I loooooove winning!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Free Agency Part Deux

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!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top 10 Trade Pieces in the ML

I've seen this done for NBA players. You take all players at the ML level, consider all factors, and arrive at a list that identifies the most valuable trade assets in the game.
Since there are so many players, I needed to come up with some basic rules to narrow the candidates.

Rule One - All else being equal, an SP is more valuable than any other position.
Rule Two - All else being equal, an RHP is more valuable than an LHP.
Rule Three - RP's are not up for consideration.
Rule Four - A player that is young and controllable is more desirable than a player that is old even if the younger player is inferior.
Rule Five - A player 33 or older should not make this list. Here is my list for the Top 10 (I threw the top ML-ready AAA guys in for fun). In dramatic, countdown style......

10. Albert Mondesi SP, Boston - The best SP in the game, but relatively expensive and 31 years old. He is controllable for the next 5 seasons, and the contract is actually a good one for the value delivered. 164-66 with an ERA of 2.71 and a no doubt Hall of Famer. If I could choose one player for one season, it would be Mondesi. But, compared to the rest on this list, he is not as valuable on the trade market.

9. Enerio Duran, SP, Houston - A 23 year old RHP SP, Duran is 16-17 with an ERA of 3.73. Compares favorably, in my opinion, to teammate Ross, although he will hit arbitration sooner, which is why he is lower of the list. Should be a big part of Houston's impending dynasty.

8. Tony Esposito, SS, Wichita - While likely not ready for another season, Esposito could step in today and produce at all-star type season at 3B. A former 1st round pick. Much higher on this list if he can hit projections and play a solid SS.

7. Guy Wilson, SP, Pittsburgh - The 24 year old righty is still one season from arbitration. He's had some success so far and, with a makeup of 94, will likely hit his projections.

6. Homer Ross, SP, Houston - A 23 year old RHP with #1 stuff. Should debut after 25 games this season and be a star. Only concern is that he is relatively weak vs. LHB, but it's a minor concern.

5. Carson Stuart, SP, Philadelphia - Only 21, Stuart should make his ML debut next season. Solid projections, but he's a LHP that is relatively weak against RHBs. That being said, he's a young SP already at an 80 overall. He's valuable.

4. Ken DeRosa, RF, Boston - Tough call to drop him below others on this list, but DeRosa has started to cost real money this season and, at the max, could leave after seven more seasons. So the question is would you rather have DeRosa for 7 or  (spoiler alert) Tony Cueto for 10? Give me Cueto and I'll pray that I don't face DeRosa too often.

3. Tony Cueto, RF, Toledo -  Slated to make his debut this season, Cueto is 24 and controllable for the next 10 seasons. While not a true power hitter, he projects as one of the best hitters that 1530 has ever seen.  A lock for ROY, he should make the next 10 all-star games as long as he is surrounded with some decent players.

2. Ivan Walton, RF, Salt Lake City - Quite simply the best position player in the game. Only 26 and yet to hit arbitration, Walton has one MVP under his belt and led the league in RBI's last season. Walton is also a good bet to never test free agency due to his high patience rating.

1. Felipe Navarro, SP, Vancouver - If I were starting a team today, and had to pick one player currently in the ML to start it with, it would be Navarro. He's young (23), right handed, controllable for the next eight seasons, and very, very good. His relatively low stamina would be my only concern, but I would take him here without hesitation.

Argue away!

FA Signings so far.....

1. Randall Scott, RP, Honolulu, 4 years $39.2 million
Analysis - Quite simply one of the best RP's in the game. He's 34, but has shown very little regression to date. He's destined to lose some zip on his fastball, but he should still be able to thrive in Honolulu.

2. Pete Stein, C, San Francisco, 5 years $39.7 million
Analysis - Stein is one of the better catchers in the game with a good combination of defensive and offensive skills. Only 28, he should be able to man the plate for all five years of his deal. A good pick-up.

3. Jimmie Phillips, 2B, Jacksonville, 5 years $38.5 million with a team option
Analysis - Phillips is one of the better lead-off guys in the game, and a plus defender at 2B to boot. A sure bet to score over 100 runs for a high-powered JAX offense. A good signing for this year and next, but he will likely hit a major decline and be a drag on payroll for the last two years.

4. Edgar Alvarado, CF, Helena, 3 years $24 million
Analysis - Marginally defensive, Alvarado compensated with a plus bat. Only 29, so a three year deal is perfect. A little rich, but Alvardo is a nice player.

5. Max Ozuna, CF, Honolulu, 3 years $21.5 million
Analysis - Big spending Honolulu snags one of the best defensive CF's in the game. The 2-time all star is 31 and should be able to roam CF for all three seasons.

6. Jonathan Porcello, SP, Tampa, 5 years $31.5 million with a team option
Analysis - A good SP and a very good deal for the first year. But there will be a time to pay the piper, and it will likely come starting in Season 4 of the deal.

7. Don Chen, LF, Honolulu, 3 years $28 million with a team option.
Analysis - Honolulu sees his window, and it starts this season. Chen is very, very good. But his power has started to decline and he is unlikely to touch his career averages from this point forward.