Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bargain Basement Sale at Free Agent Roundup

February 4, 2009 - Step right up, MLB general managers. With only two weeks to go until spring training, we might just be seeing a bargain basement sale at the free agent roundup this season. And oh, we're not talking about the bottom of the barrel players, folks. Some real juicy treats that will look real good in a uniform and could help a team toward making the playoffs. We're talking the likes of Bobby Abreu, Ben Sheets, Orlando Hudson, and Albert Dunn, just to name a few. Players who bat over .300, win gold gloves, smash 40 homers, and when healthy, are legitimate number one starters.

There is talk that some of these players will be lucky to get one year deals, and deals in the neighborhood of $10 million dollars. Now, that neighborhood sounds pretty good to most folks, but as the end of last season came around, you know that Dunn, Abreu, and Sheets were looking north of $15 miillion dollars for multi-year deals. There's some talk that the $10 million dollar number may be the maximum out there, too.

But what are these players really worth, and will they truly be a bargain at the number they sign for.

Case One - Bobby Abreu. Remarkably consistent player with the bat, but with a penchant to take time off in the field. At 34 years of age, there's some dimunition of his ability, but not a whole lot, and the team that signs Abreu pretty much knows what they're going to get. 15-20 HR, 100 RBI, 0.280 to 0.300 BA with a good OBP. In normal economic times, he'd be looking for a 4 year contract worth around $55 million. And the Stat Geek Baseball SPRO model says that he's worth $12,978,000 for 2009.

PEVA 2008 - 13.952, PEVA 2007 - 13.538, PEVA 2006 - 21.124

Case Two - Adam Dunn. Only 29 year old at the beginning of 2009, this OBP and HR machine can be an up and down ride during the season, but he's going to give you pop. 40 HR each year from 2005-8, between 92 and 106 RBI in that span. He'd look pretty good in a Dodger, National, or any uniform. He strikes out a ton and doesn't hit for average, but if you've already go a number #4 hitter in your lineup and need a #5 with power, Dunn is your man. In normal economic times, he'd be getting a 4 year contract in the $45 million range. And the Stat Geek Baseball SPRO model says that he's worth $10,776,000 for 2009.

PEVA 2008 - 12.781, PEVA 2007 - 13.734, PEVA 2006 - 10.621

Case Three - Orlando Hudson. This slick fielding second sacker has been going a bit downhill for the last three years, but is still just over the 30 year old line. If you've got a good lineup already and need steady play up the middle, you could be looking for Hudson. For Arizona in 2008, he batted 0.305, but had trouble staying on the field. If he rebounds with good health for an entire season, this could be a real bargain. But, and it's a big but, will the trend continue with downhill production or will he rebound. In normal economic times, he'd still be worth a 2 year contract in the $8.7 million zip code. And the Stat Geek Baseball SPRO model says that he's worth $4,285,000 for 2009.

PEVA 2008 - 3.358, PEVA 2007 - 6.270, PEVA 2006 - 8.981

Case Three - Ben Sheets The player in this group of four with the biggest upside. He could win you a big playoff game with no problem, or like last year, and others years, too, be sitting on the sidelines due to injury. At 30 years old and with a pedigree like this, teams in the past would be chomping at the bit for a player like this. But his PEVA numbers look like a roller coaster and to pay long term for the bottom of the ride is tough to do this year. In normal economic times, somebody would ante up a risk reward contract of 5 years and $56 million. Doubtful this year though. And the Stat Geek Baseball SPRO model says that he's worth $10,412,000 for 2009. This number could be approached, as the SPRO model takes durability into the equation in a significant way, but is lower than most predicted he'd get before now.

PEVA 2008 - 18.905, PEVA 2007 - 7.640, PEVA 2006 - 6.354

Boy, it's too bad the Yankees have already spent all their money. Well, of course, that's not true. They're probably just waiting for that other free agent out there, the one who turns down $25 million dollars in a bad economic climate, to fall into their lap.

No comments:

Post a Comment