Hey Crawdaddy, I know Brian Roberts is going to stay for the next few years, but what is your take on the 2B market after this year? Do you think there is anyone there to replace our Gomez-Bynum-Fahey beast?
Well . . . I decided to finally answer an email, which is not really all that impressive as I receive few of them and rarely do anything with them. But, Rob is correct and I should have addressed that. Also, being refered to as Crawdaddy is weird.
Anyway, free agent 2B:
Guys who'll demand to start-
Luis Castillo, Twins . . . average defensive second baseman with the same offensive skills he has had. He is one of the most consistent ball players around primarily because he can only do two things: 1) hit for contact and 2) walk. He used to have more speed, but was never that adept a baserunner . . . he sure tried though. He will hit a pretty dry market and he should fetch a four year deal for about 6MM a year.
Jeff Kent, Dodgers . . . weird career path. He was pretty average until age 30 and he just continues to clean up. He has regressed from his peak, but still puts up above average offensive numbers to go along with below average defense. He'll see a 2 year deal at 9 or 10MM. He'll be a better deal than Castillo, but is riskier for an immediate decline. Particularly if a truck needs cleaning.
Taduhitu Iguchi, White Sox . . . for those who cannot afford Luis . . . Tad is your man. He is a marginal starter. Since his first year, he has regressed each season. He can pass as a low end starter next year, but will probably be relegated to a backup role in '09 for certain. I can see him lasting long in free agency unless he quickly realizes no one really wants him to start. Then again, Ned Colletti is crazy. 3MM as a backup or 5MM as a starter. I could see him destroying his own value and going as low as 2MM.
Mark Loretta, Astros . . . probably the best utility man to be had this off season, but with another plus offensive season, someone might want to make him a starter. He could probably be had for a 1 year deal at 4MM.
Mark Grudzeilanek, Royals . . . he should also be a utility guy. Some crazy team could give him 4MM to start or some savvy team could pay him 2MM to backup a couple positions. Though, he has a player option for 4MM . . . he'll probably stay.
Marcus Giles, Padres . . . the team has an option on him for 4MM. They won't pick it up. Giles doesnt have the defensive skill or offensive talent to be worth that anymore. I don't think anyone would be willing to pay it. I could see him dumped and waiting long into the offseason to backup a club in the playoff hunt. To think, if he went to arbitration the Braves would have had to hand him 6MM. He is a 2MM guy.
Ronnie Belliard, Nats . . . how did he find a place to start? Well, he is doing quite well and can probably trick a team like the Royals or Dodgers into giving him a 3 year deal around 5MM or so.
Chris Gomez, Jerry Hairston Jr, Miguel Cairo, Damion Easley, Chris Woodward.