Dave said I could write a free agent preview, so here goes!
Your attention please: this, and the other post, are jokes. The joke being that unlike Dave, who’s been writing quite serious and in-depth profiles, given the keyboard I would write bizarre, error-filled, badly-reasoned profiles of the wrong people.
One of the most coveted free agents this year is Jamey Wright. Briefly with the Mariners in spring training a couple of years ago, Jamey Wright is a high-upside young pitcher. For years limited in effectiveness by his team and injuries, Wright became a star this year under the tutelage of noted pitching coach Bob Apodaca in Colorado.
Jamey obviously knew exactly what he had to do to succeed: rely on the quality of his stuff and challange batters, and with the right coach he was able to do it. Wright went 15-8 this year, racking up 159 K against only 70 walks! And only 11 home runs all season! Ryan Franklin gave up 11 home runs in the time it took you to read this far in the post! Strangely, though, Jamey did not finish in the NL Cy Young voting at all.
Jamey’s overlooked kudos especially highlight the out-of-sight career he’s had. Along with robins, one of the first sights of spring is seeing the annual “Jamey Wright looks great in spring training” story, followed inevitably by another lost season.
This year’s almost miraculous comeback came at an especially fortiutous time for Jamey, as during his many short stints with different teams he had been at one point one of the worst pitchers in baseball, as measured by metrics like VORP, and ARP, and TOMA. Still under 30, his best years may lie ahead of him but one question remains: can Jamey Wright remain as good as he was this year, if he’s parted from the pitching coach that turned his career around? Or was this year a fluke, one that couldn’t be replicated even if he did stay with the Rockies?
And would that make him a bargain?
Jamey’s off-kilter eccentric nature may put off some teams more concerned with the right clubhouse fit, though, and those who are looking for a true #1 ace will likely look for a starter with a longer and more proven track record.
Is he cheap enough yet?
I don’t think he’s worth the risk. Even though he may live up to his potential and be a Cy Young candidate for years to come, the price he’ll command on the free agent market is so high that he would have to meet or beat this year’s performance every year in order to succeed.