1. Dean Gilbert 3B, Tampa Bay, 5 years $40 million with a team option
Analysis - An ideal defensive 3B, Gilbert also has some pop (career OPS of .836). Strong make-up and patience, but he should still see a decline throughout his contract as he is already 33. As some of the other deals that we have seen, a good deal today and next season, but probably one that bats will regret come season 31.
2. Wascar Franco SP, Helena, 5 years $61 million
Analysis - Franco is a former Cy Young and still one of the best SP's in the game, but this is a huge deal for a 35 year old. Elbow injuries in S23 and S24 dropped his ratings, but he has remained steady ever since. But he's 35 and his make-up is only so-so. Although SPs with career OPS allowed under .633 don't grow on trees. Good deal for this year and next, likely a poor one thereafter unless, of course, Helena can get a ring or two.
3. Louis Melville SP, Helena, 4 years $44 million
Analysis - Helena is going for broke. Melville is a solid pitcher with the make-up to play into his late 30s. The problem is that he is already in his late 30s. My guess is that a sharp decline begins next season, but will he be able to help deliver a ring to make it all worth while?
4. Yunel Figureoa SS, Honolulu, 2 years $12.6 million
Analysis - A 31 year old 3-time all star that can field. Career OPS of .741 very good considering the quality of the glove. The type of player that makes a good team better, rather than a bad team good.
5. Al Vazquez, 3B, Wichita, 2 years $7.2 million
Analysis - This is my type of deal! Great production expected for a reasonable amount. Pick-ups like these are plentiful after the Rule V, happy shopping!