Recommended Free Agents

Dave · November 14, 2008 at 8:25 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With Free Agency kicking off today, here’s a list of guys available to sign who I would like to see the M’s pursue. We don’t need to fix the roster via big signings like Bavasi kept trying, but the club would still do well to find some quality players who are available this winter and could help in both 2009 and beyond as the club looks to get back on the winning track.

Milton Bradley, OF/DH

His attitude and injuries are going to keep the price from going through the moon. It’s a risk, no doubt, but it’s worth taking a shot and seeing if you can get him for 3 years/$30 million or less.

Joe Crede, 3B

Assuming that Beltre’s going to get traded, Crede makes the most sense as the replacement. His defense is outstanding, there’s juice in his bat, and the health concerns probably make him a candidate for just a one year deal.

Rocco Baldelli, OF

He could be a 4th outfielder for a contender if he wants, but the Mariners are one of the few teams that can offer him a chance to prove he can still play everyday. If he wants to try to get his career back on a track as a full time starter, the M’s are going to be one of the more attractive options, and he won’t require a long term commitment.

Juan Rivera, OF

His skills aren’t a perfect match for Safeco, but he could make a decent DH stopgap, prove he’s healthy, an be an interesting trade chip at the deadline.

Alex Cintron, SS

If they don’t acquire a new starting shortstop (J.J. Hardy, anyone?), they need a legitimate option to push Betancourt. Cintron’s a switch hitter with decent contact skills and gap power. His defense sucks too, but he’d at least provide an alternative.

Ryan Langerhans, OF

Rangy outfielder who tracks down everything hit his way and takes some walks to boot. If the M’s want to build a good defensive outfield to help the pitching staff, he’s the kind of guy you can get for practically nothing.

Jeremy Affeldt, LHP

Local kid, underrated reliever, fills the need for a good 8th inning setup man, and can take over the closer role if Putz is traded.

Bartolo Colon, RHP

Same pitch as last year – his stuff is still there and he still doesn’t have much problem getting people out. He’s a headcase and has all kinds of injury problems, but the M’s can offer him a real shot at a rotation spot if he’s healthy, which few other teams will be able to do. If he stays healthy and pitches well, great. If he doesn’t, you don’t lose much.

Will Ohman, LHP

Slightly less effective than Affeldt, but still a quality LH setup guy who flies under the radar.

Ben Sheets, RHP

And, continuing with the take-smart-risks theme, Sheets may fall through the cracks with his health concerns and the bevy of starting pitchers on the market. Zdruriencik knows him better than anyone, and if they could get him signed for something like 3/50, he could turn out to be a big steal.


78 Responses to “Recommended Free Agents”

  1. bakomariner on November 14th, 2008 1:41 pm

    Z and his staff should be open to looking at all avenues, not just offense and defense…

    If they can sign a starting pitcher to a good deal, they should jump on it, even though right now the defense and offense need more help than starting pitching…

  2. tealfan444 on November 14th, 2008 1:42 pm

    Felix-Sheets-Bedard-Unit-Morrow. Haha, that would be fun, at least until 3 of them head to the DL by midseason.

    Or until 2010, when Unit and Bedard skip town.

    But hey Im not against any move that is done with a 2-3 yr contract.

    If Z wants to bring in Giambi for 1B, Bradley for DH, Griffey for occasional RF/DH, Unit, Sheets, Affeldt, go for it, I dont have any expectations for 2009 or 2010, so as long as these guys dont get deal longer than 2-3 yrs, go at it.

    God knows it would be alot more entertaining watching these stopgap players, even with their shortcomings, than being forced to watch 162 games of Bryan LaHair, Jeremy Reed, Tug Hulett, and a host of others who have no future here

  3. IHaveALittleProject on November 14th, 2008 1:46 pm

    Greenwf, you went to Affeldt’s high school? I went to a rival school…I was a tiny left handed hitter facing Affeldt and it wasn’t pretty – 92 mph fastball with a reasonable curveball against school with 100 students.

    He has the stuff to be very good, but he doesn’t seem to have the best command at the major league level. Still, I’d think of him as a valuable bullpen arm for a reasonable price.

  4. CMC_Stags on November 14th, 2008 1:50 pm


    Baldelli – Yes Please! I mean, the M’s need 1 or 2 new OFs and a DH. They could play him in all 4 positions either as a starter – or if health problems continue to be an issue – as a super OF sub/DH.

    Bradley – what was going on with his BABIP last year? It seems that there was a corresponding uptick in his LD% so maybe it’s somewhat sustainable, but I’m not sure. I guess I would say to lay off Bradley and would prefer Baldelli as he’s 2.5 years younger, should be much cheaper, and is a more capable fielder when healthy (from what I’ve read). It seems like most of the young positional prospects are going to be OF’s so I don’t see the point in getting both Baldelli and Bradley as long as the team still has Ichiro! as they will block Halman, Saunders, and Wlad.

