More Free Talent
This morning, Baseball America published a list of minor league free agents. You’ve probably heard us talk about freely available talent or replacement level talent before, and these guys are basically the definition of freely available talent. For any team that’s willing to put in a bit of work, figure out who on the list has some abilities and could help their major league club, there are values to be found.
Here are a few suggestions.
Martin is a command specialist who throws strikes and has a good enough change-up to miss bats occasionally. He came back from a long series of arm injuries to carve up Double-A, and while his stuff makes him more of a swing-man/long relief type, he could potentially turn into an okay #5 starter option.
Linden is one of those classic tweeners; a guy with just enough bat to kill Triple-A but not enough to earn a job as a corner OF/1B, especially since he’s not a great defender. But he’s a switch hitter, he can take a walk, and has at least gap power. If anyone’s a candidate to pull a Ryan Ludwick and develop late, it’s Linden.
Cassel is Carlos Silva – his fastball tops out at 88, he’s got a sinker that gets an average amount of groundballs, he doesn’t have an out pitch, but he tries to make up for it by pounding the strike zone. Maybe you don’t think we need two Carlos Silva’s, but at the very least, he should stand as a glaring example of how stupid it is to throw money at veteran guys whose best skill is “eats innings”. Cassel’s every bit as good, and unlike Silva, he doesn’t cost $48 million to sign.
Pascucci is a right-handed Todd Linden with worse defense. He can hit a fastball a long way, though, and he’s good enough to be someone’s platoon partner.
Ring is a former first round pick with a nasty curveball and a sinking fastball that gets a lot of grounders. His command is a problem, but he’s got two major league pitches and he’s left-handed. For a team short on bullpen lefty’s, he’d be a nice NRI to spring training.
Booker is one of the most extreme up-in-the-zone pitchers you’ll ever see, which leads to both a ton of strikeouts and a ton of home runs. On top of that, his command also sucks. But you need relievers in Triple-A, too, and there’s worse things to have down there than a guy with a career K rate of 12 strikeouts per nine innings. He probably won’t figure out his command problems, but it’s worth a minor league contract to find out for sure.
And, I don’t think I have to say anything about the last guy on the list. Just put him in Tacoma and let us go root for him in person again.