My goal for this blog is to fill in the blanks. The 2008 Free Agent Class is one of the best free agent classes in a long time. You have quite possibly the greatest postseason pitcher ever, quite possibly the best closer ever, a total of 7 future HOFers, 4 closers, a whole lot of seasoned veterans. There are 33 main FAs this year. I'm gonna try to go over most of them, how good they are, and where they are going(if they do go). I'll start off with Mr. Smoltz:
John Smoltz, 41 Years Old, 12-6 3.01 ERA 146 Ks And 37 BBs In 161.2 Innings- When you look at his stats, you forget he is 40(41 by the time the offseason comes). He is actually so good this year, he could contend for the Cy Young. He won't win it, but he has to be in the discussion. He can't throw as hard, but he still gets people out and works alot of innings for a pitcher his age. The first question is will he play at all next season. No matter how good he has been, he is still 40. He could do the same thing Maddux has done and go to the West Coast if he wants to. I could see him with the Padres or the Dodgers. I don't think he would want to go with the A.L. facing the toucher line-ups and all. I think it would be a dumb move for the Braves to pass him up. He can obviously still pitch and he loves it in Atlanta. Everybody loves him there(except maybe Chipper Jones).
Prediction- He will still be a Brave for one more year. I don't think he is gonna retire yet. He is too good to retire. Give it one more year. And can you see him in any other uniform? I can't.
Mariano Rivera, 38 Years Old, 3-4, 20 Saves, 3.38 ERA, 57 Ks And 8 BBs In 56 Innngs - At the time of writing this, Rivera has been struggling very much. He will be 38 and losing speed on his pitches. But no matter how much he struggles, the Yanks would be idiotic to let him go. Her is not finished. Yes, he is not as dominant as he was before, but he is still a great closer. Alot of people bring up the arrival of Joba Chamberlain, but the Yanks want him to be a starter. And Mo still has great control when he is on. Just look at the fact that he has only walked 8 while whiffing 57. He has still got the stuff. Add the fact that the Yanks have no closer in the system who they think can take his place. But then again, who can?
Prediction- He will resign with the Yankees. Unless if the Yanks decide to go after Joe Nathan, no reason to not resign him. Also add the possibility that the Red Sox could get him(even if they don't need him). That would not go well with Yankee Nation. Resign him, Cashman.
Jorge Posada, 36 Years Old, .335, 16 HRs, 77 RBIs, .419 OBP.- This is another position where the Yanks have no where to go to but what they have now. Posada has been getting beter with age, both on offense and defense. The Yanks have no big catching prospects in the minors and there are no other big catchers on the market. Posada still means alot to this team on the field and off. The Yanks will have to give him a 2-3 year deal because of the fact that he is having such a great season. But, the fact that he is 36 and was alway not in the best shape does crawl in your head.
Prediction- Yanks again. Once again, who else they are gonna go to? There is no way they are gonna let go of a clubhouse leader, a fan favorite, and a catcher hitting .335. That wouldn't make much sense. I'll say he gets a 3 year deal. He might not be good for all those 3 years, but he deserves it.
Curt Schilling, 41 Years Old, 8-5, 4.11 ERA, 82 Ks And 20 BBs In 116.1 Innings- The Red Sox may want to dump Schilling. He is 41 years old, he has had trouble with his arm this year, and he ain't an ace anymore. Schilling said earlier that he would retire after this season, but know he says he would want to pitch next season.Then he said if the Yanks wanted him, he wouldn't go(No thanks for the offer Curt. Just go away). I think he is going to the N.L. Be better for him. Someone would give him decent money, but no longer than for only 1 year. I wouldn't. He has alot of good games, but he also has his fair share of total blowouts where he can't get anyone out. If I was the Red Sox, I wouldn't resign him. Get younger.
Prediction- I think he is going to the N.L. The question is where? I could see him going to the A's if he stays in the A.L. He wouldn't cost that much. You know what would be good? The Brewers. Hear me out: the Brewers could use a veteran with playoff experience in the rotation. And they have some money to spend. The Brew Crew!
Bobby Abreu, 34 Years Old, .287, 15 HRs, 87 RBIs, .366 OBP- I don't think the Yanks are resigning him. This is the thing with him: he works pitchers, gets alot of walks, and hits a HR every once in a while. But he is a very soft player who strikes out alot and he hates playing rightfield in Yankee Stadium. Add the fact that he is turning 34 and the Yanks would like to start getting older. Abreu is a player who you can love and then you can hate in the same weak because he strikes out alot and because he treats the outfield wall like it has flaming spikes on it.
Prediction- Once again, he is a rather soft player. He doesn't like attention and he ain't a superstar. I don't think the Yanks will give him another deal. He'll probably get a 3 or possibly a 4 year deal. I think he would fit perfectly with the Dodgers. The Dodgers could use a RF, he has power, and he won't be the face of the team. He would feel comfortable. The Dodgers need hitting in the worst way. And he wouldn't cost a ton.
