Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Season 17 Free Agency Preview

With the hot stove cranking in both real life MLB and Kenny Powers, let's see who made the list of the top 10 free agents of this offseason in Kenny Powers!

1. Marc Towers, 28, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .838 career OPS

Signed with Nashville - 5 years, $47.2 million

Towers tops this year's free agency rankings thanks to a solid combination of a great bat and outstanding fielding ability.  He's not quite shortstop caliber in the field, although if you're willing to live with a handful of errors, his bat would be a huge plus at that spot.  At any other spot in the field, he'd be a plus fielder.  He's got tremendous power, solid contact, decent splits, although his batting eye is pretty mediocre.  Still, he brings a lot to the table at the plate.

2. Jimmy Fox, 29, RF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .902 career OPS

Signed with Oklahoma City - 5 years, $50.1 million

Fox is an outstanding bat with tremendous splits and an elite batting eye to go with very good contact and decent power.  He falls just behind Towers due to his fielding ability, he's got a right field type arm, but not a good enough glove to be successful at the hot corner.  Still, his bat is going to be a major plus in the lineup, regardless of where he plays in the field

3. Erubiel Troncoso, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.83 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $70 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Kansas City, Scranton, Vancouver

Signed with St. Louis - 5 years, $66 million

Troncoso ranks as the top starting pitcher in this free agent class.  He's got very good control and splits and can easily throw 200 innings with his stamina, and also good velocity and ability to keep the ball down.  His pitch quality is one of the things that keep him from being truly elite, still he'd be a very good add to just about any rotation.

4. Dan Ohlendorf, 31, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 2.98 career ERA

Signed with Toronto - 2 years, $13.3 million

Ohlendorf is our choice for top reliever in this free agent class.  He has plus ratings across the board in control, velocity, RH split, and pitches.  He may be slightly vulnerable against lefties, but it's not a major concern.  He has the stamina and durability to approach 100 innings of elite quality relief pitching, which is why he lands at #4 on this season's rankings. 

5. Jack Thompson, 29, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.58 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $40 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Scranton, Nashville, Tucson

Signed with Chicago - 5 years, $62 million

Thompson has several redeeming qualities, such as an elite pitch arsenal and control, excellent velocity, and good splits.  One weakness that prevents him from moving up in the rankings is that his durability/stamina combination put a ceiling on his innings somewhere around 175.   Still, those will be high quality innings, and if there is a good bullpen behind him, all the more better. 

6. Geovany Mateo, 34, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.57 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $26 million

Possible Destinations: Honolulu, Tampa Bay, Scranton, Vancouver

Signed with Little Rock - 3 years, $8.4 million

Mateo is another excellent reliever in this year's free agent class.  His control, effectiveness vs. RH and pitch arsenal are outstanding.  He is not quite as effective vs. lefties, and he tends to give up some fly balls.  The pros definitely outweigh the cons, however, and Mateo can provide 100 innings of quality relief help, which makes him a good signing.

7. Cory Orie, 33, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.57 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $25 million

Possible Destinations: Kansas City, Toronto, New Britain, Detroit

Signed with Salt Lake City - 5 years, $51 million

There are many positives to be said about Orie, and not many negatives.  He has outstanding ratings across the board, although if a weakness were to be noted, it would be that his effectiveness vs. RH is good, but not elite.  Also, his durability/stamina profile will limit his innings to around 175 max, similar to Thompson, and is four years older.  All that aside, he still has a few very good years left, so he'd be worth the add. 

8. Delanor Broadway, 33, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.26 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $21 million

Possible Destinations: Toronto, Nashville, Vancouver, San Juan

Signed with Atlanta - 3 years, $24 million

Broadway brings to the table a truly elite arsenal of pitches, excellent velocity and control, and he is very good against LH hitters.  His RH split is decent to mediocre, which seems to have limited his effectiveness throughout his career.  Given what's out there this offseason, he still wouldn't be a bad signing for a team that needed pitching help and missed out on the guys higher up on the list.

9. Blake Lofton, 34, RF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .834 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $14 million

Possible Destinations: Buffalo, Honolulu, St. Louis, New Britain

Signed with Buffalo - 3 years, $18 million

Lofton has had an outstanding career, and although he's getting up there in age, he still has a few more excellent seasons left in him.    His elite batting eye and plus contact rating will keep him on base without many strikeouts.  He is very good against LHP, and still solid vs. RHP as well.  His power is above average, but not great, and he's pretty much only a RF, LF or 1B at this point, but he will still add a lot to a lineup for the next few seasons. 

10. Devon Milton, 32, 3B
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: .832 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $20 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Syracuse, San Juan, Salt Lake City

Signed with Vancouver - 3 years, $20 million

Milton is a skilled hitter, with good splits and batting eye and excellent contact.  He has decent power where he could hit around 20 or so home runs and he is still a serviceable 3rd baseman.  A ratings drop this past season have to be a concern, but given that he is a type B free agent, it's probably worth the gamble that he can maintain his productivity for the next few seasons.

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