Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Free Agents: The Forgotten
During my endless babbling about possible free agents fits for the Tigers this offseason, there were a few that filed late, weren't listed on espn.com's list of free agents, or I just forgot because I'm stupid. A couple are the latest subjects of the rumor mill, so here they are with last year's VORP.
Greg Zaun, 3.4
Michael Barrett, -3.4
Josh Bard, -8.0
Juan Uribe, -3.3
Chad Cordero, injured
Randy Johnson, 27.2
Mike Hampton, 4.4
The catchers are interesting because any of the three, in my opinion, may be better than the guys on the previous list (although I still don't mind David Ross). Zaun's older than dirt (for a catcher), but he's a switch hitter with experience than could probably help Dusty Ryan out quite a bit in his development. Barrett and Bard join Khalil Greene on the list of guys who forgot how to play baseball in San Diego last year. Barrett's most famous for his ability to not get along with his teammates (right, Carlos Zambrano?), and Bard...I dunno. He ranked 103rd out of 108 catchers in baseball last year in VORP. But in '07, his VORP was 22.5 hitting .285, 5, 31 with the Padres. Living in Ohio, I'm surrounded by dirty Indian fans and they were furious when Bard left Cleveland for San Diego. Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach helped to ease that pain, but I'm intrigued at the idea of Bard coming to Detroit and maybe finding himself again.
I hate Juan Uribe. He's not good at defense and hits Tiger pitching and nothing else. Next.
Chad Cordero's name has come up a lot lately for Detroit, second only to Brandon Lyon in rumors. He only pitched 4.1 innings last year due to injury and isn't completely healthy yet. He had a VORP of 17.3 in 2007 while racking up 37 saves for Washington. The thing is, he only struck out 62 guys in 75 innings while allowing 75 hits. If that's what he has healthy, I'm not interested in seeing what he has coming off of a major injury...unless he's dirt cheap, that is. And being that he made $6.2 million last year, I doubt he's going to want over a $4 million pay cut.
I'd love to see Randy Johnson finish his career in Detroit, but I can't see that ever happening. He's in spitting distance of 300 wins, he'll be expensive despite being 75 years old, and he'll probably want to finish somewhere where he's been before. I expect Arizona or New York to work something out with him. Hampton's terrible and is the original Barry Zito when it comes to bad contracts. (Nate is Zito-light.)
If reasonably cheap deals can be made with Bard, Jerry Hairston, and Dennys Reyes, maybe there'd be some cash left to go after Juan Cruz and Derek Lowe. At least I'm not asking for Pudge, KRod, Fuentes, Furcal, and Sabathia, right?