsma, Derrek Lee, Doug Davis, Edgar Renteria, Edwin Jackson, Eric Chavez, Felipe Lopez, free agency, free agent tracker, Hideki Matsui, Hideki Okajima, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ivan Rodriguez, Jamey Wright, Jason Isringhausen, Jason Kendall, Jason Michael, Jason Varitek, Javier Lopez, Javier Vazquez, Jay Gibbons, Jeff Francis, Jeff Keppinger, Jeremy Hermida, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Juan Cruz, Juan Pierre, Kosuke Fukudome, Kyle Davies, Livan Hernandez, Luis Ayala, Magglio Ordonez, Marcus Thammes, Mark Teahen, Micah Owings, Michael Wuertz, Mike Gonzalez, Milton Bradley, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Pat Neshek, Ramon Castro, Ramon Ortiz, Raul Ibanez, Rich Harden, Rick Ankiel, Rodrigo Lopez, Ronny Paulino, Ross Gload, Ross Ohlendorf, Roy Oswalt, Russell Branyan, Ryan Theriot, Scott Kazmir, Scott Linebrink, Sergio Mitre, Shawn Camp, Tim Wakefield, Todd Coffey, Tony Pena, Vladimir Guerrero, Yoenis Cespedes, Zach Duke
Posted on: November 24, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:38 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.
On one end of this spectrum is the team with baseball's highest payroll, the Yankees, and now we'll look at the other end, the San Diego Padres. The Padres have just $16.9 allocated toward its 2012 payroll at the end of the 2011 season, versus the Yankees' $171.5 million. The Padres weren't just at the opposite end of the payroll spectrum as the Yankees, they're also in the other league, the opposite coast and on the other end of the standings, finsihing last in the NL West with a 71-91 record.
1. Chase Headley, LF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. David Freese, 3B
4. Derrek Lee, 1B
5. Kyle Blanks, RF
6. Will Venable, CF
7. Nick Hundley, C
8. Logan Forsyth, 2B
1. Jake Peavy
2. Mat Latos
3. Tim Stauffer
4. Wade LeBlanc
5. Cory Luebke
Closer - Shawn Camp
Set up - Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Ryan Webb, Josh Spence, Ernesto Frieri
Long - David Pauley, Anthony Bass
Notable Bench Players
Xavier Nady, George Kottaras
The bullpen may not have a guy that comes in and records a ton of saves, but there are some decent arms to get between the starters to the closer. The rotation isn't terrible -- it's not great, but it's not terrible, and pitching at Petco just about any rotation is going to be at least OK.
Like the real Padres, that lineup isn't going to put up a whole lot of runs. The Padres haven't had an easy time figuring out how to score runs at Petco, no matter where the players come from. Lee would have helped much more in the past than in 2011, and playing at Petco wouldn't have helped him, either. While Bartlett and Lee are good defenders, the rest of this group could struggle, especially with Headley back in the outfield and Veneble in center.
Comparison to real 2011
Finishing 71-91, the Padres weren't great, but they were probably better than this product. The rotation would hinge on Peavy's health. Peavy managed 18 starts for the White Sox, going 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA. There's no telling what his record would be with the Padres, considering the team's offensive woes, but his ERA would have been lower. Overall, this team isn't scaring anyone and while the record may be different with this team, its place in the standings would likely be the same.
Up next: Minnesota Twins
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Tags: Anthony Bass, Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Chase Headley, Cory Luebke, David Freese, David Pauley, Derrek Lee, Ernesto Frieri, George Kottaras, Homegrown, Jake Peavy, Jason Bartlett, Josh Spence, Kyle Blanks, Logan Forsyth, Mat Latos, Nick Hundley, NL West, Padres, Ryan Webb, Shawn Camp, Tim Stauffer, Wade LeBlanc, Will Venable, Xavier Nady
Posted on: September 22, 2011 4:12 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: San Diego Padres
Record: 68-88, 19.5 games back in NL West
Manager: Bud Black
Best hitter: Chase Headley -- .291/.377/.405, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 42 R, 28 2B, 13 SB
Best pitcher: Mat Latos -- 8-14, 3.60 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 176 K, 187 1/3 IP
2011 SEASON RECAP
San Diego was eight games back by the end of April, so it's hardly a surprise the team finished dead last in the NL West. After fantastic pitching led the team to the brink of the playoffs a year ago, the team couldn't recreate its magic of 2010. Mat Latos took a step back (but was still pretty good), while Clayton Richard made just 18 starts before being shut down for the season and undergoing shoulder surgery.
