Before we continue the State of the System series with the first base position, I wanted to take a minute to remind you that we’re on Twitter. I would highly recommend following us, as I’m getting in the habit of posting things there a lot more often than here for the small things. It’s a great way to know when things break (including new posts) right as they go live. Just click the twitter icon to be taken to our page.
Now that that’s out of the way, here are the results for the qualifying 1B from this year, including the level(s) they played at.
Contract Info for 2010
Derrek Lee – Signed for $13 mil that includes no trade clause. He’ll be a free agent after 2010 season.
Jake Fox – Eligible for auto-renewal at league minimum due to less than 3 years of service time (out of minor league options)
Micah Hoffpauir – Eligible for auto-renewal at league minimum due to less than 3 years of service time (1 option year remaining)
Rule 5 Draft Eligible (Need to be added to 40 man roster to be protected) – Blake Lalli & Russ Canzler
Eligible to become Rule 55 Minor League Free Agent – Matt Craig
This team has a choice coming up after this year and Lee’s return to glory in 2009 didn’t make that decision any easier. It doesn’t appear that there are any rising stars in the system at this position to take over for Lee right now, so you would have to imagine that either Lee will be re-signed short term (please don’t give him another no-trade) and a focus be put on bringing in talent at the position to the system, or Lee will be let go after the season and we’ll address the position via trade or free agency. As much as I like Jake Fox, he’s not the answer at the position, despite the fact that it’s his natural spot on the field.
Ryan Flaherty spoke very highly of a guy like Rebel Ridling, but with him being 23 years old and only playing his season in Low-A, I need to see a lot more this year for me to consider him a viable option to replace Lee in 2011. He came in at # 16 on Arizona Phil’s top 15 prospect list, so there is potential there. I really just need to see a big jump this year for me to take him serious enough to not worry we’ll be shallow at that position if we let Lee leave.
A name to watch, in my book, is Blake Lalli. He’s a contact hitter that plays good defense and doesn’t hit for much power. He’s not a starter, but probably someone worth a look if he doesn’t get picked in the Rule 5 draft. I don’t know that I’d protect him, but I’d be fine with looking at him for the roster in 2010 as a backup if someone like Fox or Hoffpauir under impress.
Overall Grade: C + (only because we have guys like Fox and Hoffpauir that are capable of playing at the ML level.
Potential Free Agents at 1B
Rich Aurilia (38)
Jeff Bailey (31)
Wilson Betemit (28)
Hank Blalock (29)
Russell Branyan (34)
Miguel Cairo (36)
Frank Catalanotto (36)
Tony Clark (38)
Carlos Delgado (38) – Type B
Nomar Garciaparra (36)
Ross Gload (34)
Eric Hinske (32)
Nick Johnson (31) – Type B
Adam LaRoche (30) – Type B
Doug Mientkiewicz (36)
Kevin Millar (38)
Fernando Tatis (35) – Type B
Chad Tracy (30)
Daryle Ward (35)
Dmitri Young (36)