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Thursday, November 02, 2006

2006 Free Agent Preview

Our 2006 Free Agent Preview
Since sportswriters often make terrible predictions, we decided to go ahead and make some of our own regarding the 2006 Free Agent class and where they will end up.

PlayerDWTHTBTent TimeActual Team
Carlos LeeRangers


dwtwtb - The Rangers have no problem spending big money on long term free agent contracts and traditionally favor hitters over pitchers. If Lee doesn't end up here, he goes to the Astros.

TT - Houston has a lot of money to spend now that Bagwell, Pettitte and probably Clemens are off the books. Lee would provide a boost to their anemic offense and much needed protection for Berkman.

Alfonso SorianoOrioles


dwtwtb - This is the exact type of contract the Orioles would sign: a long term expensive deal for an offensive player they don't need.

TT - Sure Baltimore will bid, but Philly needs a solid RH bat to put between Utley and Howard. If they fall short on Aramis Ramirez (and they probably will) they'll dump Burrell on someone and sign Soriano.

Barry ZitoMets


dwtwtb - The Mets have money to spend, and aren't going to sit around hovering at .500 for 2 months waiting for Pedro to come back. They will sign Zito as a FA (getting to keep Milledge) and zoom right back to the top of the NL East

TT - Sure the Zito-Peterson reunion would be a tearjerker, but SD will have some coin to spend and Zito's flyball tendencies sure would play well in Yellowstone - I mean Petco.

Aramis RamirezCubs


dwtwtb - I think the Cubs are going to bite the bullet and sign Ramirez simply because they know he's a quality run producer (even if his fielding/baserunning hustle leave something to be desired), they need him with Derrek Lee, and they don't have any grade A 3B prospects. It's just going to suck for them that they're going to be paying $3-$4 million/yr more than they should have been because of that stupid out clause in his contract

TT - Here's a familiar refrain: The Cubs Blew it. Not only did they insert said stupid out clause into Ramirez's contract but they were too stupid to get an extension done during the year. Instead, Ramirez will land in LA and provide much needed protection for Vlad.

Jason SchmidtCardinals


dwtwtb - Mulder isn't coming back, who knows what to expect from Reyes/Weaver, Jason Marquis is just terrible, and I don't think Suppan is coming back unless the Cards want to shell out $50/million for 1 good postseason. So that leaves some openings in the rotation of the defending champs and Schmidt would benefit from staying in the NL (especially the NL central).

TT - Having some cash leftover from letting Ramirez get away, here's betting that Chicago uses it to shore up their rotation with a 34 year old power arm. Does that really make a lot of sense? No. But its the Cubs so why not. Zambrano and Schmidt would be a formidable 1-2 punch for the Northsiders, at least for the 4 months when Schmidt is healthy. Or maybe they'll want to leave a rotation spot open for Prior. Ha, ha, I'm just kidding.

Barry BondsTigers


dwtwtb - Bonds simply can't play the field with his knees and has to be a DH if he wants to continue playing and break Aaron's record. The Tigers need offense, particularly left-handed offense (unless Sean Casey is going to somehow bat .500 next year like the WS) and do not have a permanent solid DH.

TT - Bonds to the Tigers does make sense in a vacuum. However, we must ask ourselves if another team is interested in putting up with his crap for the 110-125 games he would play. His skills are certainly diminished, and DH job would definitely make things a lot easier for him and Detriot would give him a good shot at getting back to the playoffs. But that isn't how Bonds thinks, so he'll probably stay in SF for one more just so he can take a shot at the record in that uniform. And besides, the Giants won't have much else going for them in 2007 anyway.

Mark MulderBraves

Red Sox

dwtwtb - Mulder was the toughest to predict and I originally thought he would go to the Indians since I don't think he's going to attract a lot of interest and they would scoop in like with Millwood 2 years ago. But they already have 4/5 of their young decent rotation set (Sabathia, Lee, Westbrook, Sowers) so I don't think Mulder wants to be a #3-#4 starter. Thus, I think the Braves will sign him due to uncertainty regarding Hampton (injury), Chuck James, Horatio Ramirez, Tim Hudson(terrible), and Kyle Davies.

TT - While Mulder would probably love Atlanta, and who wouldn't, my guess is the Red Sox take a flyer on him. A lot of teams will probably have some interest, but the Sox have a lot of money. And a bad rotation.

Jeff SuppanYankees


dwtwtb - Suppan is exactly the kind of pitcher the Yanks would target in their desperate need for SP: a pitcher who has been inconsistent the past couple years but puts it together in the NL for one great year/posteason (Jared Wright, Carl Pavano, Chris Hammond, Steve Karsay)

TT - Nobody got a better look at how good Suppan can be when the chips are down the Mets. But that wasn't actually Suppan's first taste of October success (see 2004 NLCS game 7 vs. Clemens). The Mets miss out on Zito and need an innings eater to balance out their rotation.

Nomar GarciaparraAngels


dwtwtb - Nomar might re-sign with the Dodgers but it really doesn't make much sense for them since he will have to play the field (i.e. no days to rest but still get his bat) and they have James Loney waiting in the wings. I think he goes to the Angels who have a lot of young talent (Kendrick, Quinlan, M. Izturis, Aybar) which can be traded but no defined positions for each. Plus, Nomar wants to stay in So Cal. And the Angels offense was terrible last year.

TT - Why would Nomar leave LA? Money of course, but hey, the Dodgers have lots of it and he seemed to enjoy it there, playing with Kent and that piece of human excrement we all refer to as J.D. Drew.

Vincente PadillaAstros


dwtwtb - The Astros might jump on Suppan and if they do, I don't think they will sign Padilla, but if Clemens/Pettite don't return they will have major holes in their rotation. Of course they will also have about $28 million to fill those holes. I think they will pass on Suppan because some team will throw way too much money at a guy with a career 106-101 record and a 4.60/1.42 ERA/WHIP

TT - Padilla proved last year he could be reasonably effective in Arlington (4.80 ERA, .269 BAA) and Texas is desperate for starting pitching. That all leads to a Padilla getting a contract that he probably can't and won't live up to.


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