While nobody stepped up to take all of Gonzalez's offensive load, the team had some surprisingly good offensive performances, as third baseman Chase Headley put together a solid season, as did catcher Nick Hundley (.289/.352/.471 with eight homers) and first baseman Jesus Guzman (.313/.369/.479 with five homers). And then there was Cameron Maybin, the former first-round pick of the Tigers and big part of the trade that sent Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera from Florida to Detroit had been labeled as a disappointment for several years now despite the fact he's now just 24 years old. Not only did Maybin hit a respectable .266/.322/.397 with nine homers and 38 stolen bases, he's shown the ability to patrol the spacious outfield at Petco. If he continues to improve and works on his on-base percentage, Maybin can be a maintain in San Diego.
With the rise of the Diamondbacks, the return of the Giants, what has to be a better year for the Rockies and hopefully new ownership in Los Angeles, there's not much room for optimism in the NL West for the lowly Padres. But hey, it's a really nice ballpark, and you live in San Diego, what can you really complain about?
The rotation should be relatively stable, with Latos, Richard, Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley, with Cory Luebke, Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland and Casey Kelly ready to step in if needed. The bullpen is a bigger question, with free agent Heath Bell and the departure of Mike Adams.
The biggest weakness in the lineup is the middle infield, where Orlando Hudson was OK, but aging, and Jason Bartlett didn't do much. Kyle Blanks has once again flashed the ability to rise above the constraints of the ballpark, but lacked consistency.
FREE AGENTSHeath Bell, RP
Jeremy Hermida, OF
Can the Padres get anyone who can actually hit the ball? Or is it that tough to do Petco Park? Well, it'd be nice to get a big bopper, but with the reputation of Petco, no free agent hitter in his right mind is going to sign with San Diego. Even those with good numbers before coming to Petco, like Ryan Ludwick, left without much success. While Ludwick hasn't exactly rebounded in Pittsburgh, his free agent stock will take a tumble and there's no doubt he and his agent will blame it on Petco. Petco -- and the team's payroll ceiling -- will force the Padres to add offense through trades and developments rather than free-agent signings.
Then there's the matter of the team's bullpen. There will be a lot of the same names, but the backend will be different than it was this season after the trade of Adams and the possible departure of Bell. Here's five things I'd do to help the Padres going forward:
No, the Padres aren't going to the World Series with these moves, but they'll be under budget and have a better idea of what their futures holds after the 2012 season. Some things may not work out, Rizzo may not be the hitter we think he is, but we'll know. And as a wise man once said, that's half the battle. The other half is lasers.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Harang, Adrian Gonzalez, Bud Black, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cameron Maybin, Casey Kelly, Chase Headley, Clayton Richard, Corey Luebke, Dustin Mosely, Heath Bell, James Darnell, Jason Bartlett, Jeremy Hermida, Jesus Guzman, Joe Wieland, Mat Latos, Matt Belisle, Nick Hundley, NL West, Orlando Hudson, Padres, R.I.P., Robbie Erlin, Shawn Camp, Tim Stauffer, Todd Coffey
Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:16 am
By Evan Brunell
Carlos Santana, Indians: A day after wearing the golden sombrero, Santana ripped a 3-for-4 night with three runs batted in and adding a home run for extra measure. The outing brought his overall batting average up to .232, a far cry from where he can be. The catching phenom has been drawing walks and hitting for power just fine, but that average has been strange to see. His splits don't really point to a clear delineation, either, as his batting average since June 17 (excluding Thursday night) is .248, which is much closer to his 2010 line of .260. Given his career batting average in the minors was .290, there's more there we have yet to see in the majors.
