We've run polls in previous seasons about the best FA signings, which sometimes means the best player signed at any price...I mean, can anyone really argue with the Victor Morales signing after the season he had last year?
This year we'll try to ignite a debate about the best bargain free agency signing...the best player per dollar, if you like. The nominees are:
William Katou, C - Buffalo Wings: 3 years, $4.1MM per year. One of the best-hitting catchers in Belle, and 80 pitch calling to boot. The only knocks are a poor arm and diminishing endurance. Quite a deal for a 2-time All-Star and 3-time Silver Slugger.
Mitch Hall, OF/1B - Oakland Surenos: 1 year at $4MM and a mutual option year at $5.3MM. Lifetime .880 OPS, 5 All-Star Games, a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and 4 WS rings speak for themselves. At 34, can still hit, but defensively he's probably no longer an infielder. Biggest risk is the low health rating.
Matt Wallace, OF/1B - El Paso Karn Evil 9: 2 years, $5.2MM per year. In 12 seasons he's had only 2 in which he OPS'd under .900 (.877 and .897). Lifetime .970 OPS, 4 All-Star Games, 2 Silver Sluggers. Durability and power have slipped but the other hitting ratings are still solid.
Doug Brown, RP - Portland Bar & Grillers: 1 year, $1.995MM. Poster boy for the theory that something other than control and splits matter. 3 All-Star Games and a career 4.10 ERA (take out his first 3 seasons and that number drops a lot). The case for Brown as the best bargain is helped by the fact that it's just a 1-year deal.
Joe Rivera, RF - Oakland Surenos: 2 years, $5.2MM per year. Yeah, he's 34, but the ratings - even power - are holding up great. 2 MVP's, 2 World Series Rings, 4 All-Star Teams, 3 Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove for good measure.