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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Free Agency Day 1

Day One is where one of two things happens - a guy has his contract demands met and no other suiters, or there are multiple bids on the table and one is far superior. Some big signings, let's get to it

1. Rafael Soriano, Baltimore, 5 yrs $100 million with a player option in year 5 and a no trade clause

Analysis - Baltimore came strong and got their man. Soriano is a highly rated player that is only 28 years old. He has 80's accross the board defensively and above averge offensive numbers. He is good for 162 games with excellent durability and health. He'll be an averge SS and an elite 3B for the Elite Giants. Amazingly, he has never won an awards, but that should change with a move to the AL and a better batter's park.

2. Clinton Clifton, Memphis, 4 yrs $64 million

Analysis - Memphis also came on strong and got their #1 target. Clifton is one of the most decorated players in the game and a likely first ballot HOF'r. He has begun his power decline, and it will accelerate with his average makeup, but he should be good for MVP consideration. The move to the NL is also a surprise as he can only play catcher for 1 or 2 more seasons. Additionally, AutoZone park presents to challenges for power hitters. In any event, with this signing, Memphis believes that its time is now while Houston regroups.

3. Bob Blum, Buffalo, 3 yrs $22.5 million

Analysis - With some of the big signings, Blum flew under the radar and is a very good signing for the Bisons. With good power and speed, Blum is a good defensive 2B that is a threat for 30/30. Only 29, Blum should start and produce for all 3 seasons.

4. Aurelio Alvarez, Durham, 4 yrs $24 million

Analysis - Alvarez will benefit mightily with a move from cavernous Aloha Stadium to the launching pad of Durham Bulls Park. His career OPS of .816 is likely to increase by .100 points and he should have plenty of runs to knock in. Only 29, Alvarez has above 80 power and contact, and above 60 splits and eye.

5. Angel Bonilla, Helena, 2 yrs $15 million

Analysis - The vagabond's career continues with his 4th post-arbitration contract. At this point in his career, he is a better LF or 2B than CF, but his glove is elite. He's also good for 25 homers/year. He'll be good this year and average next, but Helena sees a window and he will certainly help.

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