State of the System: CF & Minor League FA
Before we take a look at the outfield personnel in the system, here is a breakdown of the guys in our system that were granted free agency in the minor leagues due to Rule 55.
RHP: Vince Perkins (AAA), Jose Pina (Hi A)
LHP: Casey Fossum (AAA)
C: Mark Johnson (AAA)
1B: Matt Craig (AAA)
2B: Luis Rivas (AAA), Bobby Scales (AAA), Nate Spears (AAA)
OF: Doug Deeds (AAA), John-Ford Griffin (AAA), Brad Snyder+ (AAA)
Other Notables: Bobby Brownlie (ATL), Josh Kroeger (CHA), Mark Bellhorn (COL), Tim Raines Jr. (KC), Jason Dubois (NYM), Jerome Williams (OAK), Rocky Cherry (SD), Ryan Freel (TEX), Daryle Ward & Freddie Bynum (WAS)
If you’ve missed the first few editions of the series, here are some links as well as the schedule for the week:
Contract info for 2010
Kosuke Fukudome – Signed through 2011 with a salary of $13 and $13.5 mil respectively
Reed Johnson – Free Agent
Sam Fuld – Auto Renewal at league minimum
A look at the system probably needs to be summarized based on the position, considering that most of the OF don’t have the range that allows them to play all three OF spots. We’ll break it down with guys classified based on the table below that qualified at CF.
Looking above, I see a guy in Fukudome who is essentially a RF that was forced to play CF and did an acceptable job doing so. Was he outstanding from a fielding standpoint? No, but that’s probably because he’s not a natural CF by nature. Assuming Bradley is slated to be traded, that puts Fukudome back in RF at this point unless the Cubs upgraded that position instead. Judging by the Granderson rumors, it’s safe to say that CF is the priority for Hendry this off-season. While I’m not thrilled about what Fukudome turned into, especially if he ends up playing a corner OF spot, you can’t really say he’s been terrible. We saw a few weeks ago that he outplayed his contract, according to the Fan Graphs value system, each year he has been in the league. (Fan Graphs)
I see a free agent in Reed Johnson that I’d like to have back in the money was right, but who is coming off an injury that took a lot longer to heal than expected, is aging, and wasn’t really all that productive when he was in the game.Remember that we got Johnson off the scrap heap early in 2008 and caught lightning in the bottle all year. I don’t know what he’ll command in free agency this year, but my guess is it’s money we could save in an effort to give a guy like Fuld a shot.
I see a guy in Sammy Fuld who is a fan favorite and can probably fill the role Johnson filled as the 4th outfielder at a cheaper price. He plays hard, is a very disciplined hitter that draws walks and runs the bases well. He’s an intelligent player that knows the game. He’s paid his dues and deserves the shot Johnson has had over the past two years.
I see dead people.
I see a guy in Brett Jackson that excites the crap out of me. Baseball America recently said “More than just a slugger, Jackson is the best athlete in the system. His quick bat and the loft in his swing give him well-above-average raw power. He uses his plus speed well on the bases and in center field, and he also has solid arm strength with good accuracy on his throws. He plays with constant energy.” (Baseball America) These were the things we heard about a can’t miss prospect that missed in Felix Pie and Corey Patterson. You know what they say, third time’s a charm.
I see a guy that can be a future all purpose guy that plays with wreck-less abandon in Brandon Guyer. Arizona Phil mentioned “Guyer has above-average speed, and is an aggressive base-runner and a good base-stealer (he had 30 SB and only 7 CS combined at Daytona and Tennessee in 2009).” (The Cub Reporter)
2010 Free Agents at OF
Scott Boras clients in Bold
Rick Ankiel (30)
Rocco Baldelli (28)
Marlon Byrd (32) – Type B
Mike Cameron (37) – Type B
Endy Chavez (32)
Coco Crisp (30)
Darin Erstad (36)
Jeff Fiorentino (27)
Ryan Freel (34)
Joey Gathright (28)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (34)
Reed Johnson (33)
Andruw Jones (33)
Corey Patterson (30)
Scott Podsednik (34)
DeWayne Wise (32)