Thursday, January 10, 2013

Season 24 Free Agency Preview

Byung-Hyun Dong
Age: 30B/T: R/R
Born: Hyogo, JP
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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Todd Price
Age: 29B/T: R/R
Born: Leamington, ON
Position(s): RF
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In this year's free agent class, if you're looking for a big bat, there's these two guys, and not much else.


Offseason free agency is almost upon us and Hot Stove rumors are swirling non-stop in Regulars.  The talent pool on offense is thin, while there are several solid pitchers available, albeit no real superstars.  Without further adieu, here's the Regulars' blog top 10 available free agents for Season 24!  No, make that top 11!  There was a late addition to the list!

1. Byung-Hyun Dong, 30, 2B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .915 Career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $95 million

Possible Destinations:  Syracuse, Las Vegas, Sioux Falls, Houston, Atlanta, New Orleans

Signed with Sioux Falls - 5 years, $68 million

Dong gets the nod as the top free agent this offseason.  There aren’t many weaknesses to note for this 4-time all-star.  His effectiveness vs. RHP is the only thing that doesn’t scream of being a superstar.  He’s never been on the DL, but his injury rating is not great.  Other than that, he has monster power, great contact and batting eye, kills lefties, and is a great fielding 2nd baseman.  His strong makeup indicates he should still be solid the last year if as expected he’s signed to a 5-year deal.  He can instantly make anyone’s offense a lot better, while not sacrificing anything in the field, although it may take a max contract to land him.

2. Todd Price, 29, LF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .812 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $44 million

Possible Destinations:  Las Vegas, Sioux Falls, Toronto, Baltimore

Signed with Las Vegas - 5 years, $60 million

Price is the number 2 ranked free agent more because of scarcity of solid bats in this year’s free agent class than talent, but make no mistake he’s a solid hitter with great contact and batting eye, good splits and nice power.   He could be a great-fielding left fielder, or in a pinch could play 2B or CF, albeit not very well.  We feel his career stats are a bit under his potential, playing in Charlotte, a pitchers park and could do a lot more, particularly if he gets signed to a team with a hitter’s park.  

3. Raul Rodriguez, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.84 ERA in season 23
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $44 million

Possible Destinations: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Baltimore

Signed with Scottsdale - 5 years, $31.5 million

Arguably the most talented SP in the free agent class, despite only decent splits, Rodriguez has superb control, velocity, is great at generating ground balls, and has 2 pitches in the 80’s.  Although not a #1 starter, he could be a great #2 or 3 for a contending team. 

4. Larry Shuey, 28, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.89 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $50 million

Possible Destinations: Houston, Las Vegas, Sioux Falls, Charlotte

Signed with Syracuse - 5 years, $80 million

Shuey isn’t far and away the best starting pitcher in this free agent class, but gets the nod at #4 because of his age, he is 4 years younger than any other quality SP available.  Used primarily as a long reliever last season, he is itching to help out someone’s rotation.  He has great control and is rock solid vs. righties, and has a nice fastball and change-up.  He is good, not great though against RHP and doesn’t keep the ball down well, but does throw with a lot of velocity. 

5. Harry Hughes, 27, RP
No designation
Key Stat: 4.13 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $40 million

Possible Destinations: San Juan, Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans

Signed with Charlotte - 4 years, $27 million

A late addition to the top free agents list, Hughes is a hard throwing reliever who keeps the ball down and has nice pitches, although they are not dominant.  He has great control and is good against righties, but isn't great vs. lefties.  What has earned him his spot in the rankings is his age, the youngest on the list at 27, solid rankings across the board, other than his lefty split, and most of all that he is an innings eating workhorse.  So while he may not have the most talent of the available relievers, he earns top billing, plus no designation doesn't hurt either.

6. Davey Grimsley, 31, SP
No Designation
Key Stat: 18-8, 3.41 ERA in Season 23
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $40 million

Possible Destinations: Toronto, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Baltimore

Signed with Las Vegas - 4 years, $29.7 million

Again, Grimsley is not far and away better than the other SP talent, but surprisingly he does not have any designation at all.  He is coming off a tremendous season last year, and looks like he could continue that going forward, with good control and effectiveness vs. RH, and a solid 4-seam fastball.  He is an innings eater with great stamina, but doesn’t throw with much velocity and only keeps the ball down moderately well.  Still, he could be a solid #3 starter for a contender. 

7. Tomas Lopez, 32 SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.88 ERA in season 23
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $24 million

Possible Destinations: Charlotte, Baltimore, San Juan, New Orleans

Signed with Tampa Bay - 3 years, $16.8 million

Lopez is pretty much a slightly less talented clone of #3 free agent Raul Rodriguez.  He struggled in KC and was relegated to mostly bullpen duty, but if you don’t want to give up a draft pick, Lopez could be a solid #4 starter and is only slightly less talented than Rodriguez who is a type A. 