Andruw Jones, 31 Years Old, .219, 24 HRs, 83 RBIs, .312 OBP- Yes, he still has the very good power #s. But that AVG has to bother you. .219 is horrible for anyone, for him it's beyond that. He has gotta get that AVG up. But he will get a ton of money because he can hit the ball out of anywhere and his defense is ridiculous. I've never been a big fan of him because he is not a guy you biuld your team around and he Ks like it's a bodily function. It doesn't look like the Braves are gonna resign him. They have Mark at first, Jeff Francoeur, Chipper, And Renteria. They have enough hitting. The loss of Andruw wouldn't make a gigantic difference.
Prediction- The Red Sox have had interest in him, but Coco Crisp is starting to play up to his potential. I could see him going to the Astros. You figure they already got Carlos Lee. They might want to add more punch. And he would hit more HRs in the short left porch. But what would they do with Hunter Pence? Could move him into rightfield. I'll go with the White Sox. They need a CF in the worst way and also to get younger.
Carlos Guillen, 32 Years Old, .302 18 HRs 85 RBIs .366 OBP- The Tigers would be stupid not to sign him. He is one of the best clutch hitters in baseball(not enough people realize that) and he is a force in the line-up with alot of power from both sides of the plate. He is an extremely important part of this team. He also ain't bad at defense either. Not sure what other really good SS will be on the market. He will cost the Tigers alot but he deserves it. He is on pace to get 20 HRs for only the 2nd time in his career and possibly set a new career mark(the most he has hit in a season is 20).
Prediction- He is staying. He would be perect for the Red Sox. Switch hitter and incredibly clutch. If he doesn't stay, the White Sox will lock him up. Why, you ask? Because of this next guy:
Juan Uribe, 29 Years Old, .233 14 HRs 51 RBIs .279 OBP- His career OBP= .295. Get him out of there. This team has gotta rebuild and he is the first guy that should go. He strikes out like he wants to sometimes and he doesn't have enough power to offset that. Add that fact that he has had some personal issues recently and I really don't know why you would want him.
Predictions- If anyone picks him up, it'll be like the Devil Rays or the Nationals. A big team wouldn't have any use for him excpet maybe a back-up. But he wouldn't like that. Too be honest with you. I think he gets signed to a minor league contract. Where? Who knows?
Adam Dunn, 28 Years Old, .262, 35 HRs, 87 RBIs, .373 OBP - Everyone knows the deal with him: He has a huge amount of power, he strikes out alot, and he'll probably become a DH. You have to take into account that he hits in one of the best hitters parks in baseball. Either way, his power is great. The Tigers would be a good place for him, but they already have hitting. They need bullpen help. He isn't staying with the Reds. They had him in multiple trade talks. They are ready to get rid of him. The Padres would be smart to bid high for him. Once again, he can hit balls out of anywhere and the Padres need hitting more than any other team in baseball.
Prediction- He is gonna get a big deal, might be bigger than Andruw Jones. I'll say th Angels. Even though they don't pull the trigger much, they did with Vlad when he was a free agent. I think they will do it again. Imagine a one-two, lefty-righty punch of Vlad and Dunn. That would be tough to get through. Dunn to the Angels.
Torii Hunter, 32 Years Old, .300, 25 HRs, 86 RBIs, .343 OBP- His OBP is still a little low, but it always has been. Nevertheless, I would love Torii on my team. He is a great hitter with power, maybe the best defensive CF in baseball, and a energetic clubhouse leader. He would improve the chemistry to any team. It's hard to tell where he is going, if anywhere. The Twins have talked about giving him a new deal but haven't done so yet. He is a better option to me than Dunn or Jones. Cause he is more of a total package. He is probably looking at a 5 to maybe 6 year deal. In my gut...
Prediction- I think the Twins will keep him. BUT, if they don't keep him, he could very well be a Yankee. He has said he wouldn't mind playing in NY and he is just what the Yanks could need. More energy. But the Twins know how much he means(just like Nathan) and they know he is one of the biggest attractions on the team. They'll keep him.
Jeff Kent, 40 Years Old, .288, 16 HRs, 68 RBIs, .363 OBP- I am lost on this one. I have no idea. I would be shocked if he is still with the Dodgers, but than again, who else do that have a 2B? And he can still hit pretty well. And if he does move on, he would only get a one year deal. Nothing more. Actually, this one is easy.
Mike Lowell, 33 Years Old, .319, 17 HRs, 90 RBIs, ,370 OBP- I am surprised he has 90 RBIs this season. He has been a great addition ever since coming over from Florida. But even so, he has been involved with so many trade taks, I've lost count. He has become a very good hitter again and has always been superb defensivly. There are many teams that can use a 3B. But out of all of them, the Padres seem to be the best fit. He won't hit as well in the park, but he will provide some much-needed pop.
Prediction- Padres. He seems to me like a perfect fit. And he won't cost that much. Stick him at 3rd and he'll be fine. Or maybe in Houston. That would be kinda the same deal with the short porch in left. He loves to pull everything. I'll still stick with the Padres.
Those are the biggest potential free agents. I'll run down the rest real quick.
Freddy Garcia- Indians
Kenny Rodgers- Retire
Jason Isringhausen- Cardinals
Omar Vizquel- Blue Jays
Paul Lo Duca- Reds
Corey Petterson- Marlins
Aaron Rowand- Pirates
David Eckstein- Cardinals
Jason Jennings- I have no idea why anyone would want him. I'll say Giants.
Jon Lieber- Retire
Thats it. I'm done. All of these are probably wrong, but what the hell.