Free Agent Hitter Projections
My, my what an ugly group. When I first had this ready I thought I made a mistake in my salary equation and was getting it too low. Nope - plugging Albert Pujols in I get a value of 30 million.
Bonds leads the way even with a very conservative playing time projection, since he's 42 and has had quite enough injuries recently. He's just such a dominant hitter that 100 games of Bonds will put a lot of runs on the board. Frank Thomas doesn't look so good here - the projection is based on 3 years and he's been healthy only in one of those. Its quite possible given his age - 39 in 2006 - that he's put up a last hurrah. If so we'll be glad when the A's sign him for 2 years and 15 million as the recent rumors are saying.
Jim Edmonds is still a fine player. The numbers say +4 in center, which is hard to believe for a 37 year old without basestealing speed, but last night's catch against the Mets makes me believe its right on Jim. Cardinals would be fools to not pick up his 2007 option. Edmonds probably has one year left in him before he breaks down completely.
Soriano and Carlos Lee - those numbers make me want to just say no, given we already have 3 corner outfielders. Carlos Lee projects to a typical Carlos Lee season - decent bat but not that much better than a typical LF, and poor defense to bring him down. Soriano was way better than this last season, but the projection fits right in with his 2004 and 2005 seasons. Where do you want to bet? That Sori had a career year? Or that he's suddenly found a new level of ability at age 30? Still, both players will make 2.5-3 times what I say they're worth. Let someone else pay it.
Mike Cameron is a better player than each, and he fits our team's needs better as well. We've got a pitching staff that gives up flyballs. Lets get a premium flychaser. Cameron is not a middle of the order hitter, but he's got enough pop and patience to help batting 6 or 7, and fast enough for Scioscia and Ebel to have fun with him on the bases. I say go hard after Cameron while others are chasing Soriano and Lee.
Nomar Garciaparra is interesting, of all the players here he's the one where I'd say he's got much more ability than a simple projection gives him credit for. Of course the one good year in the 3 year projection is the most recent one, so he may not be a bargain at all. We're not getting him for 3 mil as the simple projection says, but maybe offer him 2/20 or so.
SS The OC
bench: Izturis, Molina, Quinlan, Erstad. Last spot for Kotchman, McPherson, or Morales. Perhaps on of them beats out Quinlan. They'll get their chances since somebody is going to get hurt.
That's a scary lineup, and also a defense that should avoid playing the way we did in throwing away the 2006 season.