    RJ and Colon make alot of sense as short term stop-gaps that will 1) help the team win now, 2) help the team bring in revenue, and 3) give the team time to find/develop long term solutions. The only problem I see is that unless room is made for them by getting rid of Silva, Batista, and Washburn, it seems like a place where the incremental wins will not be worth the cost of adding more pitchers to the team.

  5. bakomariner on November 14th, 2008 1:51 pm

    I agree tealfan…they should be looking at bringing in anyone they can for 2009 and 2010…we have some kids that will be ready soon, so unless they are handing out Bavasi contracts, these guys shouldn’t hurt…and as I’ve mentioned before, letting them walk and/or trading them for prospects is a great way to go…

  6. bakomariner on November 14th, 2008 1:55 pm


    I would assume that Z is trying to get rid of one or all of the suck brothers…Wash and Bautista might actually be moveable…Silva probably not…

  7. sympathetic oriolesfan on November 14th, 2008 2:03 pm

    i always respect your talent evaluating skills, but I had the burden of watching alex cintron attempt to be a starting shortstop in Baltimore.. It was embarrassing..

  8. BBOneFive on November 14th, 2008 2:03 pm

    I sure see a lot of people on here spelling Batista’s name with a “u”…Just sayin…

  9. tealfan444 on November 14th, 2008 2:16 pm

    How many wins would this team project to:

    CF:Baldelli/Reed platoon


    I would think this lineup could certainly be a strong offensive unit. Defensively, not so much, thus likely eliminatiing any chance of competing.

    Rotation (begin yr)
    Big Unit

    Insert Bedard for whoever RRS or Silva when he gets back


    Maybe you get 75-80 wins out of that team if it stays relatively healthy.. at least alot more entertaining to watch then our present projected roster

  10. MyOhMy on November 14th, 2008 2:37 pm

    #51 isn’t a retired number (yet) and it currently belongs to Ichiro. RJ would have to settle for #15…

    Do you think #51 will eventually be retired for BOTH players?

  11. bakomariner on November 14th, 2008 2:40 pm

    If they were planning on retiring RJ with 51, they probably wouldn’t have given it to ICHIRO!…

  12. MyOhMy on November 14th, 2008 2:49 pm

    True, however it’s not unprecedented that a number is worn by other players prior to it being retired (if it’s not a slam dunk like Griffey) AND it’s not unprecedented in baseball to have 2 players for one number. I believe #8 is retired twice by the Yankees … Yogi Berra & Bill Dickey.

  13. bat guano on November 14th, 2008 3:14 pm

    I sense a rosterbation hijacking taking place. Why no love for Griffey, tealfan?

  14. tealfan444 on November 14th, 2008 3:21 pm

    Yea sorry about that. I got carried away, but it does refer to the players being discussed.

  15. CMC_Stags on November 14th, 2008 3:40 pm

    My free agent wish list*

    OF –
    Baldelli (2 year, $14M contract)
    Can play all OF spots and DH if/when hurting or needing some rest. Get him for all the reasons Dave said.

    Junior (1 year, $5M contract)
    I know most of you will hate this because you’ll see it as pandering to the fan base… BUT, he still hits the RH pitching well. He can play corner OF spots in a pinch if he needs to. I basically see him playing as a DH against righties and a spot OF starter. Add to that that the team does need to make money and if they can get Griffey who will likely be a 1 WAR DH for $5M, that would be great. If he wants more than that, then it doesn’t make sense.

    -Griffey/Reed/Balentin Fangraphs comparison to play with-

    Todd Linden or whatever is out there on the cheap. Find 2-4 AAAA free agent 1B and OF, sign them and see what happens. The M’s can offer them playing time and a chance, which is more than most contenders can offer.

    I’d really like to trade for Brad Nelson and JJ Hardy for Yuni, Washburn, Batista, Putz, and Rob Johnson or something along those lines. The Brewers need SPs, a closer, a catcher, and we can swap SSs. We clear a ton of salary, they get useful major leagues, everyone wins.

    If the M’s can’t trade for a SS like Hardy, then the best Free Agent seems to be Furcal. If the M’s can sign him for a market contract at no more than 3 years of length, then that would be great. Player option for 4th year based on playing time would be fine if it gets him to sign.

    Randy (1 year $10 with player option for 2nd year based on IP)
    Colon (same as Randy)
    Sheets (what is fair market value for him if he’s going to average 150 IP per year?)

    Affeldt (2-3 year deal at $4-5M per season)

    * Assuming Batista and Washburn are traded, Bedard will come back half way through the season, Ibanez is offered arb. and declines, and Beltre/Ichiro! are not traded.

