Saturday, November 10, 2007

Free Agent Analysis

This week, I’ll list the best free agents at each position and highlight the ones that are the best fit for the Rangers.

1st base:
1. Sean Casey: Sean had a down year last year but we need a first baseman and he probably wouldn’t cost much after last year. Sean played for the Tigers last year after playing with the Reds. He is 33 and his career batting average is .301.
Prediction: Signs 1 year $2.6 million deal with Rangers.
2. Mike Lamb
3. Tony Clark
4. Shea Hillenbrand
5. Doug Mientkiewicz
6. Julio Franco
7. Mark Sweeney

2nd base:
1. Luis Castillo
2. Mark Loretta
3. Kaz Matsui
4. Tadahito Iguchi
5. Miguel Cairo: The Rangers have their starting second baseman in Ian Kinsler. Miguel Cairo would be more than happy to sign as a back-up, because he will probably get a minor league deal. Miguel played for the Cardinals last year and struggled, batting .253 with no homers and only 15 RBI’s.
Prediction: Signs minor-league deal with the Angels
6. Marcus Giles

3rd base:
1. A-ROD
2. Mike Lowell
3. Tony Batista
4. Aaron Boone
5. Russell Branyan
6. Geoff Blum: There’s nobody on this list that we can get and promise a starting role to, since we can’t get A-ROD or Lowell. Blum would be a good guy to have as a back-up third baseman. Last year, he hit .252 with 5 homers and 33 RBI’s.
Prediction: Signs 1 year $950 K deal with the Astros
7. Mark Bellhorn
8. Jeff Cirillo
9. Tony Graffanino
10. Pedro Feliz
11. Cesar Isturis

Short Stop:
1. David Eckstein
2. Tomohiro Nioka
3. Royce Clayton: We definitely don’t need a short-stop, but he would be good as a possible second base/short-stop back-up. He also would probably accept a deal that would have him fighting to make the team in Spring Training. Last year, with the Red Sox, he hit .246 with 1 home run and 12 RBI’s.
Prediction: Signs 1 year $750 K deal with the Royals
4. Ramon Martinez
5. John McDonald
6. Omar Visquel

Catcher: The Rangers are deep at this position so none of these free agents are a fit.
1. Jorge Posada
2. Pudge
3. Paul Lo Duca
4. Michael Barrett
5. Jason Kendall
6. Brad Ausmus
7. Mike Piazza
8. Rod Barajas
9. Doug Mirabelli
10. Yorvit Torrealba
11. Mike Lieberthal
12. Jason Larue
13. Sandy Alomar Jr.

1. Torii Hunter: Torii can play defense really well as he is a 7-time gold glove winner. He is also a 2-time all-star. Last year, he hit .287 with 28 homers and 107 RBI’s. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Prediction: Signs 6-year, $96M deal with the Rangers
2. Andruw Jones
3. Aaron Rowand
4. Kosuke Fukudome
5. Kenny Lofton
6. Barry Bonds
7. Jose Guillen
8. Corey Patterson
9. Milton Bradley
10. Shawn Green
11. Brad Wilkerson
12. Luis Gonzalez
13. Sammy Sosa
14. Shannon Stewart
15. Mike Cameron
16. Geoff Jenkins
17. Cliff Floyd
18. Trot Nixon
19. Jose Cruz Jr.
20. Rob Mackowiak
21. Ryan Klesko
22. Eric Hinske

Starting Pitcher:
1. Kazumi Saito
2. Carlos Silva
3. Freddy Garcia
4. Kenshin Kawamaki
5. Kyle Lohse: Last year Kyle Lohse struggled, going 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA, but he almost pitched 200 innings. But his numbers have been improving and he has a great fastball. He is only 29 years old. For the Rangers he would be the #2 or #3 starting pitcher.
Prediction: Signs 5-year, $46 million contract with the Rangers
6. Livan Hernandez
7. Jason Jennings
8. Tom Glavine
9. Shawn Chacon
10. Jeff Weaver
11. Kenny Rogers
12. Randy Wolf
13. Jeremy Affeldt
14. Tony Armas
15. Bartolo Colon
16. Casey Fossum
17. Matt Clement
18. Shawn Estes
19. Mark Redman

Relief Pitchers:
1. Scott Linebrink
2. Octavio Dotel
3. Ron Mahay: Ron is a very good left-handed relief pitcher. Last year he went 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA. Even though he’s 36, he’s showing no signs of wearing down.
Prediction: Signs 2 year $5 million deal with the Angels
4. Kerry Wood
5. Antonio Alfonseca
6. Scott Eyre

Results of last week’s poll:
Who is the number one priority for the Rangers to re-sign?
None – 47%
Jamey Wright – 29%
Brad Wilkerson – 9%
Sammy Sosa – 9%
Jerry Hairston – 6%

Come back next week for a special on former ballparks.

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