Matthew Pouliot

Free Agency

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Top 50 Free Agents

Friday, September 07, 2012


40. Gavin Floyd (RHP White Sox - Age 30)*: Floyd's name has come up in trade talks plenty of times, but the White Sox never found the right return for him. Now they might let him go without getting anything back. They hold a $9.5 million option on his services for 2013, but that's a high price to pay for a guy who has dealt with some elbow problems of late. His ERA has also gone up for the fourth straight year this season. A change of scenery would likely do him some good.
 
39. Colby Lewis (RHP Rangers - Age 33): Lewis was in position to land himself at least a three-year, $30 million deal if he finished this season healthy. Unfortunately, he required surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow in July. The good news is that no ligament damage was found, so he should be ready to go next spring. Still, some teams will think it's too risky to sign him to a multiyear deal so soon after elbow surgery. The Rangers will likely have the edge in re-signing him, though as a pretty big-time flyball pitcher, he might be more valuable to a team in a bigger ballpark.
 
38. Angel Pagan (OF Giants - Age 31): That center field is the only position with any real depth available in free agency this winter hurts Pagan, but he's still probably in line for a multiyear contract after his nice season for the Giants. He's hitting .286/.338/.433 with 23 steals and playing very good defense for the NL West leaders. Pagan goes through long stretches in which he looks more like a fourth outfielder than a regular, but even if he disappoints as a starter, his speed and defense would give him value in a reduced role.
 
37. Brandon McCarthy (RHP Athletics - Age 29): McCarthy has a 3.29 ERA and a 196/49 K/BB ratio in 281 2/3 innings for the A's over the last two years, making him one of the best pitchers on this list. Unfortunately, he also has one of the longest lists of injuries; the word "shoulder' shows up 113 times in Rotoworld updates for McCarthy. It'd be worth giving him $7 million-$8 million for 2013 alone in the hopes that he can make 25+ starts, but a multiyear deal would be a tough sell.
 
36. Mike Adams (RHP Rangers - Age 34): With a 2.42 ERA in 70 2/3 innings since joining Texas at the 2011 trade deadline, Adams has handled the jump to the American League quite well, I figured the home run ball would be a much bigger problem for him in Arlington than it was at Petco, but he's given up just one in 45 innings this season. Adams is 34 and has just four career saves to his credit, but he deserves a chance to close this winter. Unfortunately, he might get bigger offers from contenders that will want to keep him in a setup role. Out of all the relievers available, he could have the best chance of getting a three-year deal.
 
35. Jeremy Guthrie (RHP Rockies - Age 34): Recovered from a disastrous Coors Field experience, Guthrie has gone 4-3 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in nine starts with the Royals. His season statistics are still pretty awful -- he had a 6.35 ERA and 21 homers allowed in 90 2/3 innings for the Rockies -- but teams probably won't hold that against him. Guthrie won't be a top target of the big spenders, but his ability to throw 200 decent innings year in and year out makes him an ideal mid-rotation guy for a team like the Royals. It'll likely take at least $15 million for two years to sign him.  
 
34. Paul Maholm (LHP Braves - Age 30)*: The very reasonable $6.5 million option on Maholm's contract for 2013 allowed the Cubs to get more in return for him than they otherwise might have prior to the trade deadline. At 11-9 with a 3.79 ERA, he should need only to finish the season healthy in order to guarantee that it will be picked up. That said, the Braves do have Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen and Mike Minor all under control for next year, plus Brandon Beachy on the way back from Tommy John surgery. However, even if they are feeling thrifty, they should exercise the option and trade him.
 
33. Russell Martin (C Yankees - Age 30): Believe it or not, Martin is just turning 30 in February. Unfortunately, his batting average has declined five straight seasons (he's at .202 right now), and 10 of his 15 homers this year have come at Yankee Stadium. He remains a pretty good defender, but if he can't get hot to close the season out, no one is going to offer a three- or four-year deal to a .200 hitter. That's good news for the Yankees, who will likely want to retain him without having to give him much of a raise from the $7.5 million he's making this year. In truth, $15 million for two years seems quite appropriate.
 
32. Cody Ross (OF Red Sox - Age 32): Ross went out looking for a three-year deal last winter and came away very disappointed. He ended up signing with the Red Sox for $3 million, less than half the $6.3 million he earned with the Giants the year before. Now that Ross has torn it up in Fenway, hitting .279/.340/.512 with 20 homers in 387 at-bats, he may well get that three-year contract, though only if there's a GM out there who doesn't notice that he's hit .238 with seven homers away from Boston this year.
 
31. Ervin Santana (RHP Angels - Age 30)*: Santana has managed to find his foothold after his ERA peaked at 6.00 in late July, going 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA in his last seven starts. Realistically, he'd have to pitch very well into the postseason to have any chance of getting his $13 million option for 2013 picked up. Santana will be a tough call as a free agent. He's got youth and a pretty good track record, but his stuff has diminished somewhat and he has a career ERA of 4.89 outside of Anaheim (3.82 at home). He could turn out to be quite a bust on a three-year deal.
 

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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot


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