Ivan Nova, Yankees: How are the Yankees supposed to decide between Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova now? The two are battling for a rotation spot as the Yankees take a brief turn through a six-man rotation. Hughes came through with a dazzling start and Nova has backed that up with an eye-popping outing in punching out 10 White Sox batters. That's easily a career high, as Nova's topped out at seven previously. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run and walk to drop his ERA to 3.81. Good luck figuring things out, skipper.
Alex Gordon, Royals: Gordon matched a career high with four hits in five trips to the plate, chipping in two runs and a double. Gordon has flourished -- years later than people thought, but he's flourished. The leadoff man is hitting .311/.382/.505 and thriving in left field. Maybe he needed to get away from third or maybe it's a happy coincidence, but having Gordon under the fold means one less spot for the Royals to worry about in their rebuild. He's not a free agent until after 2013.
Jon Rauch and Shawn Camp, Blue Jays: Rarely does a team throw away a victory like Toronto did on Thursday, losing 7-6 in 12 innings to the Rays. Toronto scored a run in the top eighth to even things up at 3-3 headed into extras. A Colby Rasmus double scored Yunel Escobar for a run in the top 10th, but Jon Rauch's first batter, Desmond Jennings, launched a home run to tie things up. But no worries, Jose Molina somehow ripped a triple (it would be unsurprising if it took him longer to reach third than it takes some to circle the bases on a homer) to score two. End ballgame, right? Nope. Rauch stayed in to try to close things out, but quickly gave up a double, single and RBI groundout. Enter Shawn Camp, who induced an out before coughing up the tying run in the form of a single by Robinson Chirinos. He got out of the inning, but Chirinos struck again in the bottom of the 12th with a bases-loaded single.
Zach Britton, Orioles: Britton didn't exactly excel in his second start since a brief demotion to the minor leagues sandwiched around the All-Star break to rest his arm and, no doubt, drop his service time down so he doesn't become a free agent until 2017. Britton gave up six earned runs to the Yankees in just 1/3 of an inning last time out. He gave up the same number of runs Thursday to the Royals, albeit in 5 1/3 innings. Four were earned, and no batters were fooled by his offerings, which were slapped around the diamond for 12 hits.
Carlos Guillen, Tigers: Guillen played in his 16th game after finally coming off the disabled list to make his season debut. The 35-year-old has been looked at to help save production at second base, but he hasn't quite done that with a .246/.274/.404 line after goign 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. That's not awful -- in fact, going into the game, he posted zero wins above replacement, so he's not harming Detroit, and no one expects him to live up to his $13 million deal; he's in "whatever we can get" territory. But he's still going to have plenty of 0-for-4 nights, like he did tonight.
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Posted on: September 22, 2010 9:30 pm
What got into Jose Lopez?
In a meaningless game in Toronto on Wednesday night, the Seattle second baseman, who entered the night with seven home runs on the season, tore off three in a span of five innings. He hit a solo shot off starter Kyle Drabek in the third, another solo shot in the sixth against Brian Tallet and a two-run homer against Shawn Camp in the eighth. All three went to left field.
Lopez is in theory auditioning for his next job -- the Mariners are highly unlikely to exercise their $4.5 million option on him for next season -- but hasn't been putting on much of a show. His season line entering Wednesday was .234/.264/.319, giving him a .582 OPS that's the second-lowest among all qualified players in the American League. He was batting an amazingly bad .169/.189/.197 in September and hadn't hit a home run since August 16.
Wednesday's outburst will make his numbers look a little more respectable, but Lopez is still likely to find the job market chilly this winter.
-- David Andriesen
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Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:17 pm
In an unsurprising move, the Blue Jays put nearly their entire bullpen through waivers -- and none made it out unclaimed.
The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott reports (on Twitter ) Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg and Shawn Camp were all claimed.
Who claimed them? Oh, probably just about every team in contention -- and maybe a few that aren't. Bullpen help this time of year is always needed, so it would have been more surprising had any of the relievers cleared waivers.
Now, will the Jays trade any of them? That seems like a more interesting question. Don't expect more than one of those to switch uniforms anytime soon.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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