Monday, May 25, 2009

Grading the Big-Name Free Agent Signings

Two-thirds through free agency we've had 3 Type A's and 3 Type B's sign.  There are more out there but here's the scoop so far:

Hartford: SP Felix Woodward - 3 years, $18 million.  The Cream and Clear appear ready to throw around money like the Obama Administration, but they got Woodward for a song.  He'll give them 200+ innings and solid numbers.  Most of his career has been in pitcher-friendly Pawtuckett, but he was quite good in cozy Madison last year, too.  Grade: A+.

Hartford:  SP Brian Nakajima - 3 years, $26.75 million.  That's a little more like it, but still a bargain for a starter of Nakajima's quality.  Some observers have expected him to put up better numbers in Columbus's spacious park, but you know he'll benefit from good run support.  Grade: A.

San Diego: SP Cesar Mendez - 3 years, $27 million.  In the imminently-takable Al West, the Surf Babies make a move.  Something tells me they could've done better for $9MM a year, although everything Mendez throws sinks and he'll love those power alleys at Petco.  Grade: B.

Augusta: SP Cedrick Waters - 2 years, $11.5 million.  Waters has only had 2 good seasons out of 7 in the majors.  He'll benefit from his new stadium, but righties get a lot of good swings on balls up in the zone.  Grade: C+.

Scranton: CF Jimmie Castro - 3 years, $17.7 million.  Castro may end up in a CF platoon for the Beet Farmers.  He's over his head defensively and doesn't offer enough with the bat to make up for it.  Grade: C.

Scranton: 1B James Riggs - 4 years, $23.7 million.  Riggs is capable of having a big year (Season 10 OPS: .974), and he's capable of stinking (Season 8 OPS: .654).  He'll probably do both over the course of this contract, but expect better numbers than he put up in Burlington's ultra-spacious park.  Grade: B.

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