Spring Training ’09 had a post the other day listing the 10 best available free agents:
1. Odalis Perez, SP. Perez is projected for a 4.44 ERA in 117 innings pitched. He beat that innings total in each of the last two seasons. One negative event not seen in the numbers was Perez’s spring holdout after he became unhappy with his $850K minor league deal with Washington. It seems that he’ll take a similar amount but wants a guaranteed deal. Perez said he has nine or ten interested teams.
2. Pedro Martinez, SP. Martinez and Perez are in a similar boat, auditioning in the WBC and hoping for guaranteed contracts. Pedro is projected for a 4.31 ERA in 110 innings and has reportedly looked good this spring. We haven’t heard much on him lately, aside from the Cardinals mulling him as a closer option.
3. Jim Edmonds, OF. Edmonds drops a few spots on the list given uncertainty over whether he wants to play in 2009. His center field glove is a minus, partially because he plays too shallow. But a projected batting line of .265/.363/.491 is nothing to sneeze at.
4. Ivan Rodriguez, C. PECOTA has Pudge at .263/.301/.364 in ’09, but simply the act of catching capably gives him value.
5. Ray Durham, 2B. Durham is projected for a .272/.360/.413 line, though he won’t help much defensively. He turned down a minor league offer from the Nationals.
6. Mark Grudzielanek, 2B. PECOTA does not like Grudzielanek, but perhaps he can beat their projected .320 OBP. Some have speculated he could help the Yankees.
7. Ben Sheets, SP. Sheets is unlikely to sign until after the June draft, since he’s a Type A free agent. 50 innings of his projected 3.77 ERA would give a small boost, so he’ll be a hot commodity if rehab from a torn flexor tendon in his elbow goes well.
8. Paul Byrd, SP Pale Rider film . Byrd is projected at a 5.06 ERA, but maybe the extra half-season of rest will allow him to beat that. He’d like to join a contending team at midseason, perhaps the Braves, Rays, or Marlins if the need exists.
9. Will Ohman, RP. Ohman’s the best available lefty, but he’s not drawing the interest from contenders he craves. He probably hopes to at least match Dennys Reyes’ two-year, $3MM deal.
10. Joe Beimel, RP. PECOTA sees Beimel slipping to a 4.09 ERA in 48 innings. He’s in the same boat as Ohman. ~ Source
So I ask you….do you want any of these guys? Can they help us? I would argue that someone like Ohman might be a good idea since the only lefty we’ve really got is Neal Cotts, and he spent time in AAA last year.