Senin, 19 Desember 2011

MLB Free Agency Grades

This has been one of the most exciting offseasons for baseball in a while. With the Pujols deal, the Marlins spending a lot and a lot of other things; this has been one hectic offseason. Let's look at the biggest deals of this offseason so far.

1. Albert Pujols to the Angels for 10 years, $254 Million Grade: B+
The Albert Pujols deal is the biggest deal of the offseason without a doubt. Albert Pujols still has at lest five more all-star years left in him. Pujols makes the Angels immediately a legitimate candidate to win the World Series this season. Pujols lets the Angels trade another first baseman like Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales. This deal will not be as good when Pujols gets into his upper thirties and lower forties. One thing that has gone unoticed is that Pujols will be able to attract the Latino population in Los Angeles which has been traditionally Dodgers fans. This deal could also let the Angels to expand their fan base.

2. Jose Reyes to the Marlins for 6 years, $106 million Grade: B
Jose Reyes will instantly provide the Marlins with a leadoff hitter that they really needed. Reyes's defense at shortstop will be an upgrade over Hanley Ramirez. The signing of Reyes has helped to bring a certain buzz o the Marlins that should help in the ticket office for their new stadium. This signing might now force the Marlins to now trade Hanley Ramirez because of his lack of interest in moving from shortstop to third base. Ramirez is an important player and the Reyes signing has now put the Marlins on bad terms with Hanley Ramirez.

3. CJ Wilson to the Angels for 5 years, $77.5 million Grade: C
CJ Wilson was the other big signing that the Angels made at the end of the Winter Meetings. CJ Wilson has been very good for the Rangers over the last two years after being moved from the bullpen. Wilson has a good arsenal of pitches. However, he has relied on a good defense and the Angels aren't exactly know for defense. Wilson's arm may also have not much life left in it and this contract may not be worth it by the end of it. However, Wilson will not have the pressure of being a number one or two starter in the Angels' rotation which may let him relax more.

4. Mark Buehrle to the Marlins for 4 years, $58 million Grade: A+
Mark Buehrle might be 32 years old but he is not a power pitcher which should give him great longevity. Buehrle will be able to pitch well for the whole contract. Buehrle is one of the most underrated pitchers in all of baseball. Buehrle is going to be able to pitch at a high level for a lot longer like Andy Pettitte. Buehrle helps to fill out the rotation with Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Chris Volstad. The Marlins will be able to match up with the rotation of the other NL East teams. In four years, this deal will be seen as one of the best deals of this offseason.

5. Jonathan Paplebon to the Phillies for 4 years $50 million Grade: A-
Jonathan Paplebon is one of the best closers in baseball. The Phillies needed to either resign Ryan Madson or go and get a new closer. They decided to go get Paplebon who has been a reliable closer for a while. Paplebon will be a perfect fit in Philadelphia because he has already been in the pressure cooker of Boston. Paplebon will not have to face as much pressure in Philly as he did in Boston.

6. Aramis Ramirez to the Brewers for 3 years $36 million Grade: B
Aramis Ramirez is very good third baseman. Ramirez is one of the most offensive players in all of baseball. Ramirez has the potential to drive in 100 RBIs next year in a lineup that desperately needs him. Ramirez's defense is pretty good right now also. However, Ramirez may not be able to stay as a 25HR, 90RBI hitter by the end of the contract. There is a chance he could become a defensive liability for the Brewers in the third year of this deal. Ramirez's production will be important as the Brewers will try to win a weaker NL Central.

7. Jimmy Rollins to the Phillies for 3 years, $33 million Grade: A
Jimmy Rollins wanted to get a five-year-deal this offseason but he always wanted to return to Philadelphia. Rollins decided to take a team-friendly contract and return to Philadelphia. Rollins is essential to the Phillies lineup as he one of the best leadoff hitters in the majors. Rollins also still has a great arm for a shortstop. Rollins will start to decline but he will still be able to be a very good shortstop at the end of this contract. Ruben Amaro got this deal done for a great price which will let them spend money on extending Cole Hamels, bringing in a couple more relievers, or signing a corner outfielder like Carlos Beltran.

This offseason has been one of the most exciting offseasons ever with all the money that has been spent. This offseason will only get better with the Prince Fielder negotiations, the Yu Darvish signing, and the future, impending trade of Gio Gonzalez.

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