8. Calvin Mahoney, 34, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.54 ERA, 43 SV in season 23, 2-time Fireman of the Year
Salary Over/Under:  3 years, $20 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Sioux Falls, Scottsdale, Toronto

Signed with Las Vegas - 1 year, $7.1 million

Mahoney gets the nod as our top RP in this class.  He has outstanding control, velocity and GB/FB factor, and a killer curve ball.  His splits aren’t spectacular, but are still good enough where he is a great reliever.  Although primarily used as a closer the last 4 seasons, in which he nabbed two Fireman of the Year awards and two all-star appearances, he could be a nice setup A guy as well. 

9. Frank Sasaki, 35, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.56 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $19 million

Possible Destinations:  Charlotte, Syracuse, San Juan, New Orleans

Signed with Syracuse - 2 years, $14.3 million

Sasaki has consistently put up solid numbers as a reliever the past few seasons and still has a few good seasons left in him.  His above 80 splits are his most shining attribute, and has a great 4-seamer to go with 2 other nice pitches.  His control is good, but doesn’t throw with much velocity, and gives up some fly balls.  He’d likely be a great setup A guy for any time, and could close as well if need be. 

10. Victor Prieto, 35, SP
No Designation
Key Stat: 4.09 ERA in last full season as a starter
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $12 million

Possible Destinations:  Baltimore, Toronto, Charlotte

Signed with Charlotte - 1 year, $5.7 million

Prieto struggled the last two seasons as a combo starter/long reliever in Ottawa, but we think we can still be useful as a starter.  His best quality is probably 4 pitches in the 60’s, including a curveball in the 80’s.  He also has great control and a nice split vs. RH, but struggles a bit vs. lefties.  On a contending team, he’d probably be a good #4 or 5 SP.  If you’re looking for a solid SP to round out your rotation, he’d be a good choice, and wouldn’t cost you a draft pick. 

11. Manuel Mesa, 36, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.92 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $13 million

Possible Destinations:  Scottsdale, Tacoma, Las Vegas

Signed with Toronto - 2 years, $7.3 million

Mesa’s ratings are solid across the board, with no key rating under 73.   If he did have a weakness it would have to be a low injury rating that’s landed him on the DL a few times throughout his career.  Still he is a solid reliever, who if he stays healthy could be just as good as any other reliever in this free agent class.

It should be an interesting free agency period as always, good luck to all!  -Your Regulars blog reporter

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Season 23 Highlights

Philadelphia Wise Guys make it back-to-back titles by winning it all in Season 23!

With Season 24 on the horizon, it's a good time to look back at the highlights of Season 23.  opie5 led Philadelphia to back-to-back titles with a win over first time World Series participant reino4's Florida Swamp Monkeys. It was a just result, as Philadelphia dominated the regular season with a 116-46 record, 16 games better than any other team.  Toronto pushed them to a Game 7 in the NLCS, but then dominated the World Series.  Philly's offense was dominant, leading the world in most categories, and they also claimed the world's best ERA.  They look poised to come back in Season 24 to make a strong run at a three-peat.

Congrats to reino4 as well on making the World Series as a first-year owner, as a #5 seed, defeating the AL's #1 seed Scottsdale and #2 seed Baltimore on their way to the Series. 

Here are season 23's award winners:

NL MVP: Bob Cordova - Philadelphia .322 BA 40 HR 118 RBI
Cordova made his 3rd All-Star appearance and won his third silver slugger award by pounding the ball all season and helping Philly go back-to-back.

AL MVP: Sammy Rios - New Orleans .277 BA 52 HR 138 RBI
Rios didn't make the all-star team, but did win MVP and a silver slugger award.  He is only 25 and has incredible power, so it will be interesting to see how many more MVP's he can win.

NL Cy Young: Karim Fernandez - Rochester 25-6 3.36 ERA
Fernandez won his 3rd Cy Young award thanks to a stellar 25 wins on the season.  He also made his 5th all-star appearance.  It was a bit of a surprise win over Kevin Tucker whose ERA was almost a point and a half lower.  Tucker has already won 6 Cy Young awards though, so I guess it's good to spread the wealth.

AL Cy Young: Furio Mussina - New Orleans 19-5 2.93 ERA
Mussina made his 2nd all-star appearance in Season 23, and also tossed a no-hitter in his Cy Young campaign.  Interesting that New Orleans had the MVP and Cy Young winners, but missed the playoffs, albeit it was via tiebreaker that they lost their division.

NL Rookie of the Year: Ross Pall - Tampa Bay 11-7 3.77 ERA
I guess it doesn't say much for the depth of up and coming talent in the NL when a 30 year old takes the Rookie of the Year, but Pall did have a nice season after his long awaited major league debut.

AL Rookie of the Year: Miguel Lugo - Norfolk .276 BA 37 HR 113 RBI
A more conventional winner at age 23 than his NL counterpart,  Lugo also won a Silver Slugger award.  Judging by his ratings, this season may be his worst season out of the next 10, this guy is a beast.

Hope you enjoyed the recap, looking forward to starting season 24 soon!