Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Season 17 Offseason Free Agency Preview

Tommy Wakeland
Age: 29B/T: S/R
Born: Webbers Falls, OK
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Talmadge Young
Age: 36B/T: R/R
Born: Westbrook, MN
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Alex Brantley
Age: 27B/T: R/R
Born: Merrimack, NH
Position(s): RF/CIF/LF
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The three fine fellows above are the big 3 of Season 17's Free Agent Class. Will they too end up on the same team like LeBron, Wade and Bosh?

Special Correspondent - Leon Jackson

The Hot Stove is blazing in the Cobb World and we're here to give you the low down on this offseason's top free agents. Let's get to it!

1. Tommy Wakeland, 29, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.64 Career ERA

Possible Destinations: Toronto, Vancouver, Pawtucket, Richmond, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $45 million

Signed with Tampa Bay - 5 years, $69 million

Wakeland gets the nod as this offseason’s top free agent. He has great ratings across the board with no weaknesses to note, other than a low durability that will limit him to about 180 innings per season. But those should be a great 180 innings. He has the upside to be a staff ace, although only has posted one season with an ERA below 3.50. We certainly think he can step up – on the right team he could go sub 3.00. His age is a plus, he’s only 29, so there’s not much worry about decline during the contract he’ll sign this offseason.

2. Talmadge Young, 36, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.76 career ERA

Possible Destinations: Wichita, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Vancouver, Richmond, Dover
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $31 million

Signed with Dover - 3 years, $36.5 million

Young is getting up there in age, but his skills haven’t diminished much, and it looks like he’s still got a few solid years left in the tank. Coming off a tremendous run in Columbus, he’ll definitely be an asset to the rotation for whoever ends up with him. He has outstanding control and pitches, good splits and can still go 200 innings. Basically, his only downside is his age, but he’ll be great again this season.

3. Alex Brantley, 27, RF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: At least 42 HR, 118 RBI the last 3 seasons

Possible Destinations: Pawtucket, Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta, Dover, Tampa Bay
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $55 million

Signed with San Francisco - 5 years, $102 million

In a free agent class lacking quality at positions outside of 1B/LF/DH, Brantley’s combination of fielding and hitting skills earn him the top spot on the offensive side on the free agent rankings. Brantley can flat out mash the ball, and is pretty good in the field too. His age has to be considered a big plus as well, as he is only 27 and has several more quality years ahead of him. Not much downside here – he does strikeout a lot and doesn’t have the greatest OBP, if you’re looking for something. But overall, he’s the most complete offensive player in this year’s pool.

4. Skeeter Robertson, 31, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.18 career ERA

Possible Destinations: Tampa Bay, Nashville, Los Angeles, Richmond, Toronto, Syracuse
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $36 million

Signed with Seattle - 3 years, $18.6 million

Skeeter is a solid lefty, with great control and splits, but only decent pitches. He’s not a top of a rotation starter, but he can be a solid #2 or #3. He hasn’t exactly set the world on fire the past few seasons, but he can still be a solid SP, and given the fact that there aren’t that many great starters who are still in their prime in this crop of free agents, that boosts his value as well.

5. Bosco Simon, 31, LF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .835 career OPS

Possible Destinations: Atlanta, Vancouver, Santa Fe, Dover, Sioux Falls, San Francisco
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $16 million

Signed with Toronto - 4 years, $25.6 million

Bosco’s back on the top Free Agents list this season after a one season stint in Vancouver in which he posted solid, yet not spectacular numbers. But in this class, he’s one of the top offensive players, and has potential to do even better than he did in Vancouver last season. He has decent enough skills to possibly play RF defensively, which is a plus, and has excellent offensive skills across the board.

6. Vladimir Segui, 30, 1B/DH
No Designation
Key Stat: 244 career HR

Possible Destinations: Kansas City, Chicago, Syracuse, Los Angeles, Atlanta
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $15 million

Signed with Atlanta - 3 years, $15.3 million

Segui is a masher, who has two 40 HR seasons to his credit, and seems like he could do it again this season, even though he saw a slight power rating decrease from the prior year. He’s got good contact for a power hitter, and his splits and batting eye are good, but not great. He’s a bit of a liability defensively, he may be best as an AL DH. Obviously, his best asset is his power.

7. Mike Wilson, 28, LF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .825 career OPS, youth

Possible Destinations: Syracuse, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Salary/Over Under: 4 years, $16 million

Signed with Vancouver - 1 year, $7 million

Mike Wilson struggled a bit last season in New York, but all signs point to him being able to bounce back. He is after all only 28, and should have several good seasons left in him. He has solid power, and nice contact and batting eye. He isn’t strong against righties, which is a slight concern, but hits lefties well. He can be a solid contributor in most lineups, but probably isn’t someone who can carry a team.

8. Curt Person, 30, RP
No Designation
Key Stat: 2.22 ERA last season

Possible Destinations: Sioux Falls, Nashville, Atlanta, San Francisco
Salary Over/Under: 3 Years, $9 million

Signed with Toronto - 1 year, $4.4 million

Person is coming off a tremendous season in St. Louis where he posted a 2.22 ERA over 77 innings. We think he’s capable of a few more similar seasons. His two pitches are outstanding to go with fairly good splits and control. He also doesn’t give up a lot of flyballs. If you’re looking for a reliever, Person’s one of the best available in this free agent class.

9. Pedro Nieves, 35, RP
No Designation
Key Stat: 3.22 career ERA

Possible Destinations: Dover, Tampa Bay, Santa Fe, Wichita
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $7 million

Signed with Iowa City - 2 years, $6 million

Coming of a great run as Tacoma’s closer, in which he consistently posted a great ERA, while blowing few saves, Nieves is hitting the free agent market. Nieves has great control and solid splits. His pitches aren’t great, and he has lost some velocity, but he should still be a solid asset out of the pen for some team.

10. Eric Adams, 32, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: Solid Ratings

Possible Destinations: Vancouver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Salary Over/Under: $2 years, $4 million

Signed with Atlanta - 1 year, $5.8 million

After two great seasons in Omaha, Adams has been completely obliterated on the mound the past two seasons, posting astronomical ERA and WHIP totals. We think he can pull out of the rut and be a solid reliever once again. He has excellent control, nice splits, a great first pitch, and a solid second pitch. Whether or not a team will sign him as a type A free agent remains to be seen, given his rocky past two seasons, but we think he can still be productive.

Good luck to all in their Free Agency pursuit!

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