Thursday, January 17, 2008

Biggest International Steals

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

Every team loves to sign hot foreign prospects, and with the money players like Paul Jung and Quilvio Suarez are raking in, most teams are left out in the cold. But through the years there have been some steals in the international market. Best we not let Interpol know of these, the signings were so good they might be criminal!

1. Victor Gandarillas - Oakland Frozen Koreans, Season 2, $8.4M
--$8.4M may not seem like a bargain, but for a pitcher who projects to near perfect control with dominating velocity, splits, and quality pitches, it is a bargain. Just now coming into his own in the bigs, Gandarillas has the potential to be an all-star every season.

2. Rico Estrada - Boston Heat, Season 1, $7.1M
--Estrada may not be the cheapest signing on this list, and he was the top money getter in season 1. But you cannot deny that for 7.1 million dollars, he has been an absolute steal. In addition to having the sweetest pair of shades in Cobb World, he has two all-star appearances and three silver slugger SS awards, and his glove isn't shabby at all either.

3. Benny Pineda - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats, Season 1, $3.7M
--Pineda has hit nearly .300 for his ML career, and lately has been averaging over 25 HR's a season while playing nearly every game at 2b for Sioux Falls. Initially shakey with the glove, his defense has improved remarkably and now he is a competent defensive 2b.

4. Pascual Mendoza - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats, Season 3. $4.0M
--Mendoza has gone 42-18 in his first 100 ML starts. He has also thrown 326 K's and been a rock in the Sioux Falls rotation since he was called up from the minors. What truly makes him a bargain is his 5 year contract at the league minimum, bringing lots of value for his production.

5. Andres Liriano - Fargo Fug Nuts, Season 1, $2.1M
--The oft traded Liriano has only recently made the bigs, but he has the tools to be a solid CF with good skills at the plate. Time will tell if he will be an all-star, but for 2.1 million, you can't complain about his talent.

There are definately other bargains out there, post your favorites in the comments section if they have been overlooked.

No comments: