Friday, November 18, 2011

2012 Free Agent Team

Building a team from scratch using all free agents.  Get Boras' number on your speed dial.

I set myself a $100 million payroll limit and tried to estimate what each free agent would sign for.

I used the following as references

This is the team that I came up with

First, this was hard.  $100 mils don't but what they used to.  It also shows the importance of having cost-controlled players on your roster.

There were 2 starting catchers on the free agent market.  Hernandez and Barajas.  As a Dodger fan I've had enough of Barajas.  Max Ramirez is a minor league free agent.  He played for every team last season.  He was a highly touted prospect at one point.  Just 27 next year there's a miniscule chance he figures it out.

First Base
Prince Fielder.  My hypothetical team won't be around in 5 years when concerns about Prince's aging due to his physique will likely be manifesting.   My team was light on offense.  Prince changes that.

Second Base
The Baltimore Orioles are about to let the cat out of the bag on Matt Antonelli.  I think he can play.  He's raked all over the minor leagues.  I don't know what the O's are paying him, but I'll match it.

Third Base
Wilson Betemit.  A little scary over there.  Betemit can hit, but the defense is ugly.  I still think he's underrated and can provide value in excess of his contract.

I'm not gambling on Reyes or Rollins.  I'll take the steady production of Clint Barmes.

Backup Infielder
Esteban German.  Mostly because I can get him on a minor league deal, I think.  He's got a bit of history of being able to play.  He's right-handed, so he can hit for Betemit against lefties.

Left Field
Always been a fan of the underrated DeJesus.  I finally have my chance to sign him.  Hopefully, it's not too late as age is starting to show. He's still a plus defender in left and can survive in center.

Center Field
Covelli 'Coco' Crisp.  It's him, Sizemore, or Ankiel.  I think Coco has the best chance of spending some productive time on the field.

Right Field
Josh Willingham.  My other player who can hit.  My pitching staff won't like all the runners advancing to 3rd on singles to right, but whatcha gonna do?

Backup Outfielders
DeWayne Wise.  Remember this?  Wise can play some D.  For the minimum salary, I'll take it.

Utility Players
Jerry Hairston.  One of the few utility players that can actually play defense at multiple positions as opposed to just standing there with a glove on.  If Antonelli flops, Hairston can take over at 2nd as well.
Ryan Doumit.  One of those utility players that just stands there with a glove on.  I'm more interested in his batting gloves though.  A left-handed hitter off the bench is always useful.  As is someone who can squat behind the plate.  He'll get some time in the OF and if Prince skips the game for the buffet.

Starting Pitching
This is where it's really hard.  I thought about blowing my money on CJ Wilson instead of Prince, but thought that was actually even riskier.  Pretty sure Prince will put up at least a few big seasons.

The number 1 guy that I knew I wanted was Jeff Francis.  Three straight years of an ERA around 5 will scare off some teams so I can get him below his actual worth.

Now I have to go injury guys.  Bedard and Harden.  Not gonna build a strong pitching staff on this budget without taking some risks.  If these guys can stay healthy for 120 or 150 innings they can put up value well in excess of their salary.

I filled out the rest of my roster then came back to this spot.  What pitcher could I get for around $10 million.  I offer a 1 year $7 million contract with an option for another year to a bunch of guys.  Whoever accepts it first gets it.  Marquis and Pineiro should be happy with that.  And when they pitch I can put Doumit in the OF.

Doug Davis.  Can you give me one more year old man?  The 6.50 ERA last year says, "no".  The 100 total innings pitched last year and 4.50-4.80 ERA estimators say, "maybe".  If not, Kenshin Kawakami will be a phone call away in AAA.

I'm not really gonna mess with hit.  I'll invite a bunch of guys to spring training on minimum deals and see who can make the team.  Maybe it'll be some of those guys I listed, maybe it won't.

There you go, $100 million in free agents.  Using some very quick WAR projections, I get my team winning about 78 games.  I tried to be overly conservative, so maybe this is a .500 team.

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