Recommended Free Agents
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.