Friday, December 18, 2009

Season 2 FA Signings

Season 2 was a weak FA crop with only 3 FA garnering Type A status and at least 7M per year in salary. As always, current team name is always in brackets i.e. Sante Fe (Little Rock). Sante Fe is now Little Rock.

Kevin Brown 3b
Contract: 2/20M (Team Option)
Signed by: Chicago

Former Team: Pittsburgh

Chicago signed 3b Brown away from Pittsburgh for a 2 year/10M per contract with a team option. Brown only spent 1 season in Chicago posting a batting line of 28HR 123 RBI .305 AVG .926 OPS. Brown was also selected as an All-Star for season 2. Chicago declined the season 3 option and Brown played one season for Sante Fe (Little Rock) before retiring.

As a result of the signing Pittsburgh got the #19 and #44 picks in the draft

Pittsburgh selected Hector Gonzalez with the #19 pick. Gonzalez never made the majors as a Stubba as he left Pittsburgh as a rule 5selection in season 5. Gonzalez ended up pitching 594 ML innings to the tune of a 5.33 ERA and 22-36 record. His last ML season pitched was season 11 with Pawtucket

With the #44 Charlie Ferrea was selected. He never made the majors and was released in season 5. He kicked around the minors before retiring with Chicago in season 11.

Signing Grade (Chicago): B (One all-star appearance and no regrets with the compensation pick)

Compensation Grade (Pittsburgh): D+ (Neither players were superstars but Gonzalez did kick around the MLs for a few seasons.

Dustin Walker SP
Contract: 5/49.6 M + 3M bonus (Team Option)
Signed by: Arizona (Las Vegas)
Former Team: Wichita (Austin)

Walker pitched for Arizona (Las Vegas) for season 2-6. He posted a record of 58-44 with a 5.26 ERA over that span. He left Arizona as a FA after season 7 signing with Atlanta he played in the majors till retiring with Scottsdale (Salem) after season 9

Unfortunately, for Wichita (Austin) the Arizona (LV) franchise signed 2 type A’s in season 3 and Austin (Little Rock) got the better comp pick.

The comp picks received for Walker were #46 and #94.

With the 46th pick SP Joe Young was selected. He never pitched in the big leagues. He left Wichita (Austin) as a FA after season 8 and kicked around the minors until retiring from Burlington after season 13. His minor league stats were 76-79 with a 7.24 ERA

With the 94th pick Wichita (Austin) selected SP Alfonso Romero who retired from after season 6 and never picked in the bigs.

Signing Grade: C+ (above .500 record with a suspect ERA )
Comp Pick Grade: F (Neither player appeared in the ML)

Clay Reed 3b
Contract: 5/37.2 M (Team Option)
Signed by: Arizona (Las Vegas)
Former Team: Austin (Little Rock)

Reed played for Arizona (Las Vegas) for season 2-5 then retired following season 5. Over the four seasons Clay posted stat totals of 63 HR 305 RBI .296 AVG .821 OPS.

The comp picks received by Austin (Little Rock) were #49 and #62

With the #49 pick Austin (LR) selected SP Denny Cardona who had a cup of coffee in the majors after being selected away from Austin (then Sante Fe) in the Rule 5 draft by Cleveland. Playing for Cleveland until season 12 his ML stats were 0-11 with a 7.73 ERA.

The #62 pick was SP Matt Lakasiewiez who was also selected away in the rule 5 draft by Cincy before being offered back. For his ML career Lakasiwiez was 0-1 with a 13.97 ERA

Signing Grade: C+ (Reed wasn’t a different maker but provided decent production)Comp Pick Grade: D- (Both players made the majors but both ended their ML careers with 7+ Era)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Big FA Signings Season 1

I decided to go back and look at “Big” FA signings starting in Season 1 and see how the signings turned out for the teams. My definition of big was a yearly salary of 7M or more and the player had to be a Type A FA (meaning a lose of draft pick).

In Season 1 there were 4 players who fit the description above

Ivan Miller SP
Contract: 5 year 59 Million dollars (Mutual Option)
Signed by: St. Louis (Now Augusta) Former Team: Baltimore

Miller played in St. Louis for the duration of his contract. At the time the contract was the largest contract ever given to a player or pitcher. Over his 5 years in St. Louis he went 59-25 with approx. 3.3 ERA. He appeared in 3 All-star games, won a Cy young in Season 2 and was a two-time pitcher silver slugger.

The biggest knock on Miller was his poor health for his career he had 7 DL stints (5 of the 60 day variety). During his time in St. Louis his missed almost all of season 3. He left St. Louis following the end of season 5 and finished his career with NY after season 8.

