Freely Available Talent

Forget the $150 million contracts. These guys will work for peanuts.

On Nov. 7 Baseball America published the list of Minor League Free Agents for 2008.

Players with six or more years of professional experience who have been left off team’s 40 man Major League Rosters can elect to become free agents.

These players, especially those who playerd at AAA or AAA, are the definition of “replacement level”. No longer prospects, and not deemed good enough for the 40 man roster, they have been let loose where they can he had for a minor league contract, and if necessary, called up to fill a spot on the big club for minimum salary.

That said, occasionly a team can find a nugget. Al Martin spent seven seasons with the Braves organization before signing with Pittsburgh and spending one more year at AAA, after which he spent the next seven years as the Pirates’ starting LF. However, I feel safe in stating that none of the hitters in the class of 2008 look to be any better than league average.

Here’s a summary of the top offensive “prospects” at each position, who are at or near major league average offensive levels. Remember, if a guy like Luis Rivas can get a bench job for the whole season, these guys might have hope. Click here for the complete list of players and their projections.

Catcher –

Sandy Madera 27, Eliezer Alfonzo 29, David Ross 31, Kelley Gulledge 29, Josh Bard 30

First Base –

Josh Phelps 30 (signed by SF), John Lindsey 31, Brett Harper 26, Matt Craig 27, Chris Richard 34

Second Base –

Bobby Scales 30, Andy Green 30, D’Angelo Jimenez 30, Rich Paz 30

Third Base –

Tony Blanco 26, Olma Rosario 27, Jesus Guzman 24, Mike Cervenak 31, Justin Leone 31, Yurendell DeCaster 28

Shortstop –

Jesus Marchan 27, Danny Klassen 32, Mark Kiger 28, Alex Cora 32, Chris Basak 29

Outfield –

Brian Stavisky 27, John Rodriguez 30, Val Pascucci 29, Doug Deeds 26, Paul McAnulty 27, Jason DuBois 29, Tod Linden 28, Javier Brito 25, Craig Wilson 31, Victor Diaz 26, Jonel Pacheco 25


One Response to Freely Available Talent

  1. terpsfan101 says:

    I don’t know how your spreadsheet ended-up appearing in my Google Docs. Thanks!
    No suprises, looking at your results. Pretty much every player falls below replacement level. I was suprised at the number of replacement level catchers who are freely-available. You’d think a team like the Tigers would grab one of these catchers who rate slightly better than replacement level.
    It’s funny that you bring up Al Martin. I do have sympathy for pathological liers. I tend to lie a lot myself. Of course, I would not be stupid enough to lie about something that could easily be verified. Saying that you played football at USC, when your biography doesn’t list you as attending any college is an absurd thing to do. Also, Didn’t Martin get married in Las Vegas, and not think that the marriage was legally binding?

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