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Thread: NBC/Hardball Talk releases top 150 free agents list

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    NBC/Hardball Talk releases top 150 free agents list

    HardballTalk?s Top 150 Free Agents for 2014 | HardballTalk

    Ranked roughly according to the value of the contracts the writer, Matthew Pouliot, thinks the players will get (he explains a bit in the intro.) Blurbs on the first 55, the rest in a straight list format.

    Relevant tidbits:
    * He speculates on likely interested teams for a number of these free agents, and only mentions the Twins in connection with Stephen Drew (#15 on list.)
    I'm guessing he's not speculating on landing spots for pitchers as much because it's a bigger field with more spots open - more of a musical-chairs game.
    * Jhonny Peralta ranks #27; since apparently his defensive numbers have shown him to be serviceable at SS, I'm coming around to him as an option to strengthen the infield.
    * Josh Johnson ranks #31 and he speculates that a one year deal with $10M base and $8M potential incentives would make sense. That seems steep to me, but I wouldn't argue against the Twins doing it.
    * Randy Messenger ranks #46 and Pouliot notes that offers from MLB would now compete with an offer from his Japanese team to retain him, so "some team may need to commit to a three-year deal in the hopes that hes the new Colby Lewis or Ryan Vogelsong." I'd be wary of that.
    * Mike Pelfrey ranks #79, surrounded in that range by Mark Reynolds, Scott Downs, Paul Konerko and Gavin Floyd.

    What do you think?

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    Also, Garza, E. Santana and Jimenez are #4, #5 and #6. He estimates Santana at $18M per year and doesn't try to estimate Jimenez, but calls him a "risky signing" with more upside than the above two.

  3. #3
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    I haven't really looked at the list yet but it'll be interesting to see in what direction the Twins go. The Twins could probably easily spend 30m/yr on FA, if they wanted. And maybe they will.

    I'd be wary of really long contracts - 5+ years. But at the same time, I think you can rationally argue that we are in the next wave of team talent with Gibson, Arcia and Hicks (all complimentary players) having made the jump last year, 1st year guys like Dozier and Florimon playing well (also complimentary guys) and May, Meyer, Sano and maybe Rosario making it next year (maybe Buxton, too). So the team could start grabbing players to build with that group. I'm not sure that fits but I think you can argue it does.

    I'm not sure there's a lot out there to be part of the build - the rumors have had the Twins connected to younger pitchers - Hughes and Yoon - which suggests the Twins are hoping to sign someone who will be able to go with that group of young guys coming up. (Also not sure if there is some Cuban pitcher still on the market). And, of course, Ryan could resign Pelfrey (or a similar pitcher) and add an innings eater like Nolasco and have a rotation of Correa, Nolasco, Gibson, Pelfrey, Deduno (w/Albers, Diamond, Meyer, May, Hendriks, De Vries, etc all in the wings).

    I'd like the Twins to add one RH power bat to get some ABs at first and DH - maybe Corey Hart on a one year deal. I think TF favors RH pull power, which Hart has, and I don't think Mauer's ready to be a fulltime 1B yet. We got really bad production from DH, corner OF, 1B and 3B this year. Some of those at-bats will have to go to Arcia, Hicks and eventually Sano and hopefully Willingham is healthy this year. But the team could certainly easily add another bat or two.

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    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I'll tell you what I don't want - three year deals to aging players. Either take a flyer on someone or commit to someone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I'll tell you what I don't want - three year deals to aging players. Either take a flyer on someone or commit to someone.
    Two questions:

    1) Why not? A three-year deal might be just right to span the bridge to when the kids are adjusted to MLB and performing in their prime.

    2) What's aging? Most first-time FAs are in the 29-32 age range and I don't really see many candidates for three-year deals who are much older than that. Any specific examples? (I guess that's technically a third question.)

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    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    Two questions:

    1) Why not? A three-year deal might be just right to span the bridge to when the kids are adjusted to MLB and performing in their prime.

    2) What's aging? Most first-time FAs are in the 29-32 age range and I don't really see many candidates for three-year deals who are much older than that. Any specific examples? (I guess that's technically a third question.)
    1) The types of players those attract are in their mid thirties, with red flags, and a lot of warts to their game. Willingham would've been an amazing 1 year deal, as a three year deal he looks worse and worse. When you pay middling rate for middling years....you get middling results.

    2) 35 plus or 32 plus with a significant injury history.

    i don't want "bridges", I want guys that can produce now and in the future.

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    Yeah, those are fair points. If we assume the Twins will focus on starting pitching, I [thankfully] don't see many opportunities to do so.

    Kuroda / Burnett / Hudson -- staying with current team or retiring
    Arroyo (37) / Colon (40) -- too old for any sane team to give 3 years
    Haren (33) / Halladay (37) -- too injured for any sane team to give 3 years
    Chen (36) / Westbrook (36) / Capuano (35) / Vogelsong (36) -- too marginal for any sane team to give 3 years

    There's some other/better options for short-term fliers, but I'd probably be okay with most any of those guys on a 1-year, 2-year max, deal.

  8. #8
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    Yeah, those are fair points. If we assume the Twins will focus on starting pitching, I [thankfully] don't see many opportunities to do so.

    Kuroda / Burnett / Hudson -- staying with current team or retiring
    Arroyo (37) / Colon (40) -- too old for any sane team to give 3 years
    Haren (33) / Halladay (37) -- too injured for any sane team to give 3 years
    Chen (36) / Westbrook (36) / Capuano (35) / Vogelsong (36) -- too marginal for any sane team to give 3 years

    There's some other/better options for short-term fliers, but I'd probably be okay with most any of those guys on a 1-year, 2-year max, deal.
    Totally agree, if you limit yourself to 1 or 2 years with a guy that could be very productive (this being the key distinction with Correia) you enhance trade possibilities. That third year is a killer for guys with long injury histories.

    You make a good point that I should've qualified my position with better - if we go with a hitter I want a 1 year deal or a significant 4-5+ year investment. If it's a pitcher I'm ok with just about anything as long as there is upside, unless the guy is closing in on 40 and then I'd like to stay 2 years or less. But even mid 30s I'm ok with just about anything as long as there is upside to the signing.

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