Baltimore as a result of losing Ivan Miller received two comp picks #18 & 61. Baltimore took Pete Whiteside a 3b at 18 and Stevie Flaherty a SS at 61, unfortunately Baltimore was unable to come to terms with either player.

Needless to say the Miller FA signing can be counted as a success for St. Louis as they made the playoffs every season during Miller’s run

Al Castilla 3B
Contract: 5 year 43 Million dollar with a 10 M bonus
Signed by: Honolulu (Now St. Louis) Former Team: Seattle (now Scottsdale EDIT: Honolulu)

The 53M-dollar deal including bonus was the 2nd largest deal ever and was the largest ever given to a position player.

Castilla played 4.5 seasons in Hon/Tuc/Santa Cruz (all the same franchise) before being traded to SF part way through season 5. For the five seasons this deal covered Castilla averaged 29.4 HR 104 RBI and .277 batting average. Clearly respectable numbers however probably less than was originally hoped for.

Castilla was traded to SF for Shawn Pulpisher who played 243 games for Tucson (now St. Louis) before retiring. Over that stretch Pulpisher posted a stat line of 33 HR 154 RBI .345 AVG and .900 OPS. He retired after season 6.

Seattle (now Scottsdale) as compensation received picks 32 and 60 in the draft. With the 32nd pick Seattle (Scottsdale) selected Bernie Marreo who went on to play 1218 games at the ML level with 367 HR 935 RBI .254 AVG .808 OPS. During that time he made 3-Allstar teams and won gold gloves at SS, LF and 3b. He was a member of Scottsdales until season 12 when he signed with SF.

With the 60th pick Seattle (Scotts) selected Max Saenez LF who had a cup of coffee in the majors playing 162 games hitting 13 HR 68 RBI .272 AVG and .705 OPS. He retired following season 8 with LA.

Based on the monster contract and the fact Marrero outperformed Castillo directly this is probably one that the St. Louis franchise would like back.

Mario Giles C
Contract: 5 year 42.5 M with 5M bonus
Signed by: Atlanta Former Team: Mexico (Now Richmond)

Mario played all fives seasons of his deal in Atlanta over that time he averaged 86.2 R 25.4 HR 103 RBI and batted .288. During that stretch he also made one All-star team. He left Atl following season 5 and last appeared in the ML as part of Colorda in season 11 (played 60 games). The last two seasons he’s bounced around the minors of Lou and SF.

As compensation for losing Giles Mexico (Richmond) got the 20th pick and the 45th pick in the draft.

With first pick Mexico (Richmond) selected Jack Wilson who pitched in 180 ML games with a career record of 24-48 5.78 ERA. Wilson last pitched in the majors for Portland in season 10. With the 2nd pick Derrick Hines (2b) was selected he played 1216 games in majors and authored a line of 116HR 624RBI .296 avg and .803 OPS, he also made 1 all-star team. His last ML season was season 12

I think both the Atlanta franchise and Richmond had to be pleased with the outcome of this signed. Atlanta got above-average hitting and fielding C for 5 seasons and Mex (Rich) got a serviceable ML 2b.

Red Powell P
Contract: 3 years 22.5M with 1M bonus
Signed by: Tex Former: Pawtuckt Green Sox (Now KC)

Of the major season 1 FA signings Red Powell received the smallest contract but may have been the biggest disappointment. Red pitched in Tex for 2 seasons posting a record of 27-23 with a 5.6 ERA before being traded to SF at the beginning of season 3.

In addition to Powell, SF received J. Gonzalez who went on to post a career record of 152-120 with a 4.6 ERA and retired with Cleveland following season 13. Powel himself retired after season 3 with San Fran. For Powel and Gonzalez Texas received K. Gomez a low control reliever who gave Texas four seasons and an ERA of 4.6, D. Ortiz a back of the rotation SP who went 9-13 with a 4.4 ERA and B. Vallarta a career minor leaguer.

Needless to say J. Gonzalez successful career always stuck in Wolfhound’s craw.

Finally we look at the compensation Pawtucket (KC) received for Powell. The draft picks were #30 and #46. With the 30th pick in the draft Paw (KC) selected Garret Bouchard, yes that was an audible groan from Wolf that you just heard. Bouchard was a 1-time all-star, 2-time silver slugger and has authored a career line of 314 HR 972 RBI .291 AVG and .895 OPS. Bouchard is still playing in the ML with Atlanta. The 2nd pick was 46th overall and was used to select Pat Martin who had a modest ML career (57 HR 222 RBI .263 AVG and .782 OPS).
In the end Powell was tied to Texas’ loss of a long-term quality SP and 1b all for 2 seasons of average work. Given a time machine this is a signing that Texas would like to undo