    The team would then be:

    RF/CF – Ichiro!/Baldelli
    LF – Balentin
    1B – Clement, Brad Nelson, Todd Linden, or AAAA 1B
    DH vs RH – Griffey
    DH vs LH – 4th OF, backup 1B, etc.
    2B – Lopez
    SS – JJ Hardy
    3B – Beltre
    C – Clement/Johjima

    SP – Felix
    SP – RJ
    SP – Colon/Sheets
    SP – Morrow
    SP – Silva
    SP – Bedard (for the 2nd half when someone else breaks down)
    6th SP – RRS

    RP – Green
    RP – Jimenez
    RP – Affeldt
    RP – Corcoran
    RP – Lowe
    RP – RRS
    RP – Dickey

    This team gets you wins, short term contracts as the farm is rebuilt, ticket sales, and fun. Could it do without Griffey and RJ and give more opportunites to AAAA cast-offs, definately. Will that hurt the team’s ticket sales and possibily their financial outcome, probably. Do Griffey and RJ have enough left to contribute even if they weren’t ex-Mariners, I’d like to think so.

  16. CMC_Stags on November 14th, 2008 3:41 pm

    Sorry bat guano. I got carried away too.

  17. tealfan444 on November 14th, 2008 3:57 pm

    CMC, the Brewers certainly do not “win” with that trade.

    JJ Hardy and Brad Nelson


    a bad SS (Yuni), two overpriced pitchers (Wash and Batista), a backup catcher (Johnson), and Putz..

    I would think if you wanted to even get the Brewers to the table you’d have to put Beltre, Lopez, or Clement on the table.. definately two of the three would need to be included in the deal.. plus others

  18. bat guano on November 14th, 2008 4:09 pm

    Apology accepted CMC. Thanks to you both Griffey and the Unit will be back! Obviously our roster problems are the result of a management failure to recognize the need for grizzled veterans. How about Edgar for DH and Cora for manager? Is Moyer available?

  19. eponymous coward on November 14th, 2008 4:44 pm

    Junior (1 year, $5M contract)
    I know most of you will hate this because you’ll see it as pandering to the fan base… BUT, he still hits the RH pitching well. He can play corner OF spots in a pinch if he needs to. I basically see him playing as a DH against righties and a spot OF starter. Add to that that the team does need to make money and if they can get Griffey who will likely be a 1 WAR DH for $5M, that would be great. If he wants more than that, then it doesn’t make sense.

    At that money, Griffey’s not going to kill you, but I’m not sold that Griffey’s very good any more.

  20. Sklyansky on November 14th, 2008 4:58 pm

    Griffey looked horrible last year, and appears to have put on about 20-30 lbs since he was in Seattle. While I wouldn’t view it as the end of the world if they brought him back, it’d have the potential to be a disastrous spectacle if he experiences an even deeper decline (I could see him being DFA’d by August).

    RJ could be a useful pick-up though, if they can find a sucker to take Washburn or Batista.

  21. gwangung on November 14th, 2008 6:12 pm

    RJ could be a useful pick-up though, if they can find a sucker to take Washburn or Batista.

    Not when Armstrong’s still the President.

  22. James T on November 14th, 2008 6:19 pm

    Colon pitched okay for the Red Sox but essentially bailed on the team at the end of the season.

    He seems to pitch with only 2 pitches now, a less than it used to be 4 seam fastball at around 91-92 and a 2 seamer just slower than that with a lot of movement. His control is still good but there were a lot of times when he would get somebody down 0-2 and couldn’t put ’em away.

    He doesn’t seem reliable at all at this point.

  23. melo_otto15 on November 14th, 2008 7:23 pm

    Nick Punto, anyone?

  24. jordan on November 14th, 2008 11:38 pm

    What about Orlando Cabrera at SS. I think he is a good option.

  25. DaveValleDrinkNight on November 15th, 2008 6:31 am

    Sheets and Colon are a waste of time. I watched Sheets several times in Milwaukee and he can look fairly good or really bad.

    I just don’t see Colon re-bounding from his injuries, especially at his size.

    The only guy on the list that interests me is Rocco. The guys a good fielder, has speed and some power, but it’s the health thing again.

    If you’re going to take a chance on a guy with past injuries/illness, you do it with someone young.

  26. JMHawkins on November 15th, 2008 8:44 am

    So, as far as Crede goes, if we trade Beltre, is bringing in a one-year stopgap plan A? Or would we be better off throwing Tui or Valbuena to the wolves and seeing what they can do?

  27. joser on November 16th, 2008 9:42 pm

    I’m not sure trading Beltre this offseason is the best move. It might be, and I’d certainly think they should be listening to offers and even proposing trades if they see real value they can get back. But there’s always the trade deadline next summer, or letting him walk for the draft picks.

    If they do trade Beltre, rather than going out and getting a stop-gap I’d rather see them move Lopez to 3rd, bring up Valbuena, and just tread water for a year.

  28. joser on November 17th, 2008 9:15 am

    Or (to continue my thought in a thread no one is still reading) try to get Orlando Hudson for 2B when you move Lopez to 3rd and trade Beltre. I’d much rather take a flier on Hudson than on Crede.

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